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Students ‘dance in the moonlight’ at club formal

Nicole Toczauer | Sunday, November 13, 2011

Stars, confetti and navy blue curtains brought back an old-school style at “Dancing in the Moonlight,” the first co-sponsored formal held by Ballroom Dance Club and Swing Club.

The dance took place Friday night in the Stepan Center.

Junior Allison Kincaid, co-president of Swing Club, said the night was a success for both clubs.

“We not only had over 100 people but everyone was dancing and enjoying the night up until the very end. The food was delicious, the DJ was fun, and everyone looked fabulous dressed up in formal wear,” she said. “I’m definitely glad that we were able to do the confetti drop at 11:11:11. It was definitely a starry night under the moon.”

Kincaid said the night allowed club members and non-members to meet new people.

“What is awesome about these kind of events is that it encourages people to branch out, at least that’s the nature of Swing,” she said. “I definitely met some new and fun people and had a great time dancing with them!”

Junior Joshua Gaston, Swing Club treasurer, said the event also allowed dancers to improve their style, though there was no formal lesson.

“That was one of the purposes of this dance: to expand people’s views of dance and invite them to explore further,” he said. “Plus, people just straight up improved.  The best example was when I led a samba line for a whole song without knowing how to Samba.”

Gaston said the groundwork for “Dancing in the Moonlight” was laid last year with the debut of their first swing formal.

“The event last year was such a success that it wasn’t a question that another formal would happen this year,” he said. “Moreover, the Swing and Ballroom clubs at the end of last year decided to make a more conscious effort to co-exist as two clubs which catered to the same audience.”

Gaston said that after Activities Night, the two clubs met with the Student Activities Office, gathered decorations and found a DJ.

“There were calls to SAO, long chats between club officers … last minute panicking, etc, etc,” he said.

Juniors Emily Palid and Mike Marszowski, co-presidents of Ballroom Dance Club, said the officers from both clubs made a huge effort to make the night a success.

“Josh Gaston deserves special thanks for coordinating between the two clubs and heading up the event,” Marszowski said. “We’d also love the thank our set up crew, especially Jen Martynowicz, Emily Palid and Paul Minutolo.”

Gaston said the Swing Club also wanted to recognize senior Andy Fotsch for his contributions, as well as the clean up crew.

“Confetti was awesome, but time consuming to clean up,” he said.

Palid, Marszowski and Gaston said they agreed the wide variety of styles in swing, classical ballroom and Latin dance meant there was something for everyone to enjoy.

“The styles of ballroom and swing allow people to do so much more than just sway back and forth,” Gaston said.  “Whether it’s a beautiful waltz, a dramatic tango,or a jaw dropping lindy, these allow people to expand their dancing to more music than ever thought possible.”

The club officers said there were many opportunities for students interested in learning more about the two styles of dance. Both clubs’ representatives said they hold weekly lessons and sponsor other events as well.

“In the past we’ve had the Swing-a-thon in order to raise money for charity. At Legends there’s also ‘Swing Night’ at least once, sometimes twice, a semester,” Kincaid said. “Furthermore, we offer trips outside the South Bend area. It gives our club members a chance to see what the Swing Scene is like in other places, learn new styles and meet new and awesome people.”

Kincaid said the two clubs offered students social interaction and the opportunity to learn basic dancing skills.

“Mixing good dance moves, music and people together always creates something unique,” she said. “We provide a casual, fun atmosphere for people to take a break from studies and learn how to move their feet.”