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Swing Club offers students swinging Mondays

Michelle Fordice | Tuesday, October 4, 2005

Everyone knows that life “don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing.” And the Notre Dame Swingers, Notre Dame’s swing dance club, set out last night to make sure the students’ lives had plenty of significance.

Thrown in the LaFortune Ballroom from 8 to 10 p.m., the Swing Club’s open dance was free to all who wanted to try their moves, circa 1920. Students wore their zoot suits, or maybe just whatever happened to be left in their closet, and danced the night away to swing classics and other songs ranging from “I’m A Believer” to, of course, “It Don’t Mean a Thing” by Duke Ellington.

Though the crowd was small at the beginning, a few brave souls dared to venture out to try their moves. By the end of the evening the floor was so packed, dancers had to avoid colliding with each other as they spun and jumped across the dance floor.

The dance was even entertaining for those taking a small break, as they watched their peers let loose and perform impressive swing moves.

“[Students] should come out, have a good time and learn some moves,” said Swing Dance Club President Nick CaJacob.

The music for the dance was provided by the swing club’s extensive collection.

As dancers changed partners throughout the night, students were told not worry about finding a date. Half of the couples on the floor had never danced together, but they had just as much fun as partners that had worked together for years.

“It’s all about your partner,” sophomore Evan Buntrock said.

Even those that hadn’t danced a single swing step in their life were encouraged to come to the dance. The swing dance club’s talented instructors, recognizable by their trademark black-and-white saddleback shoes, lent a hand whenever needed, whether a dancer forgot an unfamiliar step or wanted advice on style and technique. All the regular swing dancers at the club’s weekly lessons are just as enthusiastic.

The room is always packed with beginners willing to give every step a try, no matter how unfamiliar or unusual it seems, and more experienced dancers visit to get in a little extra practice.

“It’s something really fun, not expensive, where you can learn something that will make people just say ‘awesome.’ I love it,” junior Nicole Dorner said.

Senior Michael Quisao added, for the gentlemen, that it’s “a great way to meet girls.”

Swing dance lessons are held every Monday from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. followed by an open practice until 10:30 in the second floor dance room of the Rock for $3 a lesson. It is also possible to pay by semester.

As the swing club’s posters advertise, where else can you get a workout, meet guys/girls, and learn to dance? The songs will keep on playing and the dancers will keep jitterbugging and spinning throughout an evening of informal fun.

The final dance of the semester will feature the Notre Dame Jazz Band on a date to be determined, but it’s sure to be a ‘swinging’ event.