USD Swing Club swings into spring
The University of San Diego is home to a new Swing Dance Club, which hosts free lessons, dances, and assistance in attending off-campus events. They’ve also hosted social dances in Aromas, including a Halloween and a Christmas social. With each event, the club has been growing and attracting new members to its family of dancers that are hep to the jive.
Many students may think that swing dancing and jazz music belong in the past, but the jive is alive and at USD. Originating in the 1920s and continuing to grow, swing is a genre of dance that includes styles like the Charleston, Balboa, and Lindy Hop. Almost all swing dance styles are partner dances, where there is a leader and a follower dancing together. They are extremely socially oriented. After making a comeback in the 1980s, the Lindy Hop has been spreading all over the world, infecting dancers with the Swing bug.
The USD Swing Dance Club will kick off the Spring semester by hosting a social dance called Swing into Spring. This dance is a great opportunity for students to let loose and connect with their inner jive. The event offers a intermediate workshops, a free beginner lesson, a social dance, and an excuse to wear vintage duds or ritzy dresses. Swing into Spring will be held on Saturday, Feb. 21 in the UC Forums A and B. The times and details can be found on the USD Swing Dance Club’s Facebook page.
Any student can enjoy finding their inner hep cat. Sophomore Mark Sasaki, an engineering major, was one of the earliest members of the USD Swing Dance Club.
“I love the music and the thrill of the fast motions. It is unique and enjoyable at any level,” Sasaki said. “The community supporting it is incredible because they welcome anyone and everyone.”
Dax Hock and Sarah Breck, one of the world’s top ten Lindy Hop couples, will be teaching workshops and then performing for students at Swing into Spring. When they are not running the Lindy Loft, the most prestigious swing dance school in Los Angeles, they travel the world spreading the joy of swing dancing. They have also appeared on Dancing with the Stars, in multiple music videos, and on several TV shows.
Dax and Sarah have inspired many of the USD Swing Club members to grow the club and the whole college dance community, including Sophomore Marguerite Lehman.
“I’m excited to see so many dancers on campus,” Lehman said. “It will be great just to see the potential and consider what future dances on campus might look like.” Swing dancing is not only about learning dance steps, but it also helps build self-esteem, social skills, and creativity. Even world class Lindy Hoppers continue to learn and grow from the dance including Hock.
“Dancing has given me both confidence and humility. It has taught me how little I know and how wonderful it is to learn new things,” Hock said. “Lindy Hop has been equally a mental battle as a physical one. There is so much psychology in partner dancing, and so many problems to solve and solutions to discover.”
Swing dancing represents an attitude that is both welcoming and ambitious. Every member of the Swing community wants anybody and everybody to come dancing.It is a feeling of joy and freedom, which is now available and calling to every student here on campus with Swing into Spring.