Would you like to show your partner or special someone new moves on the dance floor? MSU SwingCats club is hosting the annual Swing+ dance workshop on Friday, Oct. 4 through Sunday, Oct. 6. The three-day swing dance crash course, focusing on the Lindy Hop style of dancing, will consist of eight total hours of dance lessons, three evening dances, and one late night dance.
During the day on Saturday and Sunday, there will be lessons with world-renowned instructors from across the country. Lessons will be hosted at Starlite Dance Studio in Bozeman. The daytime classes will be followed by social dances in the evening where participants can display their new knowledge and skills.
Friday at 7 p.m. will be the first evening of dancing, featuring an introduction to swing dancing for beginners followed by two hours of social dancing. The Saturday evening dance will feature a live band: MSU’s own One O’Clock jazz band directed by Dr. Ryan Matzinger. Later that night, the club plans on holding a bonfire at Hyalite Reservoir for participants to socialize outside of the dancehall. Sunday evening, the last night of the three day event, will be another social dance.
For the first time this year, the Swing+ event will also feature a competitive side. Participants will engage in a competition with randomly assigned partners to showcase their skills. The highest scoring pair will receive tickets to other swing dancing workshops around the country.
SwingCats president Zoe Benedict says, “Swing+ is a good way for new people to learn because it’s easier to learn by doing a lot of dancing at once rather than going week by week and forgetting.” While the event is centered around teaching new skills, Swing+ is not limited to beginning dancers. Benedict states, “It is also great for those who have been dancing for a while to take it further because you can get feedback from people who swing dance professionally.”
The event is open to both students and the public. Early registration cost is $75 for students and $90 for non-students with prices increasing at the door. The price includes all eight hours of lessons as well as admission to all evening dances and the late night event. Also included in the registration fee is the opportunity to participate in the competition. Visit www.swing-plus.com to register.
SwingCats is a developed club on campus with around 30 active participants. The weekly schedule for the club consists of lessons and practice on Wednesday evenings in Wilson Hall from 7:30 p.m to 8:30 p.m. SwingCats charges a small fee for lessons and uses the money to host events like Swing+. Currently, the club is focusing on an introduction to Lindy Hop lesson series taught by Fiona Lewis and Benedict. Upcoming lessons include an introduction to World War II era Balboa dancing and the famous Charleston. In addition to weekly lessons, there are dances every Saturday evening. The dances are hosted by SwingCats at various locations around Bozeman. The locations and other details can be found on their facebook page at www.facebook.com/mtswingcats/
SwingCats is a great opportunity for beginner dancers. “There is no dance partner or experience required,” says Benedict. “If you know how to walk, you can dance. It’s a good way to make friends; it’s a close-knit and welcoming community with members from all walks of life.”