By Isaiah Chisolm
STORRS – The University of Connecticut started the the 2017 fall semester with a swing. The UConn Swing and Blues Club met Tuesday for its first meeting of the new school year.
The club focused on the basics of swing and blues dancing including the “triple step” a three foot shuffle where the dancer puts most of his weight on his right or left foot and then shuffles in either direction and the “rock back” a move where the dancer leans back and puts their weight on their back foot before coming forward.
For some members, the swing and blues club is a great way to exercise and learn popularized 70’s dance moves. For others, it is a great way to make friendships that could last a lifetime.
Katherine Bell, a member of the UConn Swing and Blues club, says that she was not only drawn in by the dancing, but also by the strong sense of community the club encourages.
“I was looking for a community and a group of people to get to know better,” Bell says. “ I had done some dancing in the past but I had never done partner dancing. So I thought this would be cool experience especially as a freshman.”
Partner dancing is not only embraced but encouraged as each member happily swings to the beat of their own tune.
“This club has definitely given me some of the closest friends I’ve had at UConn and I wouldn’t trade it for the world and it’s really helped me fall in love with dancing all over again,” Bell says.
The club was founded in the spring of 2014. One of the founding members had been interested in swing and blues music and wanted to start a club. With some of the members of the UConn Ballroom Dancing club they got things started.
Ben Toth, one of the founding members of the UConn Swing and Blues club, says that it was nice to have a more social atmosphere on campus especially when dancing was involved. Toth says that he hopes the club continues forward in this way.
“I’m hoping that it just brings a lot more people into loving dance,” Toth says. “It’s nice to have a really social atmosphere on campus because it just brings a lot of people together under the general love of dance.”
The club meets on Wednesdays at 7PM until 11PM in the auditorium of the Parish House at the Storrs Congregational Church.