VIDEO: Swing Club teaches lost art

Erin Flom, Guest Writer

Video by Michael Pham

Wandering down to The CAVE on a Monday night, one will find the comfy chairs pushed aside revealing an open floor and fast music from a past era playing. Here, students learn the dying art of swing dance.

Jayde Huggard, a former student at Pacific Lutheran University, was first dragged to Swing Club in 2008 and was quickly hooked. Now, six years later, he teaches students a variety of dances during their Monday night meetings.

Swing dance is an umbrella term for a variety of dances including lindy hop, west coast swing and the Charleston.

“[Swing] is easy and fast to learn,” Huggard said. “It’s a gateway to learning other styles of dance.”

Meetings begin at 8 p.m. with about 40 minutes of instruction where students learn and practice new dances or moves.

It’s fast-paced with constant motion. Students don’t need to bring a partner because every few minutes partners rotate. This is so students have a chance to dance with people of different skill levels.

After announcements, there is a social dance from about 9-11 p.m.

Students take what they’ve learned and put it into action with music from the era. It’s casual and attendees can dance with anyone.

Sophomore Karin Luvaas joined Swing Club last year as a way to get involved at PLU. She had very little experience with dance and enjoyed learning all the different styles and moves.

“[Learning swing] helped with my confidence,” Luvaas said.

Her favorite dance is lindy hop.

“It’s fast-paced and complicated at first, but you just have to let yourself go and dance,” Luvaas said.

Joel Thomas, a first-year, enjoyed dancing in high school musicals but was never formally taught. Thomas enjoys the energy and feeling of swing dancing.

Although he enjoys dancing, it’s the people who make it even better.

“Everyone loves what they do,” Thomas said, “and everyone’s so welcoming.”

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