Letter to the editor: Swing dance offers students lessons, fun, friendship

Samantha Bankester

Graphic Design Editor

The Trojan Swing Dance Club was founded in January 2012 and has been growing ever since. It is a great place to meet new friends, get involved on campus and learn an easy and fun style of dance.

I am Samantha Bankester, and I am the current president of the Trojan Swing Dance Club. I began attending the Swing Dance Club my freshman year at Troy, and when I joined the club, I had no idea how to swing dance.

Most of the members in the club join with absolutely no knowledge of swing dancing, but before they know it they are moving around the dance floor like they had been dancing their whole life.

We will teach anyone who is excited to learn.

At the beginning of the year we start out with the basic steps, and each week we progressively move toward the more advance steps, such as aerial lifts.

No one is forced to try anything with which he or she is not comfortable.

Some enjoy mastering the moves that stay on the ground, while others search for a new aerial trick to learn each week.

When new people show up in the middle of the year, we give them a quick lesson of the basic moves and then catch them up to where we are that day.

Besides the weekly meetings, the club also participates in other activities around campus.

We are often asked to teach swing dance at different functions around campus.

In the past few years, we have taught at The British Tea Formal, hosted by Tea for Troy, Greek philanthropy events and Dance Marathon.

Throughout the year the club will have its own parties.

In the fall, we have Halloween and Christmas parties for the club members. Then, in the spring, we host a 1950s Sock Hop at the Arboretum, and anyone is welcome to come.

Tickets are sold to help pay for snacks and supplies, as well as to raise club funds for the upcoming year.

As I said before, when I first joined I had never swing danced before and had no idea what to do.

Each week, however, Aubrey Toole, who was the president at the time, would teach new moves and encourage everyone to grab a partner and give the new steps a try.

After learning the basic steps and several more intermediate level steps, I began to learn aerial moves. The aerial moves are not for everyone, but those willing to try will see that they are a lot of fun.

After being a member of the club for three years, I was asked to be the new president.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as president and couldn’t have done it without my vice president, Justin Huval, a senior math education major from Silver Hill.

I have seen the club grow tremendously over the past year. Sometimes, we would have over 50 people show up to the meetings. I am passing on the president duties to Nathan Hay, a junior environmental science major from Demopolis, and Logan Blalock, a freshman medical lab science major from Abbeville. Hay and Blalock have a passion for swing dancing and will bring lots of fun new ideas to the club.

I am so excited for these two awesome people and can’t wait to see what the future has in store for this amazing club.

This year the Sock Hop will be April 11 at the Arboretum from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Tickets are $3 and will be sold at the door or can be bought ahead of time at the weekly meetings.

For those interested in the swing dance club, please join our Facebook page, Trojan Swing Dance Club.

The Trojan Swing Dance Club meets every Monday night at 8 in the Trojan Center Ballrooms. We are always looking for new members to come and join us.

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