Getting in the Swing of Things

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of Liana Messina

Fall semester has reached its midpoint and students are beginning to get into the swing of things. Third-year students Alvin Arnold and Jill Exman are the founders of the Swing Dance Club, new to campus this semester. They hope to build a solid network of others who share their passion of swing dancing.

The popularity of swing dance originated in the 20s, known for its upbeat style of jazz music. Arnold and Exman have a strong love for dance, and they aren’t the only ones. The feeling it gives them fueled their motivation for creating a club where they are able to socialize with other admirers of the lively dance.

“We wanted to have a place here on campus where we could share the dance with fellow students and hopefully begin a dance community of our own,” said secondary-education and mathematics major Arnold.

Arnold and Exman are embracing new members with open arms, literally. Potential members can expect to learn the art and style of swing dancing, as well as the opportunity to meet others who share this love, not only on campus, but all around the area.

“Our goal is to teach, share and enjoy swing dancing,” environmental and organismal biology major Exman said.

Each meeting begins with a 45-mintue lesson, as Arnold and Exman illustrate the dance moves, and concludes with social dancing in a more laid back atmosphere.

Arnold hopes the club will continue to grow and expand as a dancing community, even past graduation. Members are brainstorming innovative ideas and events, as the club is quickly gaining interested members. They would like to do collaborative performances with other dancers, including those from the Marist and Vassar communities. An annual swing dance-themed event is also in the works to develop bonds with swing dancers in the Hudson Valley.

All are welcome to attend the weekly meetings, every Friday from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Elting Dance Studio. No experience is necessary, only expectations of becoming an amazing dancer.

“The whole dance is about exuberance in being alive,” Arnold said.