Dim lighting and lively music created an early 20th century nightlife atmosphere in the ballroom of the MacVittie College Union on Friday Sept. 27 as the Swing Dance Club hosted their Masquerade Lindy Jam.
The four-hour event taught students a new way to relieve stress and to socialize in a way they may not have thought to before, according to Swing Dance Club president junior Rachel Kelk.
“It is a good way for students to de-stress and learn a different type of dance that they may not have experienced before,” Kelk said. “[It] was a really good day [to have it] because a lot of people just had their first wave of exams.”
Student band Combo Plate performed live jazz music throughout the event. The club laid bright, colorful masks outside of the ballroom for students to wear. They also provided tables and chairs decorated with balloons for students to rest. Many dancers wore dresses and other attire to fit with the nightlife theme.
The event began with students splitting up into two sides: introverts and extroverts. The extroverts lead the introverts through the dance. The leaders and followers then paired up with each other and the lessons began. Students were taught basic moves in swing dance including opens, closes and spins.
Students were encouraged to get up and move as executive board members taught steps to the dance. Participants formed a circle around the e-board members and attempted to copy all of the steps. After a certain amount of time, the leaders in the dancing couple were told to switch to the right and the followers stayed in place, resulting in new partners and more opportunities for socialization.
The club hopes to host more events throughout the year—including another Geneseo Late Knight event next semester—as well as more events throughout the year.
“The Swing Dance Club is an all-inclusive club and teaches about the history and culture of swing dance and how it originated,” Kelk said. “It originally started in Harlem in the 1920s as a way for African-American people to take a step back from their bosses and to enjoy the time that they had.”
The Swing Dance Club meets every Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. in Bailey 204. Anyone can join and no experience is required. The members of the club are very welcoming and constantly encourage any and all new students to join.