Do USwing?

Dancing the night away with throwback styles

Illustrator: Peyton Garcia

The University of Minnesota’s swing dancing club, USwing, held a dance on Jan. 26. As a frequenter of USwing myself, I made sure to clear my Friday night for this. The theme was “Swinging Through the 20s” and had a Great Gatsby-esque vibe, with a few people in elaborate costumes, mocktails, and even a photo booth. The event was open to all; there was no need for any prior experience. There was a lesson at the beginning of the dance and another one about halfway through for latecomers.

For those who aren’t familiar with this style of dancing, it originated in the 1920s with the rise of jazz music in Harlem. Some popular styles still around today (and that are taught at USwing) are Lindy Hop, Charleston, and East Coast. If you watch Dancing with the Stars, you can see examples of some of these. A lot of them can be fast-paced whirlwinds, although slower songs can be just as fun.

If you didn’t make it to the event in January, do not fret! There are many opportunities to learn how to swing in the area, all year long. USwing meets on Thursdays from 8-10 p.m. in Peik Hall during the semester. It is not exclusively for students, so if you have a friend who doesn’t go to the U they’re still welcome. The first hour is a lesson followed by an hour of social dancing. You don’t have to stay for the second half, but it is a great way to practice what you just learned! Rhythm Junction, located at the Four Seasons on Hennepin Avenue, meets on Mondays at 8 p.m., and with a student ID admission is only $5. If you’re looking for a new hobby and want to meet people, put on your dancing shoes!


Check them out here!