Swing Dance Society is one of the newest societies to hit the University of York this term, teaching students how to bounce to the Lindy Hop, Charleston and many other dances. With a strong emphasis on fun, I simply had to try my hand (and dancing feet) at this 1920s dance style at their inaugural class this evening.
Derwent Squash Courts was seemingly filled to the brim with people, a fantastic turn-out for the first event of such an unusual society. The two dance teachers – Becky Woods and Andy Connelly – effortlessly led in a basic warm-up that got everyone laughing and smiling.
Learning a basic move initially seemed daunting, especially for someone like me who is easily confused when asked directly which way is left and which way is right. Nevertheless, each dance step was broken down into its component parts, slowed down and repeated until the instructors were sure that everyone had it – a sizeable feat for such a full room.
The social aspect of Swing Dance Society does appear to come from the instructors’ call to change partners every time after trying out the learned dance a few times to music. The awkwardness of meeting new people quickly dissipated as everyone valiantly stumbled through each learned move. The sheer delight at following most of the moves to popular tunes, such as Nina Simone and Randy Newman, was purely infectious.
Sure to be a fierce contender for Society of the Year, Swing Dance Society is an excellent way to test your coordination, meet new people and have a lot of laughs.
For the rest of the term up until week 6, beginners lessons will be from 9pm to 10pm in Derwent Squash Courts. Entry cost is £2 for members, £3 for non-members. Join Swing Dance Society’s Facebook page for more info.