Club Spotlight: SOU’s Dance Club Workshopped Swing Dancing

Southern Oregon University is home to many clubs; students can participate between classes and studying to socialize, make new friends, and learn new skills. One of the clubs that offers all these opportunities is SOU’s dance club.

According to their presence, they give the following quote about the club “Welcome to the SOU Dance Club! Our mission is to break students out of their comfort zones, teach them new dance styles at all levels, and build leadership and team skills in a welcoming environment.” They teach new styles of dancing during their club workshops, and we had the opportunity to join in with the dance club during one of their workshop sessions, which was about teaching a style of swing dancing known as Lindy Hop.

A guest artist, Wendy Tanner, was brought into the club to help teach Lindy Hop to students and club members. Lindy Hop is a swing dancing style synchronized with jazz music that originated around the 1920s and 1930s in Harlem.

The style rhyme goes Slow, Slow, Triple Step (3-a-4), Slow Slow, Triple Step (7-a-8). The first step involves a rock step in which you put your left foot behind; then a triple step counts to a 1-a-2, 3-a-4—moving weight from one foot to another. Now there is the third step, which begins with the follow putting one foot on the ground, then shifting their toes inward and shifting their weight.

Then we have the partner version of Lindy Hop, the performance we saw. First, the lead will have their footstep back, make sure the right one is in place, then do a triple step. Then your right foot steps behind with your left foot stepping aside and end it with a final triple step. The partner will hold on to the back of the leader and then will swivel right then left. Do a triple step, walk forward, right, and then end it with a triple step left.

Seventeen students were attending, including the three club officers and an elderly couple who heard about the workshop and wanted to participate. It was on Friday night from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM, and in the SU diversions room, right next door to the room where the Rocky Horror was showing. Everyone could hear all of the screams and shouts from the movie. Everyone attending had a great time and enjoyed learning about the Lindy Hop dance style.

Participants dancing along and learning the moves for Lindy Hop. Photos taken by Dakota Runyon-Trapp.

The Siskiyou asked the officers about future showcases, workshops, and planned things. The dance club meets every other weekend for workshops, with Just Dance night, on Wednesdays between the workshops. For workshops for the rest of the term, there are two more at least planned. First, a contemporary dance/taiko workshop; the guest artist will be Suzee Grilley on October 29th at 3:00 PM in theater room 137. Then just a week later, there will be another workshop on November 5th, which is on Dance-Threatre workshop with guest artists at the exact location. As for showcases, no plans until spring term, but they do a show locked in to happen from April 21st to the 23rd.

Dance club and their workshops are a lot of fun for students looking to learn more about how to dance. On top of the future planned showcases later in the school year, if you are interested in hearing more about dance clubs’ plans and events, check out their presence page or follow them on Instagram for club news. 

Leave a Reply