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Arts & Life, Events

LBSU keeps swing dance modern

Students jived and swung to jazz music in the East Gym in the PE building Saturday.

The space was transformed into a 1920s ballroom where people were able to playfully dance and shake their hips to the 8-count dance.

Women wore flowy skirts, saddle oxfords, polka dots and large hair bows, while men wore traditional full-length pants, plain button down shirts and ballroom dancing shoes.

The Long Beach Lindy Hoppers and the Long Beach State Swing Club hosted a Swing Dance Camp inside the East Gym. The event offered swing dancing, swing dancing, and of course more swing dancing.

Swing dance may not be a modern dance, but it has a community of people that are passionate about the dance in Long Beach.

“It’s a really great social activity, and it’s a lot of fun to do with your friends and the community is really big,” said Lindy Hopper instructor Kelly Young.  

Lindy hop is a style African American dance that was born in Harlem, New York City in 1938. It is a fusion of many different dances such as the Charleston, jazz dance and tap.

The Long Beach Lindy Hoppers started in 2011 as a small monthly dance group that wanted to  offer dance to the community. The group has grown in size and connects people all over Orange and Los Angeles Counties.

While the Lindy Hoppers are not a entity on the campus, the Swing Dancing Club offers students a place to express themselves through dance and social activity.

“The best benefit is the social community,” Swing Dance Club member Jill Torres said. “Everyone’s really nice and friendly and there is the dancing aspect and you’re getting exercise while having fun and being artistic and creative.”

The event gave club members an opportunity to strut their stuff and to show off their skills in front of audience members. Members also offered lessons to anyone who was interested in learning more about how to swing dance.

A performance and contest were also held to find the best male and female dancers. Lindy Hopper instructors and officers of the LBSU Swing Club judged the contest and evaluated each dancer and the creativity and skill of their dance moves.

Dancers strutted their stuff trying difficult dance moves that was orchestrated by Dave Stuckey and the Hot House Gang, a live jazz band.  

The showcase came to be a place where people can go to have fun and express themselves through swing dance.

The showcase had many swing dancers in attendance that filled the East Gym and had all types of skill levels, from beginners to experts.

For members of the LBSU Swing Dance Club, they felt the event was a huge success and something to involve more LBSU students who may be interested in swing dance and Lindy hop.

“It started as an idea in our heads since the beginning of the school year and we were debating can we even pull it off?” LBSU Swing Dance Club Vice-President Kaley Schuster said. “We were bouncing ideas back and forth and we decided to just go for it.”

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