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Dance the night away

swing dance
Attendees of a past swing dance event partake in dancing festivities. Photo by Maddie Malat.

Every Friday night students from Concordia, MSUM and NDSU get together for a night filled with dance. Last year, the the tri-colleges partnered up last year and launched a swing dancing club, which has been a huge success. Although most dances are traditional, this Friday, Feb. 13, members of Concordia College’s swing dancing club will be hosting this year’s Valentine’s dance, which will take place in the Birkeland Alumni Lounge.

Although this week’s dance is designed to celebrate the day of love, each college takes a turn arranging and hosting the organization’s weekly dances. As with any event attendance varies, however, according to  Backer about 50 students attend on a weekly basis. For individuals unfamiliar with the art of swing dance, but would still like to take part in the event, the club has you covered!  Vice President of the Concordia chapter,

Jacqui Backer mentioned that before each dance, the club provides lessons for beginners and intermediates. After the lessons, jazz music fills the room and the swing dancing begins.

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Attendees of a past swing dance event partake in dancing festivities. Photo by Maddie Malat.

If you and your dancing partner want to celebrate Valentine’s Day in style, this is the perfect event for you. If you and your dancing partner would like to celebrate the evening in style you are encouraged to wear red or pink. Prior to the dance, beginner lessons will be offered starting at 7:30 p.m., and moves lessons will follow at 8 p.m. Once everyone is acquainted with some moves, the open dance will begin.

Swing dance club is open to anyone who wants to learn how to dance or have a good time. According to junior Josh Mork, the dances are not only open to the three colleges but also the community. Mork is a huge fan of the community aspect of the event, and encourages anyone to join.

“I really like the community aspect,” Mork said. “It’s a very open group and I’ve always felt very welcomed. It’s also really fun to challenge myself to constantly improve in my dancing abilities.”

Sophomore Emily Herman, first heard about the swing dancing last year and decided to give the club a shot. Since Herman was unfamiliar with the dance, she was relieved when she found out they gave lessons, and that there was no pressure to being an awesome dancer.

“I was expecting to be thrown into an open dance with no prior experience, but there was a beginner lesson that taught me all the basics,” Herman said.

The club’s Friday night dances are not just about dancing, but growing friendships within the Fargo-Moorhead community. Not only does the tri-college atmosphere help students interact among each other, they also provide them with an opportunity to meet new college students. Backer mentioned this is one of the main reasons why she loves the swing dance club so much.

“This is a cool way to meet people and interact with new people you wouldn’t otherwise,” Backer said. “You build friendships and it’s good weekly exercise.”

Backer encourages everyone to check out their Facebook page called FM Swing Dance Club and come to the beginner lessons. Swing dancing dates back a few generations to a time when this type of dancing was most common. Backer believes bringing back the old moves a good thing. Since joining the club, Backer has noticed that the dance provides different generations with an opportunity to come together and recreate a little part of history that has not been forgotten.

“We open up our dances to the public, and the turnout is people from multiple generations,” Backer said. “When I tell my grandparents about a swing dancing event, they are genuinely interested and also know what I’m talking about. Swing dancing brings people together.”

It’s never too late to join the swing dance club. If you would like to test the waters Mork encourages everyone to put their dancing shoes on and check out the Valentine’s themed dance on Feb. 13 right here on campus at 7:30 p.m..

“It’s a really fun event that has been going on for several years,” Mork said. “It’s a formal event, so everyone comes dressed to the nines and that always makes things a blast.”

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