Swing Dance Club hosts formal dance

GVL/Luke Holmes
The Swing Dance Club met Dec. 3 for their second to last meeting before Christmas break.

GVL/Luke Holmes The Swing Dance Club met Dec. 3 for their second to last meeting before Christmas break.

Daniel Goubert

From jazzy music to snazzy bow ties and impressive, improvised dance moves, the latest holiday party thrown by Grand Valley State University’s Swing Dance Club had plenty to offer for students looking to end the semester in a stylish and stress-free way.

“You can come (to the club) when you’re stressed to the max and you just have the chance to let it out,” said Kristen Collins, Swing Dance Club promotions officer. “I think swing dancing is especially close to my heart because I’ve met so many amazing people here.”

Those who attended the club’s formal-wear Fancy Pants Dance Event on Dec. 3 had the chance to meet many new people while enjoying free food and dancing the night away under holiday lights.

The executive board also announced that the GVSU Swing Dance Club would reprise their role as second floor coordinators at Presidents’ Ball 2016 on Feb. 5.

Club president Taylor Green said the club emphasizes its beginner friendliness, as well as how certain it is that members will have fun.

“Swing Dance Club is an open, no cost, ‘come as you are’ club,” Green said. “If you’re coming here, chances are you’re going to learn how to swing dance whether you want to or not. Because that’s what we love. That’s what we do, that’s what we’re passionate about.

“(There’s) no experience needed. If you come in never dancing in your life, that’s exactly what we love.”

An annual tradition for the club, the festive Fancy Pants Dance Event featured both individual and group dances, all of which were improvised in the ad-lib nature of the club, Green said.

Swing Dance Club has also paired with the Grand Rapids Swing Society for events. Ellen Roderick, GVSU’s club vice president, said they hope to bring swing dancing to an even wider population.

“(Swing dancing) is a big thing in the Grand Rapids area now,” Roderick said. “This is a growing type of style: a growing type of dance. I think the fact we’re able to bring this to students here, as well as the downtown area is a really cool way to integrate us into the Grand Rapids area.”

Green said being a dance or music major is not necessary to enjoy swing dancing. He estimated that around 90 percent of club members do not study dance or music. Green said swing dancing’s values can be rewarding for any discipline.

“It’s a dance that’s all about making it your own,” he said. “It’s all about being versatile, about taking what we’ve learned and using it only as a foundation and being able to build on it based on who you are as a person. (It’s about) being able to put your personality into the dance, making it what you want it to be.

“(You’re) able to make it your own, rather than looking at something and having to play it by the books; you’re able to kind of take the mentality of making swing dance custom-fit to your personality. It makes you different from everybody else. It makes you just unique.”

Swing Dance Club meets Thursday nights at 9 p.m. For more information on meeting locations and upcoming club events, visit GVSU Swing Dance Club on Facebook, Twitter or OrgSync.