A social swing club led by students MSwing began its first lesson and open dance winter semester on Thursday, February 10th. The club, founded in 2015, consistently provides students with a free place with low rates and commitments to study and practice the art of swing. The club is open to anyone interested in swing, from complete beginners to swing experts.

I had the pleasure of attending the first MSwing lesson, albeit with some initial hesitation. I, of course no dancer and was very nervous because of my serious lack of experience. Upon arriving for the lesson (held in Kessler Hall, Michigan League) I was surprised and relieved to find many other newcomers to the room. We started the evening with a dating cycle that revealed an impressive variety of participants. There was a good mix of graduate students and students from a wide variety of majors and schools who came together from different backgrounds to get lost in the scope.

The group then split between beginners and more experienced dancers. Each group was instructed by one of the MSwing staff, also university students. Instructor “Beginners”, Rackham student Eli Johandes, began by teaching us the basic four-step rhythm, which is the basis Hustle style swing dance. We then teamed up, chose a presenter and began to study the complex turns, rotations and manual swing shifts. Even in the initial group the pace of learning was fast, but nothing was impossible (even for me). By the end of the hour, my dance partner, LSA sophomore Mary Colette, and I were making pretzels, spinning and sinking like professionals. After the lesson, Colette said, “I think the appeal of swing is that you can start doing seemingly impressive movements relatively quickly.” It seems scary to watch, but once you dive in and try it on yourself, it’s really quite doable.

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