An estimated 100 students attended a 1920s speakeasy-themed swing dance on Friday night at the ballroom at the Curry Student Center. The event, hosted by the Northeastern Ballroom Dance Club, included East Coast Swing classes for beginners, followed by dancing, a non-alcoholic bar and a photo booth.
Sahaj Kumar, social president of the NU Ballroom Dance Club and second-year computer science student, said the group teaches weekly classes and holds social dance events – like Swing Night – so they can teach ballroom styles. popular prom to the northeast community in a fun and engaging manner.
âWe had so many people coming out tonight, both regulars who always come to our weekly classes and people who have never tried any form of ballroom dancing,â Kumar said.
Tucker Spencer-Wallace was one of the teachers in the East Coast Swing Beginner’s Classes. A second year mechanical engineering graduate and group dancer, he said ballroom dancing was a passion for him and described it as “both an exercise and a creative expression.” He also encouraged everyone not to hesitate to come to events like Swing Night.
âThe room was full and there were people who didn’t know a single swing dance move, but they were having so much fun once we taught them the basic moves,â said Spencer-Wallace.
Spencer-Wallace, along with Erica Dunn, fourth year business administration student and treasurer of the Ballroom Dance Club, taught some of the key movements of East Coast Swing, including the basic step and the three step rock step. , the round under the arm, peek-a-boo’s or stop-and-go, and the leader’s belt loop.
Morgan Napier, a first year pharmacy major, attended the dance and learned a few moves with his friends.
âIt was so nice to learn dance moves tonight that I couldn’t learn any other way,â Napier said. “My friends and I had so much fun, and I highly recommend people to come to events like this at least once.”
Makayla James, a first-year physiotherapy student, was another participant who had already attended some of the weekly lessons.
âIt was really nice to be able to show others ballroom dancing and how much fun it can be,â James said of swing dancing. James and her friends also took advantage of the other activities, like getting mocktails, which she said was one of her favorite parts.
At the end of the East Coast Swing lesson, the Ballroom Dance Club held a dance competition that took a turn in swing dancing.
âWe paired everyone up and gave them a challenge like, dance the swing like you’ve had too many drinks,â said Spencer-Wallace. “It’s really just a way for everyone to relax and forget about having to dance the steps exactly right.”
The pairs that completed each challenge the best moved on to the next round, and the pairs that made it to the final round were awarded prizes, including chocolate bars. Some of the contestants’ songs danced to “Handclap” by Fitz and the Tantrums and “Thumbs” by Sabrina Carpenter.
âI’m glad so many people came out tonight,â said Spencer-Wallace. âI had so much fun teaching the moves and dancing with my friends. People seemed to really like the 20s sweatshop theme.
The NU Ballroom Dance Club has partnered with the Office of Global Services, or OGS, for this event as part of the Carnevale celebrations in Northeastern. Carnevale, also known as Shrove Tuesday, is a Christian holiday marking the start of the fasting period of Lent. Kumar said the Ballroom Dance Club was delighted to co-host the event with OGS.
âThey certainly helped publicize this event,â Kumar said. âSo many people came and I am happy that we were able to increase our reach to the North East community. “
Many people came dressed according to the theme. Several women wore flapper-style dresses and T-strap heels, while many men wore vests, suspenders and fedora hats.
While many of the songs from the night were upbeat and fast, like âEx’s and Oh’sâ by Elle King, there were still plenty of slow dances like âA Whole New Worldâ by Disney’s âAladdinâ.
âMy favorite part was seeing all the new faces here tonight,â said Spencer-Wallace. âI’m so glad they had fun learning the swing in a relaxed but still refined dance setting.â