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Swing votes for swing dancing

Daniel Ford and Emily Love lead the dance club Sunday nights at 8 p.m.

By Wren Haynes | Contributor

Kick off your Sunday shoes and head to the KSAC. As of this year, Taylor has a new student group in the works—a swing dancing club.

Junior Daniel Ford first had the idea last spring, when he saw an email about registering new clubs.

“I enjoy swing dancing; there’s other people who enjoy swing dancing,” Ford said. “So I got together with people and said, ‘I don’t know whether we’re allowed to do this or not.’”

But Ford and senior Emily Love—president and vice president of the proposed club, respectively—decided to try anyway. The idea has already passed Student Senate, but the group has several more hurdles before they can consider themselves an official club.

According to Steve Austin, director of student programs, the next step is a review by the Community Life Committee. Made up of faculty, students and staff, the committee usually speaks to the president of the club in question to gain a better understanding of the group’s scope and purpose. If the committee votes for its approval, the club becomes active on campus.

The swing dancing club’s biggest potential barrier to approval is differing interpretations of the LTC’s dancing policy.

Ford and Love hope to advocate for their club based on some of the conditions laid out in the LTC. Specifically, the document refers to “sanctioned folk dances, dances that are designed to worship God, dancing at weddings, and the use of appropriate choreography in drama, musical productions and athletic events” as cases where dancing is acceptable within the Taylor community.

According to Love, swing dancing satisfies these requirements by being a choreographed, worshipful type of American folk dance.

“Swing dancing was actually huge in the Great Depression and wartime,” Love said. “It actually started in America—most people don’t know that.”

Ford pointed out that recreational dance also has many benefits.

“Just in general, I think that people enjoy dancing and this can provide a way for people to express themselves kinesthetically,” Ford said. “It’s fun; it’s good exercise; it builds relationships. If we do get it more formal we can possibly invite people from the community or people from other schools to come. So it can also build community as well and (contribute to) outreach.”

Another classic concern with dancing on campus is the morality of the dance style. While Ford and Love agree that there may be objections to certain forms of swing, they strive to keep the dancing in their group appropriate and uplifting.

As the club continues through the approval process, Austin encourages the exploration.

“With anything that is new there will be questions,” Austin said. “Those types of questions are important for us to ask and answer. Having a group of students interested in swing dancing go through the club approval process feels like a part of answering each of those questions.”

As far as the swing dancers themselves go, they will still meet while the approval process goes through. You can catch them Sunday from 8–9 p.m. in the KSAC’s Aerobics Room.

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