Celebrate Valentine’s Day at The Sweetheart Swing

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Amy Ebert
From left to right: Lance Hyatt, Cordell Cox, Logan Mann, Marie Johnson, Leanna Thompson, Mckenna Clarke, and Samantha Clarke take a break from dancing during last year’s Sweetheart Swing. (Amy Ebert)

BYU students and friends are invited to step back into the 1950s this weekend on Saturday, Feb. 11, with swing dancing and live jazz music, at the annual Sweethearts Swing.

“The goal of the night is that it’s very authentic, and that people can come and feel like they are in the 50s,” said Marie Johnson, one of the event directors. “We will have 50s swing dance, lives singers and the BYU jazz band will be playing live.”

Johnson said the event will be set up like a 50s diner. The food will be inspired by the 50s as well. People can also take a break from dancing and enjoy a malt while watching the BYU ballroom dance team perform 50s style dancing.

Johnson said she’s excited to have live music at the dance because it really sets the mood, and it is a rare opportunity for students to dance to a live jazz band.

Roy Smith has been the director of the BYU jazz band, Synthesis, for over 35 years. He said he is enthusiastic about the event’s music scene.

“It is fun to play all that great music and to work with so many great singers that have been selected by audition from the student body at large,” Smith said.

Smith said in the 30s, 40s and 50s jazz was the popular music of the day. People could dance to the sounds of the big bands most nights of the week. Everyone knew all the soloists names like they do sports players today.

“It is very exciting to have a night dedicated to resurrecting this great music. You still can’t beat it,” Smith said.

Johnson said the Valentine’s dance has been at BYU for over 20 years, but this is only the second year that it has been a 50s swing dance.

“We have lost a lot of that rich culture of partner dancing,” Johnson said. “It’s an opportunity to have a fun time with your date and it’s an uplifting kind of music and dance.”

BYU statistics junior Derek Davidson said he’s excited for the dance.

“I like dancing in general. Dancing is easy to learn and one can look like they know what they are doing with only a little practice,” Davidson said. “All someone needs to do is try and they’ll have fun.”

BYUSA is hosting the event. Students and alumni are welcome to attend. The dance will be held in the Wilkinson Center ballroom from 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Starting at 7:30 p.m. there will be dance instruction from the BYU Vintage Swing Dance Club.

To purchase tickets go to the BYU Events website.

Other Valentine Events on or around campus include:

Galentine’s Day with a Purpose event: Feb. 13. 4 – 10 p.m.

Creative Writing Student Reading event: Mortified (Valentines Gone Wrong): Feb. 13. 6-7 p.m. HBLL 3233.

Canned Valentines:Feb 14. 9 a.m.- 5:30 p.m. S115 Eyring Science.