Students catch dance fever through the Swing Club

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    By Celeste Christiansen

    Not only is the Swing Kids Club not cutting back on activities during the summer, but all of their activities will be free.

    The club begins the summer in full swing with a free dance this Saturday from 8 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. in Room 29 KMB.

    Although the summer months bring a decrease in membership, the Swing Kids Club will continue having dances, classes and performances as long as there are people who want to dance.

    Michael Smith, 23, a senior from Clear Water, Fla. majoring in computer science, said he is happy the club has accomplished its goal of having free summer membership.

    There are dances and classes every week during the summer and they are open to all who are interested. You don”t have to be a BYU student to attend club activities, and you don”t need to have a partner.

    Last Tuesday night, a club member”s aunt came to the beginner”s swing class. Smith said many people travel from Salt Lake City and even BYU-Idaho to attend a Swing Kids Club dance.

    On Tuesday nights, classes are divided into various levels depending on ability.

    “If people have never danced before, there is a beginner”s class they can join,” Smith said. “There is a place for everyone in the club. It may be a little hard to learn the dances, but if you stick to it, you pick it up.”

    The Swing Kids Club team is an auditioning group of club members. The team members meet once a week for two hours to rehearse for upcoming performances. The team performs at the weekly dances, and other swing events in the community. This past year, the team performed at nursing homes and schools.

    Brian Burtenshaw, 22, a sophomore from Shelley, Idaho majoring in psychology, started swing dancing in high school and recently auditioned and joined the Swing Kids Club team for the summer.

    “I think a lot of people like swing,” Burtenshaw said. “It looks fun. People often say, ”I wish I could do that.” So it is nice to have a place where they can come and learn and have fun.”

    Next year”s goals include a professional workshop for club members taught by a professional swing dancing couple from California.

    During the fall and winter, the only requirement for membership is the $12 semester dues that are used to help pay for dances and other club events.

    Laura Friedman, 23, from Chicago, is a BYU graduate and the communications specialist for the club. She has been a member through the last year and a half and suggested students should come to the club this summer because every week is a fun experience.

    “There is no better club on campus,” Friedman said. “Swing dancing is addicting.”

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