BYUSA blasts to the past with Sweetheart Swing dance

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BYU students danced the night away at the annual BYUSA Sweetheart Swing dance on Feb. 11. Put on by BYU student activities, the 50s themed dance hosted about 700 people and featured live performances by the BYU jazz band Synthesis, BYU students and the BYU Ballroom Ensemble Two and Ensemble Three teams.

“The Sweetheart Swing is a tradition we have been doing for years,” Sarah Brown, director of the event, said. According to Brown, she and her team have been preparing for the dance since October.

The night began with instructional periods where participants learned vintage swing dance moves. The instructors were pooled from swing dance clubs, such as Jennifer Warnock, president of the BYU Social Dance Club who instructed students in the learning portion.

“It’s a great way to meet people … it’s very energetic and chill.” Warnock said. “A lot of the other ballroom dances are really serious and you have to worry a lot about technique, but swing dancing is just really fun and people can pick it up really fast.”

The stage floor was then opened for couples to seize the floor and dance. After about an hour, to give the band a break, the ballroom ensembles performed three routines for audience members. Throughout the event, students also had the opportunity to enjoy ice cream sundaes at a makeshift diner located on the west side of the ballroom.

“I love jazz and I’ve been wanting to go to a swing dance for a couple of months … so I took a picture of the flyer, asked one of my friends and now I’m here,” Zachary Brooks said.

Simon Volanski puts the ring on his new fiancé Megan Harrington. Volanski proposed to Harrington at the Sweetheart Swing dance. (Jared Cordova)

Toward the end of the night, a BYU couple got engaged. With the help of the BYUSA volunteers, Simon Hovanski proposed to his then-girlfriend, Megan Harrington. The couple has been dating for the past six months and met while country swing dancing, according to Harrington. The couple also serves as members of the Country Swing Dancing Club presidency.

“As soon as I got tickets for this event, I was thinking that I should probably do something, and then I made a plan with my new friend Sarah,” Hovanski said. “I’m glad it all worked out.” Harrington expressed how she was happy she came to the swing dance event.

“I hope students came away feeling loved and appreciated and having an appreciation for the past,” Brown said. To learn more about BYUSA or to access more information on other events, readers can head to their website.

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