- Published on Tuesday, 14 March 2017 09:26
- Written by Brandi Holder
What do you get when you mix a little East Coast Swing with a little liftoff? The Aerial Swing Dance Club of course! The Aerial Swing Dance Club began at Southeast Missouri State University in the Fall of 2014. The Club founders' love for swing dance drew a crowd - giving rise to the tiny club of seven that took shape in the basement of Towers South.
Today, the Club looks much different. Current Club President Ashley Hanson and Club Historian Jayson Scruggs hope to see it continue to grow. Hanson says that the group has had its ups and downs in general membership, but that growth for the dance group is her primary goal. When asked what a perfect night looks like in terms of crowd size she says it is more about fun. Indicating, "a perfect night looks like everyone having a good time!"
So what exactly is Aerial Swing Dance? To me, it calls to mind that last scene in Dirty Dancing where Baby gets out of her corner and ends up flying gracefully over Patrick Swayze's head (ok... showing my age here). Scruggs explains that the Club has chosen the Single Step East Coast Swing due to its simplicity. This approach allows instructors to teach both the Lead and the Follow in a way that will get dancers ready for more complicated moves such as lifts. However, the primary focus of the aerial moves is safety. The instructors, who first learn as dancers in the Club, do a lot of safety training and begin with basic aerial moves. The Club instructors' willingness to learn both the Lead and the Follow parts creates a more effective teaching environment, says Scruggs.
The Aerial Swing Dance Club will be holding a workshop March 25-26th in preparation for their Galaxy themed social dance on April 22nd. The workshop will feature the Lindy hop, the West Coast, and the Charleston taught by professional teachers, David Brown and Tal Stein . Admission is free to those with a student ID and $5 for the general public. The workshop dances lessons are progressive, meaning that they will start with beginner classes on the morning of the 25th and then transition to more complex steps by the end of the day. The culmination of the workshop is two social dances, 8 pm on the 25th and 1 pm on the 26th. Hanson says that this is a new event that they are really excited about, and they hope to use it as a platform to engage other colleges and the community as a whole.
For more information about this fun event and the Club in general, check out the Aerial Swing Dance Club facebook page.
Also for anyone interested in one of the few private lessons with the workshop instructors contact
Dillon Thomas at 618-366-0220.