JC Does Sports: Swing Dancing


Will Ingram

A Loyola student endangers her health by trusting sports reporter JC Canicosa to not drop her. Canicosa showed off his moves or lack thereof by trying out Loyola’s Swing Dance Club. Photo credit: Will Ingram

Will Ingram

Jc Canicosa, Staff Writer

Remember that episode of “Friends” when Chandler brought the wrong shoes to his wedding reception and couldn’t dance without slipping off his feet? Yeah.

I walked into the aerobics room of the University Sports Complex on a Wednesday night ready to get down like it was 1955, and I was taking my best gal to the big Homecoming dance.

Swing dancing, or “that way people danced in those black and white film strips of 1930’s America,” seemed really tricky to pick up on at first, but I was eager to jump in. We started off by learning a move called The Pretzel, which involved twisting and spinning your partner to the rhythm like, well, a pretzel.

Swing dance team captain and popular and commercial music freshman Randon Dupont was a real “Mr. Miyagi” figure to the group as he broke down each move step-by-step in a way that made the dance much easier to pick up. However, like Daniel-san, putting those moves into practice was a little more difficult for me.

Beats were missed. People were bumped into. Toes were stepped on. I was dancing like I had the confidence of a sober person in The Boot.

But as we moved onto trying other kinds of dance moves and positions like The Hazard or The Sweetheart, I started to get a better feel for the rhythm. Swing dance is always in four steps, so picking up some of the dance basics like a good sense of timing and chemistry with your partner eventually comes through more practice.

By the time “Fly Me to the Moon” came on, I was making proud the great name of Frank Sinatra.

But in all seriousness, swing dancing is a lot of fun. It doesn’t take any experience or an impeccable sense of rhythm to get started either. Dupont does do a good job breaking down the moves and positions so the entire learning process is lively and enjoyable.

In fact, throughout the entire session, the swing dance team gave off nothing but a sense of joy for doing what they loved. And though most of the members in the club had more experience in the craft than I did, I never felt too behind or that I couldn’t keep up.

So whether you want to hop into a DeLorean and hit the school dance like its 1955 or just try out something new, spending a Wednesday night with Loyola’s Swing Dance Club is hands-down one of the best ways to spend a weeknight on campus, and I’m excited to see how this club grows and develops.

Rating: 4/5 newsies screaming “Extra! Extra!” before breaking into a dance number

Verdict: “Dancing With the Stars” is fake news