In the swing of things

If you get to UIndy and someone asks you to dance, don’t be surprised. It’s probably a member of the ULindy Swing Dance Club, a group of students who know how to have a good time.  (The “Lindy” is a kind of swing dance that dates from the 1920s.)

Twice a month, the group heads to the Fountain Square Theatre, where they get a chance to stomp and swing with people from area colleges and from all over the state. Each week, group members meet on campus for a lesson from one of two instructors, followed by dance time to try out what they know.

“There is something for everyone with swing dancing!” says sophomore nursing major Cristina Vidal. “It’s a great way to meet new people, to have fun with friends, and to get some exercise at the same time.”

“They have a live band and a great dance floor, and it’s a fun chance to meet new people and learn new moves,” Cristina explains. “Sure, there are certain basic moves that you have to do with each dance, but there are always ways to spice them up. It’s great fun to dance with a new partner and learn something different.”

Junior Alyssa Perry, a computer information systems major and president of the ULindy club, has been going to the Swing Dance Night at Fountain Square since her freshman year.  “Swing dancing really brought me out of my shell and made me comfortable with myself,” she says. “It doesn’t matter where you are—another school, another state, or in your own backyard—all swing dancers seem to have a smile glued to their face.”

Dances can go well into the early morning hours, she says, and all levels of dancers are welcome.

“They always make newcomers feel welcome and are polite when asking for a dance,” Cristina says. “Swing dancing has its own little subculture and rules based on common courtesies and manners, like those that were prized in the 1930s and 1940s when these dances became popular.”

The ULindy club also travels to swing dancing events at Purdue, Butler, and Cincinnati, sometimes participating in weekend-long events that offer workshops and dance opportunities.

“I think it is something that everyone should try at least once in their life,” says Alyssa. “Everyone has a blast, no matter how tired they get, and it’s a wonderful experience.”