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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Not that kind of swingers

In the words of Duke Ellington, “”It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing.””

The Arizona Swing Cats — the UA’s swing dance club — agree, and show it every Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Ina E. Gittings building, room 16.

The Lindy Hop — a 1940s classic style of swing dance — is the most popular and well-known style, said club President Aelynn Heinrichs, a media arts junior.

Heinrichs said the group was formed in the ‘90s by a group of swing dancers who wanted a place to dance and teach other people the art.

“”There are no dance majors in our group,”” she said. “”I think it’s because they know it’s a completely different style from ballet and other forms of dance, you can really just throw your own style into it.””

Heinrichs started coming to Swing Cats as a freshman with her friends and, by dancing with them on weekends, her friendships grew stronger, she said.

As a club, Swing Cats has had trouble following university regulations, including the need to have a faculty member present and the hunt for a dance-appropriate room.

“”The hardest part is reserving a room,”” she said.

The club is far from exclusive, Heinrichs said, and almost everyone comes to meetings without a dance partner.

“”We make everyone change partners since it’s a social dance, which improves both dancing and people’s social skills,”” she said.

Jazz dance professor Susan Quinn was the club’s advisor for two of the 18 years she has been teaching at the UA, and said she “”loved the time that she spent with them.””

The current advisor for the club is professor Anna Vida, who teaches media arts.

Jennifer Kirsch, an art history senior and club treasurer, has been active in Swing Cats for the past three years.

She said an average of 30 people attend each class.

The meeting time is generally divided between dance lessons and an “”open dancing”” session with 1940s music.

“”It is a good way to meet people and have fun,”” Kirsch said.

Other dances range from the fast Charleston to Balboa and Blues, in which the music slows down. Kirsch described the dances as “”sensual and improvisational.””

“”It brings a lot of different people together from a lot of different colleges and majors,”” Heinrichs said. “”From fine arts to optical sciences, we all can dance together and have fun.””

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