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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    West Coast and Lindy Hop with the UA Swing Cats

    West+Coast+and+Lindy+Hop+with+the+UA+Swing+Cats
    Courtesy of Swing Cats

    For those interested in getting some exercise and having fun, an option that has been on campus for two years is Arizona Swing Cats. The club focuses on two styles of swing known as Lindy Hop and West Coast swing. The club is open to dancers of all experience.

    “We teach intermediate lessons and beginner lessons; all are taught by semi-professionals,” said Ali Muller, president of Swing Cats and a junior studying ecology and evolutionary biology.

    This year, Swing Cats is planning on bringing in champions from outside of Arizona to hold workshops for their members, Muller said.

    Outside of their Tuesday and Thursday gatherings, the club also has a social outreach program in which their members, who are comfortable with the dances, can go out to high schools and teach younger individuals.

    Every semester, Swing Cats has one large intercollegiate event in which they invite other colleges to come and “dance the weekend away,” Muller said.

    Swing Cats puts an emphasis on being family friendly in all aspects of the club, including the outreach program. In addition, the club hosts a social dancing event on Mondays at 7 p.m. on the UA Mall, welcoming anyone into the community.

    Muller said that while the team doesn’t take part in any competitions at the moment, individuals do go on behalf of the team to compete.

    Rachel Onken, a pre-nursing sophomore and treasurer for the club, and Carol Field, a linguistics sophomore and vice president, said that they joined after discovering swing dancing in high school.

    “I started lindy hopping my junior year of high school because my friend said, ‘Let’s go to this fun place,’ and I said, ‘O.K.’ I got really into it and I came to Tucson and there was nothing,” Onken said.

    Both Onken and Field said that after finding out Muller was creating the club, they were eager to join.

    Muller said at the end of last semester the club had approximately 45 due-paying members. She expects to have around 80 people when it starts next week. Dues for the club run at $45 for the year or $30 per semester.

    The club usually meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6-7 p.m. for intermediate dancers and 7-8 p.m. for beginning dancers in the Ina Gittings building in Studio 16. Their first meeting of the semester will be Tuesday, Sept. 1 at 6 p.m. More information for those interested can be found on azswingcats.com or the group’s facebook, “Arizona Swing Cats.”


    Follow Ariella Noth on Twitter.


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