Swing Club practices are in full swing in preparation for Heritage Fair.
Club members express their passion for swing dance by practicing at Carlmont every Saturday in a social environment. During the two hours of practice, the members enjoy creating friendships with fellow students as well as learning new choreography. They also have meetings every Wednesday where club members discuss new choreography and do bonding exercises. To prepare for Heritage Fair, club president Tori Vega and vice presidents Matias Pollan and Marguerite Fields choreograph the club’s routine and teach it to the group.
“The club is really fun. Everyone’s so nice, like incredibly nice. It’s so social, and you have a friend group that doesn’t judge you,” said Jack Beasley, a freshman and first-year club member.
Every year, Swing Club performs at Heritage Fair, an assembly that gathers the different cultures and dance clubs at Carlmont to perform for students. Although there is a dance team and dance classes at Carlmont, the club introduces a different type of dance to the school. In contrast to the more hip hop oriented routines other dance groups perform, Swing Club brings back a more traditional style of dance. In each dance pair, anyone can be a lead or follow in order to let its members experience swing dancing from both points of view.
Anyone can join the club, regardless of their past dance experience. Club members range from having involvement with other dance types, such as ballet and jazz, to others who are participating in the craft of dance for the first time. Students of all grades can participate in the club. Swing Club was initially created to encourage students to try a new style of dance and have a safe place to express themselves.
“It’s a great club for expression and community because everyone here is really nice and friendly and down to have a good time,” Vega said, “Nobody here wants to see you fail.”
At Swing Club practice, club members radiate positive energy and fill the room with an encouraging vibe. While still heavily focusing on the choreography, members of Swing Club remain cheerful and laugh among each other. The club leaders are always open to new ideas and encourage input from members of the club.
New club leaders fill the shoes of the club leaders of previous years by creating original choreography and expanding on the culture and welcoming environment of the club. Since the past successes of their performances at Heritage Fair, the members strive to improve and do even better than before.
Swing Club’s ambition for the future is to increase the size of the club and expand by performing at other events aside from Heritage Fair. The club leaders intend to teach and spread the style of swing dance to others and put on a great show.
“This club has made us one big family, and we really get along. It makes us one large group instead of just individual people,” Pollan said.