Campus News

Old swing is a new thing

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Battell Park filled with the sounds of swing music and excitement as Bethel once again raided it for Wednesday night swing. What started as fun between friends has turned into an anticipated—and growing—weekly event for students at Bethel College, drawing almost 70 dancers on Oct. 10. Dancers meet in the Sailor Great Room at 10 p.m. nearly every Wednesday night, then carpool to the park. For those who are new, or just can’t get enough, there is a 9:30 p.m. pre-dance lesson. “It’s really fun and I love it because it’s a type of dancing that’s fun but definitely not awkward or inappropriate in any way,” said senior Chelsea Render, who attends every week. The gathering draws students of all majors and years, as well as varying experience. “Some people have never danced before and some people have done swing dancing,” said founder Charity Eichorn. “And I think some people are between, like they’ve done dancing but not swing dancing before. It’s just kind of all over the board.” It began when she and her brother hosted a small dance night at their house. “Last semester my brother and I had a group of friends come over to our house and we messed around with it a little bit there,” Eichorn said. “And then we were like, ‘Hey we should start something at Bethel!’ and my older brother, who graduated now, he kind of got the ball rolling, like the second week before school ended. So he did it once that week and then three times during finals week, cause they just had a blast with it and loved it so much. And then this year I got it started again.” Although it is surrounded by great enthusiasm by students, the cold weather puts a temporary stop to students meeting. Because of Bethel’s policy on social dancing, the students cannot meet on campus, leaving them to find other locations. Until now, that has been the amphitheater at Battell Park. “When it gets really cold we’ll probably just stop until it gets warmer, unless we find a building to do it in,” said Eichorn, who is looking into using a gym or some facility during the cold months. Dancers hope so. “I would definitely go if there was a building,” said Render. The unofficial group, which is looking into other styles of dance as well, offers an outlet for creativity and the chance to socialize in a healthy environment. “We come together and we just dance,” said senior Angela Cornell. “It’s just so much fun ‘cause we all get together and you meet new people and you learn new dancing moves and yeah, it’s just a lot of fun.”
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