Dance club

Ballroom and Swing Dancing Club – The Racquet Press

The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Ballroom and Swing Dance Club has become a very popular club over the past year, with the help of President Austin Klum. Klum, a UWL senior, explained that up to youUntil a year ago, the club was very restricted to highly skilled dancers.

“Several years ago, the club only focused on competition. It created a small handful of very good dancers, but made it difficult for most students to join,” Klum said. “Last year I took over the club and put more emphasis on the fun and joy of dancing and making sure that as many people as possible could come.”

The Ballroom and Swing Dance Club is designed to teach people how to dance, meet new people in an open social environment and have fun. The club meets on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, however, members are not required to attend all meetings. Tuesday and Wednesday nights are class nights, while Fridays are social dancing where members come to dance and have fun.

Klum said, “We usually get around 20-30 people showing up for classes each night. We run the same lesson both nights, this way we make sure everyone can make it to at least one of the nights… our social dances are more popular with around 60-80 people coming to dance.

The low-stress environment and low level of commitment is what members love about UWL Ballroom and Swing Dance Club. Jessica Koski, a senior at UWL and a member of the club, explained how laid back the club is.

“If you want to join the club, we’ll add you to our mailing list, and that’s really it. You don’t have to attend a minimum number of events,” Koski said. “If you can come to classes or social dances every week, that’s great. If you can only come once a month, that’s fine too.

Both Klum and Koski emphasized that the main goal of the club is to teach people how to dance while having fun and, said Klum, “to spread the joy of partner dancing”.

Klum and Koski explained that they had little to no dance experienceience before attending UWL.

Besides loving high school dances, despite being awkward on the dance floor, Klum had no dance experience until three years ago.

Klum said: “About three years ago I went to a swing dance to try it out. and fell in love. I was bad at first, but it was fun. So, I went to as many local events as possible. When I didn’t get enough local dancing, I traveled to places further and further away. I started traveling to Rochester and the Twin Cities to do and learn more dance. Even going so far as to fly to Dallas and Seattle to attend dance conventions.

Koski also had virtually no swing or ballroom dancing experience prior to joining the club. “A year ago, I would have considered myself a bad dancer,” Koski said. Other than participating in ballet and tap at the age of five and being forced to take a two-day swing dance unit in the HPR 105 class her freshman year, she had no dance training.

She said: “I went to my first swing dancing class because a friend of mine suggested I go, and I really had nothing else to do that night. I ended up having fun and decided I wanted to learn how to dance to look good while doing it. Koski has loved dancing ever since.

“Our club helps people learn to dance in a fun, non-judgmental environment,” Koski said. This is one reason why Koski and Klum believe UWL students should consider joining the club. Koski thinks dancing is an activity that many people become shy about, but the only way to overcome this is to show up and learn how to dance.

“I want the club to be a safe space to look silly and be awkward in your movements. Thanks to this, you will become better and more confident. You never know until you try,” Klum said.

Koski said, “You don’t need a partner, you don’t need any previous dancing experience, and you don’t even need to be a good dancer. By joining the club, you will learn new dance moves that you can use at the next party or wedding you attend. Not to mention that knowing how to dance is attractive.

For more information on the Ballroom and Swing Dance Club at UWL, visit https://uwlmyorgs.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/ballroomandswing or contact club president Austin Klumy [email protected].