Do you like jazz? Walking down the stairs of the Pershing Building on a Wednesday night, you can hear the faint sound of a hot beat playing on speakers in the arena. Around that corner you’ll see the University Swingers moving their bodies, dancing alongside other students and teaching the art of swing dancing.
Junior Emilee Kendall, president of the University Swingers, said she had no dance experience prior to joining the University Swingers. Kendall started dancing with the University Swingers at the beginning of her freshman year when her friend convinced her to try it out. Kendall auditioned for the team at the end of her freshman year and joined the following semester.
Kendall said the dancing lessons bring people together and have helped her cope with her anxiety.
“Talking to people is really hard for me,” Kendall said. “Dancing, being on the team and teaching people has really helped me kind of grow as a person, you know? It’s helped me talk a lot easier to others.”
Kendall said the University Swingers’ performance team tries to go to at least one competition every spring. She said the University Swingers haven’t won anything in a few years, but the experience is amazing and it’s cool to watch other teams perform.
Kendall said the team has had some struggles getting people to join, so it is encouraging to see so many people showing up at the beginning of the semester and enjoying themselves.
Secretary junior Audrey Brinkhorst said she’s been taking lessons since her freshman year and joined the team this semester. She said she used to be very shy until joining because she had to get out of her comfort zone and meet new people if she wanted to dance.
Brinkhorst said swing dancing provides Truman State University students a way to relieve themselves.
“The lessons are just a great way of relieving stress,” Brinkhorst said. “I know Truman’s not a huge school, but it can get lonely, and swing dance is a great way of relieving stress because Lord knows Truman students stress themselves out too much.”
For more, pick up a copy of The Index on Thursday, Sept. 13.