The Doors Open For The Swing Club!


Swing Dance Club poster explaining time, room number, and general information

Air Academy High School has plenty of clubs to offer, from the usual chess or video game club to something a little more unique like biology or French club. But did you know there is a club for East Coast Swing, better known as swing?

One of the members described swing as “partners dancing to jazz music.”  Since it is between two people, this makes it a social type of dance, which is perfect for a club. Popularized in the 1920s, this style of dance remains just as popular among social groups over a century later. People who find themselves in the swing club tend to meet new friends and also learn how to swing dance with those friends.

“Cris Villanueva thought of creating the club because Swing makes him happy and he wanted to share that with his peers at AAHS,” club advisor Austina Lee spoke about the foundation of the club.

The founder, Villanueva, most likely saw an opportunity with the lack of a dance club or similar expressive arts and decided to create the Swing club. Its swift popularity has proved that this decision was smart, with many kids participating in the brand new club. Even though many people in the school might not know what Swing is, they can still join in and start learning with the help of other members, or the founders of the club.

“The students come to learn how to Swing dance, but also to meet friends,” Lee explained.

Some members go to learn as well as to socialize, seeing them as equally important. The members of the club might just be interested in Swing as an odd idea, and once they learn it and see how fun it is, they’re hooked! Some members even take this new skill outside of class. When asked about the possibility of some students taking this into a career, Villanueva explained his view;

“It (the club) is a good introduction to Swing, although going into a career would most likely take further instruction.”

Though the club gives a good understanding of this style of dance, it doesn’t give enough instruction nor time to allow a student to advance on a dancing career. Though this might not be the focus of every member, those interested in such a career would still be able to take this club as a way to practice and learn from other students, or even help other students. They could even take these skills and go into competitions, and who doesn’t want a medal?

But is this club for everyone? While still being an expressive performance, Swing does not require a lot of skill.

“It is a form of art that doesn’t need the skills of drawing but instead moving your body,” Villanueva said.

Requiring a skill that’s easy to learn isn’t that bad of a criterion. With members ready to help, and the advisor and founder ready to teach, even someone who knows nearly nothing about Swing or can still walk in and start learning, either by watching others perform or by joining in with friends and classmates.