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Amanda Bernice (left), instructs PSU students while the music plays at the Bicknell Dance Workshop on Thursday, Apr. 25. Students laughed and had fun while learning fun new moves together. Laikyn Long

Students get swingy at dance minor workshop

The Bicknell Family Center for the Arts was home to a swing dance workshop, hosted by the PSU dance minor. Following the dance minor’s previous hip-hop workshop, the swing dance workshop featured 627 Stomp to teach jazz-style swing dance. 

The swing workshop took place Thursday, April 25 with four instructors from 627 Stomp, a dance company from the Kansas City area. 

“Well, we were invited by the lovely Janice and we love doing these kind of gigs where we get to teach what we love to a bunch of people who have never done it before and spread the joy of a dance that is still here and not dead at all,” said Amanda Bernice, 627 Stomp founder. 

The workshop featured two sections. The first at 6 p.mattendants learned the lindy hop, and the second section at 7:30 p.m. in which couples learned the St. Louis shag. Madie Schenker, freshman in nursing, and Lelan Delissa, senior in electronics engineering, attended the workshop together because the two enjoy swing dancing. 

“I’ve been swing dancing for about… three years,” Delissa said. 

The two were not sure whether to expect country swing dancing or jazz swing dancing when they first attended.  

“He got me into swing dancing and we heard a swing dance workshop and I said, ‘Oh, it’s not country swing dancing, but hey, Schenker said. 

Schenker and Delissa still enjoyed the workshop, learning a different style of swing dancing they were not used to. 

“…It’s still a lot of fun, I love it,” Delissa said. “…“It was good, it was fast-paced… If they were down here in Pittsburg I’d definitely go to them for sure.” 

Schenker was glad for the opportunity to try something new. 

“I think it was really good learning the moves individually, but it was a little harder when you put it with music when it’s faster-paced, but it’s still fun and it’s always fun to try new things,” Schenker said. 

The workshop featured various students, with more in attendance during the first section than the second. 

“The turnout was nice, I think we had 17 couples,” Bernice said. “It was a good turnout.” 

The swing workshop was used to promote the dance minor at Pitt State, as the minor is still within its beginning years. The dance minors plans to host more workshops similar to the swing and hip-hop workshops from this semester in the future to encourage further student involvement.  

“I love it,” Delissa said. “I don’t do a lot of stuff with the campus, like activities because I’m so busy, but swing dancing I’m partial to, so that’s why we’re here. 

According to Schenker, she hopes to see 627 Stomp back at Pitt State in the future. She said she and Delissa would “make time” for swing dancing in their schedules. 

“I love it, it’s great,” Schenker said. … They should come back again.” 

627 Stomp, derived from the Kansas City area, primarily specializes in jazz swing dancing. 

“627 Stomp is a nonprofit that specializes in preserving Kansas City’s jazz and dance history,” Denice said. “We offer dance lessons every Sunday from 2 to 4, two dance classes a week, at Dance Fit Flow.” 

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