UNH Hepcats offer Valentine’s Day event
No experience required for Swing Your Sweetheart Dance
Published: Friday, February 15, 2013
Updated: Friday, February 15, 2013 01:02
The UNH Hepcats Swing Dancing Club is inviting students to the Swing Your Sweetheart Dance, to be held Friday, Feb. 15. This upbeat social event will be held in the Strafford Room of the MUB from 7 to 11 p.m.
“This event is going to be something new for everyone to try. You can come in as couples or friends, or to meet someone on the floor,” said Hepcats President Kaitlyn LaCourse. “It’s a challenge that forces you out of your comfort zone, but also it’s fun to be in a new environment.”
According to LaCourse, anyone looking to expand their cultural values, learn something new or just have a fun night with friends should stop by. The Strafford Room will be decorated in red and white in honor of Valentine’s Day. There will be flowers and hearts, as well as free food and refreshments.
During the event, a beginner lesson will be offered from 7 to 8 p.m., followed by three more hours of social dancing. No previous dancing experience is required. Semi-casual attire is acceptable. The event will be free for undergrads with a student ID and $7 for anyone else who wants to swing dance for a night.
As an organization, the Hepcats dance troupe has been at UNH since the early 2000s. It’s a group that is open to everyone. Whether a person is an experienced dancer or brand new to the art, all are accepted.
“I’m a huge klutz, and here it doesn’t matter,” said freshman Isabelle Molle. “The people are nice and the music is fun.”
With the Hepcats, one can learn to appreciate the past by visiting a new era. The “swing era” was from the 1920s until the ’50s. The best-known swing dance is the Lindy Hop, a popular partner dance that is done by the UNH Hepcats today.
“Basically picture the prom scene from the movie ‘Grease,’” LaCourse said, describing the Lindy Hop.
The Hepcats often carpool to clubs such as The Crosby Whistle Stop in Boston to have a fun night away from campus and to be surrounded by more people who are into the unique style of Lindy Hop dancing.
If interested in swing dancing, all you have to do is show up to the Hepcats’ meetings; you can also join the email list to get updates on practices or events the Hepcats plan to take. Anyone can join at any time. Current members offer extra lessons before or after the hour-long dance lesson for beginners who may be struggling with learning the moves.
“We will keep everyone up to date, even with zero experience,” LaCourse said. Even UNH staff and students from different schools attend the Hepcats’ Wednesday night meetings.
In addition to the Swing Your Sweetheart event, more opportunities to swing dance are offered in a much lower-key atmosphere every Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the Wildcat Den in the MUB.
“Any dance is a lot of fun, but with swing you don’t have to pay attention to form or match the count. It’s a loose dance that makes me more creative,” said graduate student Ian Marshall. “You work your mistakes into your style, and that makes it fun.”