Swingin’ at Hellgate

Daniel Blackwell, Reporter

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Swing Club in Hellgate high school occurs every Thursday at lunch. The head of Swing Club, Paxson Swierc, has been swing dancing for 8 months. 

Swing Club begins as soon as everybody arrives. Paxson begins the practice with partnering up duos of people. This is a change from last year, as club last year began with time to eat.

Partnering up can be done with anybody, and partnerships include one lead and one follow. Leads and follows can be of any gender and any skill. After partnering up, everybody gets into a circle and Paxson begins teaching the lesson of the day. 

Photo courtesy of Liam Queneau

The lessons usually consist of learning a new move or two, and enjoying time with friends.  Around the end of the meeting the club concludes with a free dance, in which music is played through a speaker and danced to by the club members. The dancing section at the end usually lasts for about five minutes, concluding when the bell rings. The free dancing section isn’t mandatory, and most people eat lunch instead of dancing.

Paxson has been swing dancing for 8 months. He loves to run Swing Club, and plans to competitively swing dance after high school. When asked about why he started Swing Club, he replied “swing dancing is a great time to create platonic relationships with your peers.” He said his ultimate goal for Swing Club was to get a group of people to Big Sky Weekend.

Big Sky Weekend is an annual swing dancing event hosted in Kalispell. The event is hosted by the Syncopation Foundation, an organization focused on spreading the joy of swing dancing. Big Sky Weekend is one of the two major events they do every year.

Paxson concluded the club meeting by telling the new people that he appreciated them being there. His enthusiasm throughout the club made his love for swing dancing obvious. Swing Club makes swing dancing easier than swingin’ on a set.