By Tim Drugan-Eppich
“Puttin’ on the Ritz”, a song written by Irving Berlin in the early 20th century, emanated from the Strafford Room as a glance inside showed people dancing like it was 80 years in the past.
The Beantown Swing Dance was held on Sunday night in the MUB by the Hepcats Swing Dance Club. One of two dances the club puts on a semester, upwards of 70 students showed up with at least 20 community members also taking part in the festivities.
Kelly Lonergan, a sophomore member of the Hepcats, said that these dances are a chance for a different kind of social interaction that students normally experience. Because of the close proximity to others when dancing, it can put people out of their comfort zone.
“When you’re first starting, you’ll feel uncomfortable,” she said. “But there are many people who have met their boyfriend or girlfriend through this group.”
Not only is the chance for love a realistic outcome of the dance, so is a good workout.
“I think it’s the most fun form of exercise,” Lonergan said.
Jamison Couture, a junior and head of the club was dressed in a bright blue shirt and was sporting a bowtie. Couture said that he had gotten involved with swing dancing his freshman year as a way to relax.
“As an engineering major, it is quite a bit different from everything else I do,” he said.
Couture said that if there was any major more represented than others in the group, it was the math and science majors. He said that it was probably because so much stress was involved in those majors, so much exactness necessary when dealing with small margins of error.
“Swing dance is a chance to just let go,” he said.
The music was provided by the Beantown Swing Orchestra who had a 15-piece band with a vocalist belting out tunes from long ago. It was a step back in time, complete with women in glittery dresses and men, as mentioned before, in bow ties. No one really cares who you dance with,” said Mariah Bourdeau, a sophomore. “You can dance with anyone. And dance with anyone people did. There was a different feel was in the room, as strangers of all skill levels danced together.
“Everyone is just dancing for the sake of dancing,” Genna Adair, a sophomore, said.