Dancing into another decade



Dancers dress in 1920s attire and swing dance at the Hot Sardines performance, participating in another period specific event that UNI Ballroom and Swing has been a part of this year.


UNI Ballroom Swing Club rattled and rolled to their favorite decade’s dances on Friday, Feb. 5. Students of all dancing abilities were welcomed to the third annual Decade’s Dance held by the UNI Ballroom and Swing club in the Maucker Union.

Attendees dressed in attire based on their favorite decade and performed classic dances like the hustle, swing, cha cha, tango, foxtrot and the rumba, which were choreographed by members in the club.

Although the event mainly consisted of students from the club’s social and competitive teams, students from Iowa State and Luther College’s teams showed up as well. A few students who had little dance experience also attended.

According to senior English major and UNI Ballroom and Swing executive board member, Kellen Nilles,  one of the reasons the club likes to hold these events is in hopes they will raise money in donations.

“With donations, we can pay for more competitive dancers’ registration fees, shoes, jackets and more,” Nilles said. “Plus, it promotes the club.”

One dance that the event primarily focused on was the swing dance. According to Nilles, there are many different kinds of swing dances, including East Coast Swing, West Coast Swing, the triple step and more. Dances are differentiated based on speed, formation and pattern.

Junior computer science major, Coved Oswald, choreographed one of the dances performed during the decades dance and has been on the competitive dancing team for two years now. He said the best part about being in the club is the social aspect.

According to Oswald, some schools only care about going to competitions and getting a trophy but at UNI, it’s also about having fun and looking good while doing so.

“At UNI, we show what dancing is all about,” Oswald said, “and we all genuinely enjoy it.”

Oswald stressed that their motto represents what people in the club are all about.UNI Ballroom Swing Club has a motto that everybody swears by: “Classy, social, fun.”

Oswald also explained that at these kinds of events anybody can dance with whomever -— all they have to do is ask. In fact, students were discouraged to decline a dance if they were asked.

“Dancing is just so great,” Oswald said. “It’s a great feeling to just get up on your feet and get going!”

  Another competitive dancer, senior early childhood education, Waiverly Daniels, spoke about her favorite part of being in the club: the costumes.

“I love dressing up and doing my makeup,” Daniels said with a laugh. “I’ve learned so much that has taught me how to be a girl.”

Although it seems like a lot of work dancing competitively, Daniels said that it is worth it.

“[Dancing competitively] involves a lot of energy and effort,” Daniels said. “But I’ve met so many people that have made it all worth it.”

The UNI Ballroom Swing Club will host more events like this one in the future, including various lock-ins and their annual welcome-back ball in the fall.