Get your kicks with NAU dance clubs
By Elly Cain
Northern Arizona University (NAU) Swing club and Latin Dance club merged together Oct. 12 to create quite a unique dance experience for students and Flagstaff locals.
Cory Lewin, a freshman nursing major and member of the NAU Latin Dance club, Dabney Hopkins and dance partner Karen Vizzard, known for organizing and instructing at The Kats Korner in Phoenix, led the “Salswing” event.
The most important lesson taught in both sections was how to develop a partnership.
“We want to teach people how to lead and follow; give and take. It’s life; it’s relationships,” said Kellie Baer, a senior theater student and president of the NAU Swing club. This is just one of the many ways learning to dance can be applied to everyday life.
According to Lewin, “There is no more useful tool than being able to have some kind of skill or hobby that you can go to in any city in the world . . . and then you immediately will always have people you have something in common with,” Lewin said. “Salsa is in every country . . .and I have found I have more friends from different countries than I ever have in my whole life. What could be better than that, you know?”
This music is exactly what inspired Charles Meisch, a senior anthropology student, to become involved in the club this past year. “I am a big fan of languages, so it gives me the sound system of the language. I am interested in Spanish . . . and I enjoy dancing, so I wanted to learn Latin dance,” Meisch said.
There are often over 35 students and community members who attend the regular lessons. Lewin expects this number to grow due to their new venue, Tranzend, located just north of the railroad underpass where Milton turns into Route 66. According to Lewin, this new venue is perfect, featuring a wooden floor that is “as ideal as it could possibly be.”
“This dance was created in the streets, so it’s really fun and really neat that it’s stuck around this long,” Baer, who met her best friends and boyfriend after four years with NAU Swing club, said.
Students who wish to stay informed about dancing opportunities around campus and the Flagstaff community can join the Facebook group for either club. NAU Swing club hosts East Coast swing lessons and open dance at the Galaxy Diner on Saturdays at 7 p.m. and NAU Latin Dance club meets at Tranzend every Sunday night at 6 p.m. for beginner and intermediate Latin dance lessons.