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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Free Swing Dancing Lessons at MIT

Two+students+enjoy+their+free+swing+dancing+lessons.

Two students enjoy their free swing dancing lessons.

With grinding and twerking being all the rage, one would be under the impression that swing dancing is dead. As the Boston dancing scene would show, this is not so.
Swing dancing is alive and, well, swinging! Every Wednesday night from 7:30pm to about 9:00 pm, MIT hosts swing dancing sessions where you can learn Lindy Hop for free.
Lindy Hop is a dancing style that originated in Harlem, New York City in the 1920s and 1930s. It gained massive popularity in the late 1930s and early 1940s.
The lessons are followed by a social dance where people of all ages come to dance.
The lessons themselves are fun and the instructors make the dances easy to learn. When you go to a session, bringing a partner is not necessary. Instead, the group of people that show up are separated into “leaders” and “followers.” Everyone forms a giant circle and finds a partner as the instructors teach a step of the particular dance they are focusing on that week.
After about thirty seconds, either the leaders or the followers (depending on the week), go around the circle to the next person. In doing this, everyone gets to meet each other and no one has to remain stuck with a partner they don’t like.
The instructors are extremely talented and make sure the lessons have a positive atmosphere that encourages people to have fun. One of the main things they stress is communication between partners. However, the instructors make it clear that you are not allowed to give your partner unsolicited advice.
While it is sometimes difficult to get the moves down just right, the instructors give you plenty of time to practice until moving onto the next step of the dance. (If my partner is getting discouraged, I like to remind them: “You’re doing great. This isn’t the dancing Olympics.”)
Once the actual lesson is over, the instructors are sure to remind dancers that if someone makes a mistake during the social dance, you just have to go with it and pretend you knew they were going to do it all along. This definitely adds to the positive environment they have created.
Several University of Massachusetts Boston students have gone to the classes with me these past two weeks. I asked one of my fellow UMass Boston students, Joshua Hoerr, what he thought of the swing dancing class.
“The social swing scene at MIT cannot be beat. If you are looking for something fun and free to do in Boston, I would definitely recommend it. Social swing is a fun way to let loose after a stressful week of tests and studying,” Hoerr said.
“A judgment free zone, the MIT social swing class is an easygoing way to learn something new and have fun with friends. Had I been swing dancing before? Nope. Would I do it again? Hell yeah! Hope to see you there next Wednesday!”
So what do you say UMass Boston? Will I see you at MIT on Wednesday nights? I hope so!