The RIT Swing Dance Club is back from winter break and better than ever. Since our PR board member Adrian posted fliers around campus a couple days before our meeting last week we had about 10 new students. I imagine it will only increase from there. I knew that posting fliers around campus was important but I can’t stress how important it really is. It makes students aware of your club. Even if they don’t even consider going they know you exist and may tell their friends about it or be convinced to go in the future. We are also posting the flier above around campus for our live band dance this Saturday!

Colin and I reviewed the basic lindy hop step during the first hour of club. I was very impressed that the students who had never attended before were picking it up rather quickly. I tried not to overwhelm them in hopes of their return in the coming weeks. On the other hand I was afraid of boring the students who had learned this step before break. However, I gathered that they were willing and even excited about the review and as a result becoming more comfortable with it. This week I will teach them a swing out from closed and lindy circle. With these steps and their 6-count knowledge they should be ready for the social dance this weekend.

For the advanced class we started with a group critique. Colin and I watched them dance for several songs and gave them some tips that they could all benefit from. I start with group critique so that nobody feels singled out if they are uncomfortable with that type of feedback. The first tip was to have more rhythm and bounce in their bodies. The second tip was to use their entire bodies when leading and following. Many leads were using their arms too much. After some exercises and practice I started individual critique. I did not force students to partake in this exercise. Three out of the six couples ended up volunteering and I don’t think they were happy about this decision. I allowed peers to critique the couples if they wished and then Colin and I gave each person one or two tips. It is important not to overwhelm the students during this exercise.

At some point I would like to do a video critique. This gives students the rare and much needed opportunity to watch themselves dance. I encourage peer feedback during this time and also self feedback. I find self feedback has more impact on the student than any other kind. If they can see for themselves the areas that need work they are motivated to change it.

A lot of work has been done over this quarter toward the dance this Saturday. With the recent addition of funding from Student Government I am confident that we will meet our fundraising goals. Now the goal is to get people there. Lots of people. I know that students from UB, UofR, Geneseo and RPI are attending. I am excited to bring so many college swing clubs together in one place. In addition I hope to attract many new people from the RIT and Rochester community.

I will post about it next week! Hope to see you there.

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