Dance event puts people into motion

‘Second Friday Swing’ is one of many events the group hosts



Kyle Doty, Swing Devils of the Palouse Board of directors member, discusses the organization’s Second Friday Swing dance event, which is held every second Friday of the Month. This month the event was hosted at Daily Grind Espresso.

EURUS THACH, Evergreen columnist

Swing dance enthusiasts gathered Friday evening to celebrate their love of dance at the Daily Grind Coffeeshop.

Besides the weekly Swing dance at the Moscow Moose Lodge, the Swing Devils of the Palouse also organizes a dance for Pullman dancers on every second Friday of the month. Kyle Doty, Swing Devils board of directors member, said this event has been hosted for more than 2 years.

The typical age range for the event is usually from high school students to senior citizens. Doty said anyone could come if they are interested in Swing.

The event started with a 30-minute basic instruction about Swing for beginners. The instructors aimed to help new attendees do the turns and follow the lead of their partners. Doty said that Swing had a structured framework that was learnable for everyone.

“The most challenging [part] is trying to identify how people learn and figuring how to clearly explain the material so that they can pick it up,” Doty said.

Within an hour, the beginners could get used to the basic movements, Doty said. It usually took them a few weeks of practice to overcome shyness and get used to the techniques of the dance. Then dancers could learn to be creative in their movements and express themselves.

Dancers can either perform grateful graceful, relaxing or energetic, flexible movements based on their emotions and the songs played.

Many partners didn’t know each other before the event, Doty said. The participants considered the event as a chance to socialize with new people. There were also attendees who brought their significant others or friends. They could either stay with them for the rest of the event or invite others for a friendly dance.

“It’s a social dance so you dance with pretty much everyone,” he said. “A lot of times [we] sort of see someone who not dancing and we’ll just ask ‘would you like to dance?’ and the person can either say ‘yes, I can’ or ’no, thank you. Not this song’.”

Mitch Dyer, University of Idaho sophomore math education major, said that Swing stood out from other dances because it was not uptight. It gave people relaxation and freedom for creativity, he said.

Dyer is a passionate dancer, he said, so he didn’t mind the long road from Idaho to Pullman to attend the “Second Friday Dance.”

“I really love Swing dancing and to me, the more I do it, the happier I’m going to be,” Dyer said.

The Swing Devils of the Palouse meet at 7 p.m. every Thursday at the Moscow Moose Lodge.