Strictly Come Dancing: Urban’s newest physical activity class swings into action


Swing dancers strut their stuff in Golden Gate Park. Photo courtesy of Flickr user Little Koshka.

Eli Dinkelspiel, Staff Writer

Nov. 28-It was a fairly routine morning assembly when ten members of the Urban community walked in front of the school and started dancing to Slim and Slam’s “Jump Session.” Laughs turned into interested stares as the group swung their way across the stage with smiles on their faces. Urban’s newest athletic class had just waltzed its way into the minds of everyone present.

“The Urban swing dancing class is a great opportunity for students to learn a surprisingly valuable skill, meet new people, and get some cardio in, all while having the time of their lives,” said club member Duncan Magidson (’12).

Swing dancing evolved alongside Jazz in the 1920s’. Dancing is done is pairs, and the steps are usually improvised, rather than choreographed.

Rosalyn Shih, the founder of swing club and this year’s teaching fellow explains, “It’s the perfect expression for jazz music: usually improvised rather than choreographed.”

Although the class lacks the regular routine of other sports or athletic classes, Magdison still feels that “The…class is the most gleeful two hours of [his] week.”

When asked what her plans for the future were, Shih refused to give a response.

“It’s a secret… just more surprises!”

As a teaching fellow, Shih will leave Urban at the end of the year. However, Magidson feels like Swing class can continue into future years.

“…I don’t mean to call him out, but Ted Olney-Bell (’14) is a phenomenal swing dancer that would be more than capable of leading the class.”

Shih felt overjoyed at the response Urban gave the club at its first public exhibition. “I have to say that the applause and cheers we got from the Urban audience helped make the assembly my most memorable experience at Urban yet.”