Campus swings into Valentine’s Day

University+of+Wisconsin-Whitewater+students+Sarah+Keller+and+Brady+Janquart+dance+to+the+Wisconsin+Jazz+Educators+Network.

Dane Sheehan

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater students Sarah Keller and Brady Janquart dance to the Wisconsin Jazz Educators Network.

Kylie Jacobs, Biz & Tech Editor

Dozens of students gathered at the University Center to participate in a ‘Swing Dance’ event on Valentines Day, hosted by the Wisconsin Jazz Educators Network. Joined by the Jazz I ensemble, students were brought to a lively event filled with refreshments, live music and high energy.

Wisconsin Jazz Educators Network generally sets up these dances around both Valentine’s Day and Halloween for about the past decade. Everyone is encouraged to attend, even if they don’t know how to swing dance, or much about jazz music.

Quinn Galvin, a tenor saxophone player for the Jazz I Ensemble enjoyed playing these lively tunes for the group of people.

“My favourite part of this event is definitely seeing people dance while I get to play these songs. In fact, with most of these songs we sight read as we play them, and it’s great to see people having fun while we are as well,” Galvin said.

With both baked goods and refreshments available, along with the live music, it was easy to see what led people to come to this event. Even if students didn’t know how to swing dance, many brought their friends up to have fun with them and enjoy spending time together.

Sarah Marie Keller, a vocal major here at Whitewater has been dancing since she was two years old, but was happy to let loose and ‘mess around completely’ with her friends. She came to this event to come out of her comfort zone, and was able to bring her friends along with her.

“Being here with my friends, there’s no one judging me here, and so many people are afraid to get up here because they’re afraid someone will judge them, but that isn’t happening here,” Keller said.

Though at first participation wasn’t high in dancing, students such as Keller weren’t afraid to get out there and bring friends with, eventually leading to both the band and the students dancing to have thrills together.

Freshman Eleri Biel, a music and art major has been dancing since she was young as well, taught by her own father. She was excited to be able to have an event like this on campus where she could just let loose, and forget about all the stress from school and life.

“I grew up learning to swing dance from my father, but to have an event like this on campus, it was like why wouldn’t I go? As a freshman, it’s been great for me to come to these types of events. I’m loving it here, everything’s great.”

This event is hosted twice a year, once on Valentine’s day, and the other on Halloween. All students are encouraged to attend, with those who participated this year already excited for the next one.

“I just want to live life to the fullest, and walk out with no regrets. These events are ways I can do that,” said Keller.

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