Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Jazz organization hosts swing dance lessons

The student organization Wi-Jen (Wisconsin Chapter of Jazz Educators Network) is holding a swing dance at 7 p.m. on Oct. 18 in the UC Ballroom.

Wi-Jen’s Swing Dance was a success last year and they are hoping this year is the same. The dance this year will be held at 7 p.m. Oct. 18 in the UC Ballroom. Photo submitted

Senior Nicole Heling is the president of the organization.

“Wi-Jen is an organization that wants to stress the importance of jazz education, not only on high school and college levels, but everywhere,” Heling said.

Aside from the swing dance, Heling said that the organization holds reading sessions, jams, fundraisers and brings jazz guests onto campus.

“The reading sessions allow anyone on campus to come and sit in on jazz performances,” Heling said. “They are designed to present music that students have never seen before.”

Junior Joe Caruso, treasurer of Wi-Jen, said that the inspiration to hold a dance came from his freshman year when he heard random people talking about the lack of dances that are held on campus.

“It feels good because we’re doing what we love and giving back,” Caruso said.

There is a house band on campus called “Jazz 1” and Heling said that they will be playing at the dance.

“The band will be playing swing music from the 1920s to the 1950s,” Caruso said.

The benefit of the event, Heling said, was to play music that you can’t find many bands playing anymore.

Heling and Caruso both play the saxophone in “Jazz 1.”

“There will be a 45-minute swing dance class at the beginning,” Heling said.

The night will focus on dancing and listening to music of the 1930s and Caruso said that the event should go until around 10 p.m.

Although the organization is free and open to the public, Heling said that there will be a suggested donation of $3.

“Wi-Jen was previously on campus but it slowly died out,” Heling said. “We’re currently working on the rebirth and resurrection of the organization.”

The organization currently has 12 members.

“Anyone who is interested in jazz music can join,” Caruso said.

Although most members are music majors, Caruso said that it would be desired to have a few members that were not because the emphasis of the organization is to educate about jazz music.

Students interested in acquiring more information on Wi-Jen should check out the organizations bulletin board in the Greenhill Center of the Arts.

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Founded 1901
Jazz organization hosts swing dance lessons