Thursday, January 27, 2022
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Get into the swing of things with UMKC’s Lindy Hop club

The UMKC Lindy Hop Club helped a group of students get back into the swing of the semester Wednesday evening by resuming their weekly swing/Lindy hop class.

Attendance at these classes can vary significantly, according to Club President and Co-Instructor Sam Levey. There were eight people at this particular class, but some have seen as many as 60 participants.

UMKC students Jordan Larkin and Emily Wesley showed up to the class despite the near-zero-degree temperatures.

“I’ve always wanted to learn how to dance,” Wesley states. “I know how to country swing dance, but I don’t know a Lindy hop dance.”

The class began with a fun and exciting energy from both the instructors and attendees. Levey had the participants get out of their comfort zone by making them introduce themselves to at least two new people.

Starting off, Levey and Club Vice President/Co-Instructor Payton Bogart formed the group into a circle and gave a quick lesson in proper dance posture and form. The instructors went on to teach some very basic, beginning steps and footwork in the version of the dance known as East Coast swing.

Throughout the evening, Levey had the participants routinely change partners, which seemingly cultivated a sense of comfort and comradery among the group.

The instructors would occasionally stop to clear up any confusion about the steps in an effort to ensure that all participants were on the same page and enjoying themselves. Before long, the rhythmic sound of synchronized tapping shoes filled the echoic Pierson Auditorium, along with melodies of smooth jazz from the 1940s and ‘50s.

The club, self-dubbed the “Swingaroos,” has been hosting these swing dance classes every Wednesday night for almost a year now. The club stresses that you can show up to the class having absolutely no dance experience or even a partner. “Swingaroos” makes sure to have a variety in the styles of swing that they teach.

“We’ll try and do a whole month on a topic, so at the beginning of the month you can show up not knowing anything, and by the end of the month you will be okay at some stuff,” Levey explained.

Occasionally, outside instructors are brought in to teach the class, providing dance novices the opportunity to learn from a variety of trained dance professionals.

The club hosts classes at 7 p.m. every Wednesday night. For class locations, as well as more information regarding the Lindy Hop Club, visit their Facebook page: “@UMKCSwingaroos”.

For a video of the club in action, visit our website:

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