Swing Cats is partnering this year with the jazz bands of ACU and Hardin Simmons University to conduct the annual Fall Stomp.
The dance will take place from 7-10 p.m. Oct. 13 in the historic Elks Ballroom. Swing Cats is a club that focuses on teaching others the art of swing dancing while learning about the culture.
“Fall Stomp is our big fall event where Swing Cats gets out into the community by having a big dance in a historic ballroom,” said Raiden Sawyer, vice president of Swing Cats.
Sawyer, junior english major from Oklahoma City, said there will be a free swing lesson at 7 p.m. for students who are new to swing dancing. Following the lesson, the live music will start and participants can dance from 8 to 10 p.m.
Dr. Cole Bennett, professor in the Department of Language and Literature, helped found Swing Cats 14 years ago.
“What’s different this year is that the Hardin Simmons University jazz band is going to be there with the ACU jazz band for two hours of live music,” Bennett said. “The location, Elks Ballroom, has lots of historical significance. USO Club in World War II had dances in that same location. We are preserving the original function of the ballroom by dancing. We are more than just a dance club, we are a dance club who is interested in preserving the swing culture.”
Sawyer said Swing Cats has about 100 members. The group participates in competitions, such as the Sundance Swingout in Fort Worth, and is planning to perform at Ethnos this year.
“For Swing Cats the goal is to constantly create a community that pushes each other and creates us to be the best dancers and the best people we can be,” Sawyer said. “Our goal is to establish a community and help it flourish.”
Students interested in joining Swing Cats are invited to attend one of the beginner lessons at 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday nights in the Money Recreation and Wellness Center, Studio B.