The ACU Swing Cats held their 11th annual Fall Stomp on Oct. 8. The event featured a swing dance lesson, an open dance floor and jazz music from the World War II era performed live by the the ACU and Hardin-Simmons Jazz Ensembles.
Swing Cats is an organization of students who dance in the 1920’s to 1940’s swing style, an era of dance trademarked by the popular move the Charleston. Dr. Cole Bennett, director of the Swing Cats, said the Fall Stomp is an experience the group looks forward to every year.
“It’s one thing to study and practice something, but it’s another thing to actually join with a live band in a historical moment,” Bennett said.
In previous years, the Fall Stomp has been held in the Elks Ballroom, a historic venue used in the peak of swing dancing in Abilene 100 years ago. This year, the event was held at the T&P Depot to allow room for a greater number of guests.
The event attracted a variety of participants, including experienced swing dancers, learning beginners and observers of the dancing and music.
Emma Horn, freshman political science major from Abilene, enjoyed her first Fall Stop as a new Swing Cat.
“It’s really impossible to not have fun when you’re doing something as wacky as swing dancing,” Horn said.
The annual event is open not only to ACU students and staff, but to the entire Abilene community. Horn said she especially enjoyed a feeling of belonging that spanned across generations and groups of people.
“There’s no being alone in swing dancing,” Horn said. “Everyone is together.”
The Swing Cats and Jazz Ensemble plan to continue to conduct the Fall Stomp annually.