The Community School of the Arts will host Swingin’ in the Square in downtown Marion Oct. 31 to cap off a new month-long swing dance program geared at college students.
Mark Brand, operations manager for CSA, said October is swing month, and he hopes it can pave the way for each month to focus on a different type of dance at CSA.
“We’re testing this out,” Brand said. “My boss doesn’t think I can get college students involved in this kind of thing, so it’s kind of like a challenge for me.”
CSA hosts swing dancing classes every Tuesday night during October leading up to the dance. Brand said this format allows college students to commit to a shorter amount of time instead of paying for semester-long or year-long dance classes.
“I’m trying to aim smaller events like this to try something to get IWU students and faculty more involved at CSA,” Brand said.
Brand said students at IWU have shown interest through a campus swing dancing group.
Rachel Ozios (jr), president of IWU Swing Dance, said the group began at the end of last year and met in a Noggle classroom. Ozios said she wanted to find a place students could swing dance in Marion, instead of driving to Fountain Square in Indianapolis.
This year, the group meets at the Wellness Center on Adams street across from IWU on select Saturday nights. They’ve met twice already this semester.
IWU Swing Dance isn’t partnered with Swingin’ in the Square, but Ozios hopes it can further the interest and knowledge that swing dancing does happen here in Marion.
“People have kind of realized that there is some value to old things, and I feel like swing dancing, even though it’s old fashioned, has become more popular,” Ozios said.
This old-time feel of swing dancing will translate to Swingin’ in the Square through the theme. Brand said the dance will have a 20s and 30s feel, and he expects people to have fun with it since the recent popularity of “The Great Gatsby.”
For the first 45 minutes of the dance night, people can take an optional large-group swing dancing lessons to prepare for the full event later in the evening.
Brand said CSA recently branched to another building in the square — the Sophia Salin Arts Center — so he will give tours of the second floor during the dance, while the actual dance will take place on the first floor.
“It’s filling up really fast, so we might have to do overflow into the actual square, which is the goal,” Brand said.
The second floor of the building, he said, will eventually become a shared concert venue for IWU, Taylor University, CSA and the Marion Philharmonic Orchestra.
Brand also said the IWU Jazz Combo will perform the music for the dance.
The lessons start at 7:00 p.m and the official time for the dance is 8-10 p.m. The event costs $10 per person.