College students from all over Colorado joined together Friday
for the First Annual Intercollegiate Swing Dancing competition.
They gathered not only to compete, but also to learn new moves and
make new friends.
With original vintage costumes and new spins on old dance moves,
the swing-dancing teams from CSU, otherwise known as “Blam,” the
“Buffalo Swings” from the University of Colorado and the “Swinging
Seven” from the University of Northern Colorado all attended this
new competition at the UNC ballroom.
“It was awesome! It was so much fun and so great to see so many
people interested in swing dancing and to watch all of the
different styles,” said Joe Demers, a freshman natural sciences
major, competing swing dancer and swing-dance team leader for
Demers not only led his troupe in teaching much of the
choreography but also was one of the people who helped to create
this new intercollegiate competition.
“The whole point of the competition was to bring together swing
dancers of all scenes, to make new friendships and to meet new
people,” Demers said.
The event started off with a bang as all attendees were treated
to a special swing-dancing lesson for both advanced and
intermediate levels by Peggy Lyle and Chris McCullough, swing
dancer connoisseurs and founding members of Jumpn’Jive Cats, a Fort
Collins swing-dance company.
“All of the students did a great job. It was really impressive,”
said Lyle, who is also the primary choreographer for Jumpn’Jive
Cats. “They all put in a lot of effort.”
Lyle and McCullough were also two of the four judges for the
night’s competition. The scores they gave were based on four
categories: showmanship, technical ability, difficulty and
In the end, however, only one troupe could take home the first
place title, and with 31 points that went to CU. However, CSU
finished as a close second with 30.5 points and UNC took third with
CSU’s competing swing-dance troupe was created through auditions
held by the CSU Swing Dance Club and was comprised of six couples
who wanted to take their swing dancing from the club level, in
which they simply met for fun and to learn new moves, to the
Over a three-month period of sweat and hard work, the couples
spent an extra two and half hours a week planning and practicing
the choreography for the event, and in the end, all of the extra
time and effort seemed to finally pay off.
“The competition turned out to be totally awesome,” said Zabrina
Perry, a senior majoring in history and Demer’s dancing partner.
“Everyone in the crowd was cheering and it was just a great time
and a lot of fun!”