It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that Swing (Bums)

The club prides itself in being a low-stress environment for dancers of all levels

Founded in 2004, the Trinity Swing Bums is a club that is centered around a shared love for music and dance. Specializing in swing dancing with an emphasis on the fast paced dance, lindy hop, the Swing Bums teach members of all experience levels the basics of many styles of dance. Whether you’re a professional or have two left feet, the Swing Bums provide a welcoming environment for dancers of all skill levels to practice, socialize and become immersed in the broader swing dance culture.

“We Swing Bums just love to dance,” said Angela Graf, junior physics major and Swing Bums social chair. “We offer weekly lessons and socials to learn how to lead and follow, and many of us also like to go to events held by the larger San Antonio community. Our focus is on lindy hop, but we also like to dance West Coast swing, blues, zouk, salsa and more.”

Though the thought of joining a club strictly dedicated to dancing can be daunting to some, the Swing Bums pride themselves in creating a low-stress environment for dancers of all experience levels.

“Even if you don’t know what you’re doing yet, learning to dance is such a fun experience,” Graf said. “The music, the people, the events — social dancing is a great way to escape from the stresses of everyday life and school. It’s also great exercise. Our club is very low-commitment and very chill — come when you can and just focus on having fun.”

Having fun is one of the main goals for the Swing Bums. Though the club has official socials, during the lessons, emphasis is placed on both the social aspect of the club and the teaching and learning of new dance skills and techniques.

“They generally start with a warm-up to some music,” said Madison Poljan, a senior biology and international studies major. “Then, we split into ‘leads’ and ‘follows’ and learn some new swing moves from the officers leading the lesson. We rotate partners every few moves, so we always get a chance to meet and dance with new people. We take a break halfway through to grab some water and socialize, and then the lesson continues with more swing dancing, friendship-making and fun.”

Along with socials and lessons, the Swing Bums also hold multiple events throughout the year, such as auditions in the spring to perform a choreographed routine at Momentum, an annual student-run dance production. Another event and tradition that the group hosts is Yule Ball, a festive holiday event that includes dancing, food and holiday attire. Multiple campus groups are invited to participate as well, such as the Acabellas and the Trinitones. The club provides its members with many opportunities to come together and have fun through their events.

“I love this club because it gives me a chance to dance with new friends and release some energy from the week,” Poljan said. “Swing Bums events are always very fun because they give you a chance to move around and let out some energy, while making friends and learning new, fancy-dancy moves. There are always lots of smiles, lots of laughs, and lots of exciting experiences to be had at Trinity Swing Bums events.”

With local organizations like the San Antonio Swing Dance Society, and dance communities in almost every major city, opportunities for connections with the broader swing dance and dance communities as a whole spans far beyond the dance groups on campus for the Swing Bums.

“It’s a community that you take with you in a way,” said Taylor Condron, senior biology major and Swing Bums vice president. “You can go to other bigger cities and they will usually have some kind of dancing community that you can be a part of, whether that be swing, or two-step, or whatever. Other places have dance communities and it’s a way to connect with people that you wouldn’t even know otherwise.”

The Trinity Swing Bums have fostered a welcoming environment that acts as stress relief for their members. Because of this and the relatively light physical exercise, the Swing Bums provides its members with a low-commitment outlet to benefit their overall physical and mental health.

“I love dancing and the opportunities that Swing Bums provides,” said Maria Zaharatos, Swing Bums president and senior political science and international studies double major. “It really is great for people who are not super active or sports-oriented. It’s my weekly way to make sure that I am getting that physical activity in just so that I can feel good. It’s just a really big component of my well being.”

Whether students are looking to improve their dance skills, make wider connections with the swing dance community, take steps to improve their physical well-being or are simply in the market to join a relaxed social group, the Swing Bums cater to many.