Dancing like it’s 1920

Hamline goes retro for the 10th year at the Swing into Spring Dance.


Jasmine Lee

Leah Rathe swing dances with Andy Magnuson at this year’s Swing into Spring Dance in Bush Ballroom last Friday.

Elena Deeter, Senior Reporter

The fun part of the 1920s was brought back to Hamline at the Swing into Spring Dance on Friday, March 4 in Bush Ballroom. The event was free to Hamline students, which brought in a lot of excited Pipers with their dancing shoes on. It was also open to the public for three dollars which brought in many advanced middle-aged dancers along with students from other schools and swing dance clubs.

I’ve been to the Spring Swing Dance every year since I was a first-year and this spring’s dance was just asor even morepleasant and fun than the ones before. Luckily for us novices, there were lessons before the function, so we didn’t look too out of place. After the helpful practice time, the dance commenced and a lot of its charm and enjoyment came from the music.

Like every year, the Jerry O’Hagan Orchestra and Hamline Jazz Ensemble performed. The Jerry O’Hagan Orchestra is a professional big swing band from the Twin Cities led by Mike Haynes and Charmin Michelle. The band just celebrated their 27th year, and are proud to have played for more than 1,450 events. They performed very well, playing a lot of swing classics. They succeeded in creating an exciting atmosphere for both swing enthusiasts and swing newbies.

In between the Jerry O’Hagan Orchestra’s performances, the Hamline Jazz Ensemble took the stage, and they killed it.

Eric Yeakel (‘17), the first trombone and student body President (as his conductor repeatedly pointed out), was pleased with how the band’s performance went.

“We put on one set of the most [awesome] swing tunes within our skill level and just make the swing dance a ‘romp’, as our jazz director [Greg Keel] would say,” Yeakel said. “My favorite song to play during this dance is ‘Big Noise from Winnetka,’” a jazz song by Bob Haggart and drummer Ray Bauduc, which some may know from the film, “Raging Bull.”

Yeakel concluded that he thought this year’s swing dance was one of the best, and vice president of Hamline’s Swing Dance club, Katie Bossert, seemed to agree.

“You know it’s a successful event when there are smiles all around and people keep on stopping you to tell you how much fun they’re having—and that’s what happened last night. Since I’m graduating, it’s the last swing dance I’ll ever organize at Hamline, so I am so thrilled that it was such a memorable event!”

If you were hesitant to go, next year I recommend going. It’s a nice time to forget that there is snow still outside, and it’s a chance to dance away any stress you may have.