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TCU 360

TCU 360

All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

The Skiff Orientation Edition: Welcome, Class of 28!
The Skiff Orientation Edition: Welcome, Class of '28!
By Georgie London, Staff Writer
Published May 13, 2024
Advice from your fellow Frogs, explore Fort Worth, pizza reviews and more. 

New class swinging into past

The TCU community now has a chance to learn the art of swing dancing in a seven-lesson course beginning tonight.Swing is a jitterbug-style dance that started during World War II and became increasingly popular during the 1950s. The main types of swing, the East Coast and the West Coast, both use a six-beat pattern that can be performed to many types of music.

The beginner-level class teaches students how to dance the East Coast Swing step by step. The course’s instructors said students will learn everything they need to know to lead or follow like a pro.

Charles Kendall, a member of the TCU Fort Worth Alumni Board , proposed the swing class after being a student in one himself. He suggested the idea to have a swing dance class to members of the Alumni Board and it is now being implemented on campus.

“I have trouble finding the beat in music but after the lessons, I could find it,” Kendall said.

Kendall said after taking the lessons, he is not embarrassed to dance in public anymore.

“They taught me how to dance with lots of different people, not just my wife,” he said.

The dance instructors, Chandler Smith and Ellen Page Shelton, both have extensive knowledge and background in dance.

Chandler Smith, a TCU alumnus and swing instructor, taught swing dancing for 17 years in Los Angeles, where he owned his own dance studio. He said swing dancing is great because it can be performed to all types of music.

“It’s a great social skill,” Smith said. “You can use it at parties and corporate events but most of all it’s just fun.”

Smith said he is excited to teach the course.

“Dancing is like a nonverbal conversation between two people and it takes a lot of teamwork,” Smith said.

The class also gives students a chance to dance with different types of partners.

“There could be anyone in this class anywhere from ages 17 to 75,” Smith said.

Shelton, chairwoman of the department of ballet and modern dance, said she teamed up with Smith to spread their love of swing dancing to the TCU community.

“Swing is great fun and good exercise,” Shelton said. “There’s really nothing bad about it.”

She said most of her students are hesitant in the beginning.

“They are put at ease once they are there, and then they’re ready to learn more and more,” Shelton said.

The first class starts at 7 p.m. in Studio B in the Ballet Building. Students need to bring their student ID and $20. Send home is not available for class payment.

After the dance series is completed, students will have a chance to show off their new swing skills at a special dance event at 7 p.m. March 31. The event will feature a live swing band in the Student Center Ballroom. The cost for students to enter is $10, and the price of admission includes a quick, beginner lesson at 6:45 p.m.

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