While walking through the sea of booths and fliers tonight at Gobblerfest, you might be asked to dance, courtesy of the Solely Swing Club.
Solely Swing is one of the largest collegiate swing dance clubs in the country and the group will be showing off its moves at Gobblerfest in hopes of garnering new members.
Senior history major and former president of Solely Swing, Hannah Campbell, said the club invested in a large speaker last year specifically for their booth at Gobblerfest.
They will be playing all types of music, ranging from classic swing dance music to more modern tunes like that of Michael Jackson. Members at the booth will be swing dancing throughout the night.
“We have a lot of members who are just bold and outgoing, and happy to walk up to people, put fliers in their hands and get them to dance. They will say, ‘Here, let me show you this move,’” Campbell said.
In fact, Campbell said she vividly remembers Solely Swing’s Gobblerfest booth from her freshman year because of how interactive it was. She still has the original flier from that day pinned on a bulletin board in her room.
“I just remember everyone being really friendly from the get-go and that’s what caught my attention,” Campbell said. “Everyone is just so welcoming and that’s what really sealed the deal for me.”
Current club president and engineering major, Elizabeth Mack, said the reason they show off their moves rather than just handing out fliers is for the wow factor.
Mack said that their goal is not only to recruit new members, but to get anybody and everybody to come to Solely Swing’s first dance of the year this Saturday.
Solely Swing has monthly Saturday night dances in Squires Student Center’s Old Dominion Ballroom and holds a lesson followed by a dance every Friday night at the Blacksburg YMCA.
They also have live bands at their dances several times throughout the year, Mack said. This year’s current lineup includes bands like the Boilermaker Jazz Band, Mint Julep and Solomon Douglas.
“Because we’re the biggest active, collegiate (swing dance) club, we sometimes have bands that ask us if they can come and play for us,” Mack said.
In addition to their weekly and monthly dances, the club also hosts five-week lessons twice a semester, educating their members on particular swing dances like the Lindy Hop and the Charleston.
Campbell and Mack said that students can get a preview of these dance moves at their Gobblerfest booth. They will be practicing moves like spins, underarm turns and pretzels.
Both Campbell and Mack said the club isn’t just about learning how to dance, but that it’s also about having fun.
“We generally have about 75-100 people coming to our dances and I’ve never heard of someone who didn’t have a good time (at one of our events),” Mack said.
In addition to having a good time, being involved with Solely Swing is also a great way to get exercise. Campbell said that not only did she keep the freshman 15 off but that she also lost almost 30 pounds during her freshman year.
If that's not enough, joining the club is also a great way to meet potential dates. Mack and Campbell said that for the ladies it’s a great way to meet boys, and not just any boys but boys who can dance.
No dance experience is necessary and club members don’t need to have a partner. Campbell and Mack said it’s just a way to have a great time with equally great people.
“It rivals Disney World as the happiest place on Earth,” Mack said.
Campbell agrees and said that she has truly found her family at Solely Swing thanks to stopping by their booth four years ago today.
“We’re a very social and light-hearted group,” Campbell said. “We just like to get together, have a good time and dance.”