The Martini Swingers are back. The Swingers, a dancing club open to all Augustana Students, teaches a range of social dances every Sunday – regardless of whether you’ve been dancing for years or have never danced a day in your life.
The first term focuses mainly on different styles of swing dance, but the group also teaches ballroom dancing in the winter term and Latin dancing in the spring.
“It’s a little bit of everything,” Martini Swingers president Megan Steinhoff said. Steinhoff has been dancing since she was three. Vice president Nicole Kasman also danced when she was younger but stopped during high school.
“When I came here, I thought social dancing is a way to get back into [dancing],” Kasman said. “It’s just for fun.”
Dancing novices and people with two left feet are welcome to join the Martini Swingers. Most people who show up to the lessons have little or no dance experience. The group prides itself on teaching students the basics and developing their dancing abilities. All student instructors are trained and certified through Martini Swingers and Quad Cities Social Dance (QC SoDa), a Davenport-based dance instruction studio.
Martini Swingers added lessons this year for intermediate students with previous experience. Intermediate lessons are offered after the beginner lesson. Martini Swingers coach Gunter Schlueter, who teaches the intermediate lessons, also teaches dance through QC SoDa.
Martini Swingers hosts its Spring Showcase each year to show off its students. The members choreograph and present a dance in a specific style, such as the salsa, waltz or bachata. Augustana Students are invited to come and watch the performance.
Martini Swingers also offer events throughout the year, including a fall dance, quesadilla sales, the “Valentango” Valentine’s Dance, and the Bradley University Exchange. New this academic year, the Martini Swingers will put on on its own dance workshop, March 3-5. The new dance weekend invites other college dance groups to Augie’s campus for lessons with professional instructors, a variety of workshops and late night dances.
The Martini Swingers also offer social dance as a PE credit in fall and spring term for interested students of any experience level.
For students interested in joining the Martini Swingers, Sunday lessons are open to all Augustana students from 3-3:45 p.m. for beginners and 4-4:45 p.m. for intermediate dancers. Both lessons are held in the Carriage House next to Pepsico. A 15-minute open dance session follows both lessons for members to try out new moves and have fun.
“It’s kind of like my home here away from home,” Steinhoff said.