“This is a fun opportunity to dance,” said Heritage librarian Diane Alexander. “I think it’s nice to see the kids swing dance, because you never see that any other time.”
The evening started with a basic swing dance lesson by professional and local dance teacher Cozette Hileman. Following the lesson, attendees took the dance floor and danced the night away with their newly acquired moves.
“One of the most fun aspects was the dance lesson, seeing adults and kids out there swinging,” Heritage Jazz Band conductor Steve Ernest said.
“The enthusiasm was just as great as last year,” said Hileman said. “They (the kids) committed to the dancing and didn’t just sit back and say, ‘This is old people’s dance.’ They were jumping and jiving!”
Attendees also shared enthusiasm about the music played at the event – music that paid tribute to the 1940s and ’50s.
“Some things student and adults don’t agree on, but everyone likes this music,” attendee Bill Phelps said. “This music bridges the gap. Some music won’t be played 50 years from now, but this music can be played forever.” Tunes included the well-known Glenn Miller songs “In the Mood” and “Moonlight Serenade” and the Frank Sinatra favorite “New York, New York.”
The evening ended on a high note when adult couple Robert and Kathi Reed and student couple Nate Kusha and Hannah Linden won the dance contest, earning tickets to the Rave movie theater.
A raffle held after the contest gave away two bottles of wine donated from Reed, plus Starbucks gift cards donated from the company, and $90 garnered from a 50/50 drawing.
The annual event is the Performing Arts Boosters Club’s biggest fundraiser. After this year’s budget cuts decreased the amount of money available for the club, the need for profit from the Spring Swing Fling became even more pressing. And the money earned from this year’s Fling did not disappoint.
“We did fairly well,” according to Lisa Wheable, president of the Performing Arts Booster club. “We earned enough to provide two $500 scholarships this year.”
Ernest was also pleased with how the dance turned out. “Both of the bands had their tunes nailed down,” he said. “And it was fun to combine bands in the end.”
“I had a blast,” said Jazz Band member Emily Grace. “The dance showed that old people are cooler than we think, and swing dancing is fun and not obsolete.”