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The Current

Swing Into The Night swept Bruins off their feet

The Bear River High School Jazz Band played live at the Swing Into The Night Dance. Photo by Calvin Bailey

The Bruin community was jazzed about swing dancing.

The Swing Into The Night Dance was held on December 3 in the Bear River MPR. The Bear River High School Jazz Band played Big Band-era music live in front of a dance floor filled with dancing audience members. It was a different style of music than what students are used to.

“It’s Jazz, which I have a guilty pleasure for,” said Katie Desplancke, a freshman.

“(This is) awesome, because it’s live music and it was well played,” said Devon Fellman, a senior.

“It’s beautiful and I have a passion for music,” said Linsey Harrison, a freshman.

David Ahrens, the Music Director at Bear River, was the conductor at the Swing Into The Night Dance.

“This style is written to be danced to and the music we’re playing is like old-timey pop music,” said Mr. Ahrens. “There is a number of reasons (why we do a Jazz night); first, we have a Jazz band and we like to showcase what they have learned. Also, it’s a community event and it’s a different atmosphere than modern dances.”

To go with the music, swing dancing was also taught at the event.

“It was cool when you knew how to do it,” said Harrison.

“It was fun once I learned and I really liked it,” said Fellman.

“It was really cool to see everyone from different ages dancing,” said Desplancke.

Alison Harper, a professional dance instructor, taught the kids how to swing dance.

“They were phenomenal,” she said. “I was in charge of picking winners of the dance competition and I would say this would be one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make.”

Lori Rudiger, the event coordinator, helped search out an instructor for the dance.

“(We found her) through the dance school in Nevada City,” said Mrs. Rudiger. “We paid for her because she is an excellent dance teacher.”

Mrs. Harper said she accepted the offer without a second thought.

“My friend, Matt Richey, taught at this event last year and when they asked him to do it this year too he was out of town. So, he asked me if I would do this and I excitedly said yes,” she said. “I love dancing because I learned about four years ago and ever since then I’ve been hooked. … I love being able to teach everyone, young and old, something I feel so passionately about.”

No matter what reason people had to come to the dance, they all ended up loving it.

“It’s sounded like fun and all the other dances were like club dancing, but Saturday was actual dancing,” said Fellman. “(I loved) learning to swing dance because it’s something new.”

“I was working there, and last year I went it was pretty cool,” said Harrison. “My favorite thing was the music and all the people.”

“I signed up for almost everything to help in this event,” said Desplancke. “I enjoyed seeing everyone here because they support the band.”

“My son is in Jazz Band and we love supporting the arts,” said Mrs. Rudiger. “I loved seeing the kids all dressed up and dancing.”

Event officials said many people worked together with the Jazz Band to set up the dance.

“The parents of band and choir members helped set up,” said Mrs. Rudiger.

According to Mrs. Rudiger and Mr. Ahrens, the Swing Into The Night event has always been popular.

“This event has been going on before I got here,” said Mr. Ahrens. “It’s been going on for 19 years and the kids really like it.”

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Swing Into The Night swept Bruins off their feet