On Thursday, Youngstown State University’s Ballroom Dance Club will hold a dance event, Swingin’ Back to the ‘50s, at Kuzman’s Lounge in Girard.
Members will offer swing dancing lessons from 7:30 to 8 p.m., as well as a “Grease”-inspired dance-off with prizes for first-, second- and third-place winners.
Dan Pacella, treasurer of the dance club, said he didn’t know how to dance until his freshman year at YSU.
“It’s a different experience. Our president got me into swing dancing when it was held at [the former] Cedar’s Lounge downtown,” Pacella said. “It’s a great way to open students’ eyes to all the cool events available around campus.”
The Youngstown-Warren chapter of USA Dance helped the YSU Ballroom Dance Club organize the event. Pacella said the local chapter wanted to support the club, as well as provide an opportunity for students to unwind.
“They helped us out a lot, and they enabled us to have the event at Kuzman’s,” Pacella said. “The group that goes down to Cedar’s for Swing Night in Youngstown every Thursday will also be in attendance.”
Bryce Carsone, president of the dance club, said the group chose the “Grease” theme because it’s members’ favorite flick.
“Swing is a very social dance, and everyone has so much fun with it. There’s a lot of individual things you can do with it,” Carsone said. “We’re using songs from the movie and similar rules to make it as ‘Grease’ as possible.”
For those who aren’t into swing, regular party music and dancing will also fuel the night. Carsone said most members of the club are beginners.
“Of course, not all people in the club are beginners, but we recently held a ballroom night, and most of us were beginners. We’re all on the same page,” she said.
Kuzman’s will be decorated with crepe paper, just as it was in the movie. Some club members will be dressed in poodle skirts for fun, but dressing up is not required.
“It’s this big conformation of people of all ages that you see in the movies — an event you might not know is so close and local,” Pacella said.
The group will also provide free desserts to participants. Admission is $5 per person, and the event is open to anyone 18 years of age and older. The dancing will conclude at 11 p.m.