Dancing through the years: Nostalgia Dance swings into Great Hall


The biannual Nostalgia Dance is February 15. Photo courtesy of Nostalgia Dance Facebook page.

by Blake Carlson, Staff Writer

The 1940s brought us luxury cars and gave birth to the Beatles with guitars. DiMaggio was a Yankees baseball star and “Joltin’ Joe” could swing that ball pretty far.

It wasn’t just a baseball swing this era was known for though but a swing with a slightly different throw: a type of dance taking over ballrooms across the country.

And it’s coming to Simpson College next week.

Mu Sigma Kappa, the Simpson College honorary music fraternity, invites the campus community to Nostalgia Dance. A 1940s-style ballroom dance featuring the Simpson College Jazz Ensemble and vocalists from various other Simpson ensembles.

Simpson senior and President of Mu Sigma Kappa Annalise Minnick said the dance is a time-honored tradition at Simpson and is excited to bring it back for another year.

“Nostalgia Dance has been a Simpson tradition put on for several years,” Minnick said.

“It happens every other year and consists of live swing and jazz music, dance instructors, food and fun.”

The dance will be held in Great Hall on Friday from 7:30-10 p.m. following swing dance lessons taught by professional instructors from 7–7:30 p.m. Students are encouraged to wear their best vintage dance attire and come prepared to show off their jazzy moves.

Simpson junior and Public Relations Director for Mu Sigma Kappa Cheyenne Vanlandingham said the Nostalgia Dance is an opportunity for students across campus to unify as a student-body.

“Having all types of students show up to this event can strengthen the unity of the college,

whether we are music performance or sports administration majors,” Vanlandingham said.  “Plus, who doesn’t want to have a fun night of music, dancing and community?”

Swing dancing became especially prevalent in the 1930s and 1940s and inspired popular dances of today including line dancing and hip hop. Swing dancing competitions are still held across the country, including Swing Dance America, a weeklong competition held annually in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. The competition takes place this year April 25-29.

Minnick and Vanlandingham want students worried about their dancing skills to know it is all in good fun.

“Now, I am probably one of the least rhythmic people you have ever met, so dancing generally doesn’t work well for me,” Vanlandingham said. “Even so, I found myself on the floor doing my best with my friends.”

For Minnick, it is all about the new experience.

“I’m kind of a clumsy dancer, but at the last Nostalgia Dance, the dance instructors really helped to break the ice and teach us important steps,” Minnick said. “It was a really cool experience.”

Looking for something to wear? For more information on the styles of the 1940s visit: https://bit.ly/2MPtSNG