By Olivia Rockstad, Features Editor The Spud
The old saying, “Dance like no one is watching,” is not quite the goal of Moorhead High’s new dance club. They hope others notice and are inspired by their dancing.
Seniors Erika Hoaby and Nathan Kaiser came to Moorhead High teacher Jeff Schneider with the idea last year. They were inspired to take action after seeing the lack of “real dancing” at Moorhead High dances. After attending one of the ballroom dance classes taught by Schneider and his wife at the YMCA in Fargo, Hoaby and Kaiser knew MHS dances could become much more fun with some instruction.
“We want there to be people at school dances who actually know how to dance,” Hoaby said.
Other area schools, including Fargo North, had success with their own dance clubs, and Hoaby and Kaiser knew Moorhead High could as well.
Moorhead High School’s dance club began in October.
New members are welcome to join anytime. “It’s fun, challenging, a good workout, and timeless,” Schneider said. This is a great opportunity for anyone who wants to learn a lifelong skill and meet new people.
“If you learn how to dance, it’s something you can do forever,” Schneider said.
It doesn’t matter if you’re an experienced dancer or a beginner with two left feet, Moorhead High’s dance club accommodates all levels. Schneider teaches the dancers the basics, and then dancers can bring their own personal style and flare to it.
During the first two weeks, students worked on swing dancing. This type of dance developed during the jazz era of the 1920s. The basic step, arch-loop combo and “skin the cat” swing dance moves are a few of the steps the students learned.
Throughout the rest of the year, the dance club will be learning the waltz, Texas two-step, tango, salsa, polka and line style dances.
Some students may be surprised that an industrial tech teacher, Mr. Schneider, teaches dance club. When he isn’t instructing on how to use a bandsaw he’s teaching dance to lively band music. How could a guy who’s an expert at building motors teach a dance class? Very well as it turns out. Both working on a car and learning a dance are about building one new step upon another. Both are an art in their own way.
However, Schneider is not just an industrial tech teacher and a dance instructor, but also a DJ. With the combination of a large classroom, qualified instruction, and great tunes, dance club is a sure hit.
“It’s more fun to swing dance than grind,” said MHS Junior Kenya Arends. She said dance club is one of the highlights of her week, and she’s clearly not the only one. The group more than doubled in attendance by the second session.
On Tuesday nights, in an industrial technology classroom, the Moorhead High students were twirling and whirling around like pros. They were swaying around saws, bouncing about workbenches, dipping their partners by drill presses, and springing around sanders. Step right in and dance with the Spuds.