Step, step, rock-step. Students, residents, and fast-footed dancers packed Brookswood Secondary School on Friday for the 11th Annual Swing Night.
The yearly fundraiser attracted a wide array of people looking to brush up on their dance skills while lending a helping-hand to the BBS music program.
Derrick Turi, BSS music director, explained that “proceeds go towards funding everything from field trips to new music equipment.”
The junior and senior jazz bands have both proven their capability when given the proper tools to excel, recently earning gold at Kwantlen’s International Music Festival.
Read More: Brookswood celebrates 10 years of swing
An accompanying silent auction raised most of the fundraiser’s earnings while the 12 dollar door admission entitled guests to a student-led jazz band presentation and all the treats they could eat.
The most anticipated event of night, by far, was when FatCitySwing took the stage and gathered everyone into a giant circle. A one hour beginner swing dancing lesson instantly got even the most nervous attendees up on their feet.
Partners Shannon Braithwaite and Omer Mahmood said they have “provided swing lessons and music for the entirety of the fundraiser’s run” as a favor to their friend, Turi.
Though a family and busy life have slowed down the amount of events FatCitySwing has been able to host, this important cause is always still a must.
“It’s beginners swing,” said Mahmood, “a pretty basic lesson that we always start from scratch. The actual dance is more specifically known as East Coast Swing.”
Known by many names and iterations including the Jitterbug, the Lindy Hop, or even the Jive - swing dancing, especially at Brookswood Secondary, gets people out of their comfort zone to try something new.
A bevy of spiffy teenagers joined together to give the classic dance a whirl after the lesson wrapped - embracing some slips, trips, and laughter all for the sake of Brookswood music.
A delighted Turi said “it’s really nice to see so many young people, dressed to the nines, and enjoying swing dance - even just live music in general!”
People can follow Brookswood Secondary’s music program for any of their upcoming performances on Twitter and news on when next year’s swinging fundraiser will get underway.
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