Jazz Band’s Annual Swing Dance Returns

The jazz band is hosting the high school’s annual Swing Dance on Friday, Feb. 17 starting at 6 p.m at Southern Elementary School.

Although the “Susky Swing Dance” hasn’t happened in the past 2 years, the music department is happy to bring the tradition back for a night of jazz that will hopefully continue for years to come.

Jazz band director Chirs Poole remembers the first time the Swing Dance happened.

The Swing Dance started… in 2015 with a larger than expected crowd, and [it has] been at the Southern Elementary cafeteria and gym ever since,” Poole said.

Not only does the audience enjoy the live jazz, but the jazz band players also have a love for the dance.

Senior saxophone player Sylvia Balog is happy to have the experience before she graduates.

“ Honestly, I’m just happy I can play in the Swing Dance because I never have before, so the fact that I can perform my best in my favorite band for all to hear and enjoy [is very exciting to me],” Balog said.

Throughout the last few months, the jazz band has been working hard to make their sets sound even better, especially this week, according to Balog.

“[I know] the saxophones have really worked hard and even though we aren’t perfect, I’m sure the dancers will love our sound,” Balog said. “I’m just so proud of how all of us have come along over the years and now am ready to move on after performing a few more times.”

The tickets for the event are only $15 in cash or check at the door, purchasing 4 hours of fun as well as a provided dinner for ticket holders.

The event begins at 6 p.m. with a pasta dinner that runs until 7 p.m followed by an hour of swing dance lessons with instructors from the Victrola Dance Hall, ending at 8 p.m.

This Susky Swing Dance flyer is displayed around the high school containing all of the details about the event. Image by Sylvia Balog

The lessons are meant for people of all skill levels, so everyone is welcome to learn. 

At 8 p.m., the event goes into full swing with live music sets being played by the SHS jazz band up until 10 p.m.

Jazz band director Chris Poole elaborates on the style of music the jazz band will be playing for the attendees of the dance.

“Our own jazz band will… provide 2 hours of music from the Swing Era, which will include swing, mambo, cha cha and a few ballads,” Poole said.

With Valentine’s Day being just this week, couples as well as friends can attend the dance to learn a new style of dance together in a fun night out. 

Senior trombone player Ian Davis played in the last swing dance and elaborates on his favorite part of the event.

“All aspects of the event are great, but my favorite part of the Swing Dance is being able to watch everyone enjoy themselves dancing while we play for them,” Davis said. “Some people show up not knowing what to expect, but by the end of the event, they have smiles on their faces and are dancing with friends to the music we play.”

If you aren’t so interested in dancing, many attend to simply sit and listen to the swing music and watch the jazz band play.

Poole has high hopes for Friday and encourages students and SYC families to come out and support students in the jazz band which will even be featuring a guest singer.

“We will have a guest singer with the band that evening,” Poole said. “Teresa Leonard, from the Blue Moon Big Band will sing a few songs with the band. Teresa is also an alumni of Susky and she can’t wait to swing with the band.”