‘Dance Your Troubles Away’

Photo courtesy of Kristi Yazvac.

By Brigitte Petras

Photo courtesy of Kristi Yazvac.

The Mahoning Valley Tyler History Center’s Ballroom will be brimming with dancers and military and veteran personnel on April 9 from 7-10 p.m.

Youngstown State University’s Dance Club is hosting an event that incorporates vintage and contemporary dancing music with many different dance styles including foxtrots, waltzes and Latin, as well as swing dancing.

Admission is $5 with a YSU or military ID and $10 for general public.

YSU’s Dance Club has been considering a vintage theme for the Spring 2015 semi-annual event — “Swingin’ Salute to the ‘40s” — for nearly two years.

Kristi Yazvac, president of Dance Club, explained the reasoning for this dance theme.

“Pretty much everybody that got started with Dance Club did it because of swing dancing,” Yazvac said. “This year we were really hoping to get back to our roots with swing.”

Jacob Miller, treasurer of the club, elaborated on why this event is a tribute to the military.

“We also wanted to reach out to our veterans and military personnel, a group of people that we believe do not get thanked or recognized as often as they should,” Miller said.

Anyone who attends “Swingin’ Salute to the ‘40s” will also receive a ticket for free entry into Cedar’s West End, which can be used later that night. This downtown bar also offers swing dancing music and vintage atmosphere.

Yazvac, Miller and four other Dance Club members will be performing a two minute choreographed routine alongside a classic swing song: “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.”

Frank Bosso, who has advised Dance Club for years, fully supports their decision to host events at the History Center in Youngstown.

“By having the event off-campus in downtown Youngstown, [the YSU Dance Club] attracts, I don’t know, over 100 people from the community,” Bosso said. “And so what that does is highlights some of the great things that goes on with the university that people around the community see.”

Roughly 35 students regularly attend the Dance Club meetings, although all together there are around 90 club members.

“Of course, learning the new types of dances is a great skill to have, especially for someone like me who was an awful dancer when I first started,” Miller said. “It is always fun to learn new styles of dance from our great instructor and even better person, Bob McPhail. However, the one thing even more enjoyable than learning the dances is making friends with all of the other members.

“All of the members of Dance Club are much closer than we were when we first started dancing, and I think that is the most enjoyable part about being in Dance Club for me.”

The Dance Club’s events are sponsored by USA Dance, a national nonprofit organization that promotes dancing of all types. Members of USA Dance help decorate the venues, play music and promote YSU Dance events to other organizations in Northeast Ohio.

“USA Dance is always really, really helpful and really supportive of our group. They always come to our dances, so I like to say that we are partnering with them with putting events on,” Yazvac said.

Susan Ryan, president of the Youngstown-Warren Chapter of USA Dance, will personally be supporting the upcoming event by helping set up with other members.

“Dancing is an excellent way to take a vacation from life,” Ryan said. “Dance your troubles away.”