So You Think You Can Dance?

By Amanda Lehnerd

Youngstown State University’s Dance Club is a student run organization that meets every Thursday from 5-6 p.m. in Stambaugh Stadium, Gym A.  rachel-penick

Rachael Penick, president of Dance Club, says the club is a relaxed environment and welcomes everyone.

“Dance Club is a student organization dedicated to introducing students and faculty to various styles of ballroom dance,” Penick said. “We are a social dance club, meaning that we practice in a very relaxed environment, where everyone has the chance to dance with each other.”

The club is not limited to members who have dance experience. Students and faculty can join at any skill level.

“People don’t need dance experience to participate, and we encourage beginner dancers to come,” Penick said. “We start teaching dances at the most basic level, so everyone learns together. This club is for people who have always wanted to dance but were not sure how to start.”

Although the club is not competitive, it introduces students to competitive ballroom dancing. The organization has seen competitive dancers perform in the past, but has not performed competitively.

Errek Pham, treasurer of Dance Club, has been a member since his freshman year when he saw them practicing in the Cafaro House multipurpose room.

“I had never danced before, and I thought the club would be a fun activity to do,” Pham said.

Dance Club has a professional dance instructor named Bob McPhail, who comes and teaches students the different types of dances. The club learns dances ranging from ballroom to swing.

Many members of the club dance socially, which inspires the use of modern music.

“We learn dances to popular music. Since some of us dance socially outside of the club,” Penick said. “We like learning dances to music that we would likely hear at a social dance event. Just last week, we learned how to Salsa to the song, ‘Happy’ by Pharrell Williams.”

Frank Bosso, adviser of Dance Club, thinks the organization is a good place for students to meet new people and learn to appreciate dance as an art form.

“In many ways, like all campus organizations, Dance Club gives students an opportunity to meet a group of diverse people and learn a lifelong activity,” Bosso said. “The club offers social opportunities to students and the chance to learn a variety of different dances, and the best part is you don’t need dance experience.”

Students who want to participate in Dance Club have the opportunity to pick what style of dance they would like to learn next.

“We create a poll that allows students to choose what type of dance they would like to learn next,” Pham said. “Every two to three weeks, we start a new genre, and the poll determines what type of dance we will do next.”

Dance Club holds many social events throughout the year. The first event will be coming up in November.