The Swing Dance Club is a new edition to TRUSU’s long list of clubs on campus. Justin Mufford is the president and founder of the club and started it up last fall. Mufford says that he started the club because of his passion and pure love of the dance style, but also to cultivate a swing community in town.
“I really love the swing dance. I really love the social aspect, the community, the music – everything about it. I learned in Grand Prairie last year, at a swing community there and fell in love with it. I came back to Kamloops and realised there is not much dancing in Kamloops at all, compared to big cities like Edmonton, Victoria and Vancouver. The dance, culture and community in Kamloops is very sparse and very stale, so I wanted to start this club and make it a big thing,” Mufford said.
He says that the club is really about community, getting to know new people and enjoying the art of swing dance.
“What I think is most important to the club is our values, our philosophy and why we dance. Our vision is to have a community that people who want to make friends and enjoy dance. Despite what age you are, despite what your background is, despite your experience or if you don’t have a partner, we value inclusivity, having fun, having a good community for people to meet each other and have a really good time,” Mufford said.
Although Mufford is a fourth-year student and will soon be graduating from TRU, he hopes that the club will live on. However, he plans to stay involved in the community in other ways after grad.
“I’m planning to give the leadership responsibilities onto other students that are involved now. After I graduate, the university club will keep going, keep running its events. I plan on starting my own non-profit dance company that will hopefully work with the university club as a sister organization,” Mufford added.
The club hosts social dances every Friday night, along with a variety of other events every month. The dances start with a one-hour beginner lesson then transition into a social dance. The event is open to all members of the community and admission is $5 for club members and $10 for non-members.