From the September 2015 issue

The Swing Set Club Gets Teens Dancing

Has your kid ever danced with a hobbit or superhero? Odds are high if they’ve been to an event hosted by The Swing Set club in Plymouth Township.

Kicking up its heels for its third season, the group draws 350-plus attendees one Friday per month for three hours of dancing, snacking and chatting at $5 a pop.

It’s now the largest swing dance club on the east side of the state. And that’s due in large part to its vibrant community of teens and young 20-somethings, says Peter Schriemer, operational manager. “There aren’t fun places for (young) people to get together and have a blast … and meet new people in a safe way,” he says.

The Swing Set, a community club Schriemer hosts at the Trinity Presbyterian Church gym with fellow dance-loving friends, spins that notion on its head.

So, how do you get high schoolers to want to cut a rug? Draw them in with a sweet theme, like comics, the Renaissance or a vintage USO 1940s twist (costumes highly encouraged). Begin with a fun lesson (totally first-timer-friendly). Keep a solid mix of jams, from Frank Sinatra to Taylor Swift. Finally, toss in munchies, a fun “halftime” show and a photo booth, and you’re in business.

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“You don’t even need to dance in order to come, but we encourage it, because it’s fun,” he says. “We don’t focus on how good you are. That’s not what we do.”

Newbie-turned-regular Katie Ely, 18, a relative novice when she started attending events two years ago, can attest to that. “Swing dancing is so unique” she says, “and there’s always new moves you can learn, which is really fun.”

And, with all the stresses of school and growing up, it’s just a great break.

“It takes things off my mind,” Ely says. “Makes me happy, really.”

The Swing Set

  • Address:¬†Trinity Presbyterian Church, 10101 Ann Arbor Road West, Plymouth Township
  • Cost: $5
  • Contact: trinityswingset@gmail.com, fb.com/groups/trinityswingset
  • Times: 8-11 p.m. Fridays
  • Dates:
    • Sept. 11: Video Game Swing
    • Oct. 16: Sadie Hawkins Renaissance Masquerade (girls ask guys)
    • Nov. 13: Country Swing (pop country; the club’s signature theme)
    • Dec. 18: Sinatra Holiday Formal
    • Jan. 22*: Disney Swing
    • Feb. 12: 1950s Sock Hop
    • March 11: Pirates vs. Ninjas
    • April 22: Superhero Swing
    • May 27: Spring Semi-Formal

Note: *2016 dates/themes subject to change

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