Ethels: Eastern’s Toe-tappin’, Heel-stompin’, East-coast, Lindy-hoppin’ Swing Club

An interesting name for an energizing dance, the name E.T.H.E.L.S was established by its original Council members. Ethel’s has been a club here on Eastern’s campus since the mid 1990’s. The actual year Ethels was established  as well as the founder is still something debated over today. The first Ethels meeting this year had a staggering and record breaking 225 people attend. The club continues to furiously grow. The club focuses on teaching several different styles of swing dancing. These include Jitterbug, Lindy, East Coast, Line Charleston, and even Arielles.

Ethels offers beginner lessons every week. Also, for those that have learned the basic step, Ethels offers more advanced lessons as the year progress.  Ethels meets in the Gough Great Room on Thursdays from 8:30 pm to 10:30 pm.  The first half hour is lesson time. Head council decides something new to teach the club and gives instructions. The following time is free dance, when the Music Gigolo Josiah Peffer plays music non stop and everyone dances with whomever they please.  Don’t worry, the head council members are always around to help out with teaching you one-on-one, if needed.  Whenever something special is going on such as a person’s birthday or a couple getting engaged, or even someone getting an A on a really hard test, Ethels loves to celebrate. To celebrate, Ethels has a “jam circle.” If the participant is willing, they are put in the middle of a circle constructed by all members attending swing and for an entire song they dance as people jump in and out of the circle to dance with them. To change this up and to help people get acquainted with one another, partners are constantly being changed to help better each individual.

Ethels has excursions once a month to The Ballroom on High, also known as Faryl’s in Pottstown. It’s a chance to get all dressed up and have an amazing night off- campus. It has live bands or a DJ every weekend. Ethels puts together two large dances a year, one in the fall semester and one in the spring semester. One of the dances has a DJ and the other Ethels hires a live Swing band to play. “Ethels prides itself on being able to teach people how to dance who have never danced before” says head instructor Mike Montgomery.

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