For one night only mere mortals could Dance with the Star in Dana Maue’s ballroom class. Buddy Schwimmer, the King of Swing, was in town.
Long live the king!
Schwimmer, the award-winning choreographer and world-renown swing dancer, was lured to SWC by Maue, the cheerful professor of dance. For SWC students, dancing with Schwimmer was like painting a mural with Amado Peña or jamming with U2.
Schwimmer was all smiles as he showed his captivated audience how to properly twirl a partner and jitterbug across the stage.
“Swing is an interesting dance style,” he said. “If you get real good at it you can put your own thing into it and mix it up. Whereas in waltz, say, you kind of have a strict guideline.”
Maue said she met Schwimmer while attending a dance workshop in Palm Springs.
“I took his swing class,” she said. “Afterwards I approached him to see if he would teach a swing class at Southwestern.”
Schwimmer consented. He came to SWC to teach both East and West Coast styles of swing, and had the whole class jumping and jiving to Buddy Holly, Bill Haley and Glenn Miller.
Schwimmer was an animated teacher, making sure that everyone was having fun.
“I used to freestyle dance all the time,” he said, “but with swing you dance with a partner and it’s much more fun to dance with someone else than by yourself. Especially with women.”
Student Angela Reed said she loved Schwimmer’s approach to teaching.
“Buddy is funny and different,” she said. “Normally we do dances like the waltz and the rumba and this is an interesting change of pace.”
“He motivates and challenges the class while keeping the tone light and humorous,” she said. “Dance can be very difficult to learn, but if you have a teacher that makes it enjoyable and not seem so difficult, then it makes you want to learn more!”