By Zeke Willcox
Laughter and jokes fill the air. The raucous is soon swallowed by another sound, Kenny Loggins’ 1992 hit “Footloose.” Immediately, several HCC student form in rows. As one, the dancers stepped to the right and began the dance.
For the first time ever, Hutchinson Community College has a social dance club on campus.
Josh Richards, president of the dance club, said he wanted to create the club to share his interest and passion for dancing, as well as to have a chance to make friends in a fun and relaxed environment.
“The social aspect is what I look forward to,” Richards said. “It was a stress reliever for me.”
Richards was overwhelmed with the success the club achieved, as well as with the consistent number of people attending.
“My goal for the first year of dance club was to create a growing club,” he said. “Also trying to establish a strong core group. I think we have been successful in that.”
Dance club member Katie Ellegood, Hutchinson, greatly enjoys the dance club for the social interactions.
“It is a time to relax and have fun with friends,” she said. “It’s a good place to meet new people and have a good time.”
Dance club offers a vast variety of dances including swing, line, waltz, polka, salsa and two-step.
“They all have very different aspects to them all,” Richards said. “Swing is loose and jazzy. The waltz is formal, slow and relaxing. Polka is fun and upbeat.”
Ashley Harrod, Howard, enjoys swing dancing’s old-fashioned, yet stylish flair.
“I like the older style of it all and the music,” she said.
Dance club is also creating a more motivational spirit and drive in its participants.
Aaron Richards, Inman, brother of Josh Richards, said dance club has helped shape a stronger work ethic in him and prepared him for any dancing event in the future.
“Dance has given me more motivation to work harder at being a better dancer,” he said.
“It has given me the ability to be able to dance in social settings.”
Richards has big plans for the future of the dance club, including more open and public opportunities, like dance days for the communities, flash mobs, and half-time show performances.
Dance club is every Wednesday in the Nunemaker Room in the Parker Student Union, from 4 to 5:30 p.m.