Lindy Lions HellzaPoppin Hoopla weekend of dancing, competition, instruction

Feb. 16, 2015

DeKeveion Glaspie
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With dances ranging from the Lindy Hop to the Charleston and everything in between, students and residents of Colorado Springs were able to learn dance moves and share their own.

Over the weekend of Feb. 6, the Lindy Lions swing dancing club hosted their second annual HellzaPoppin Hoopla.

Lindy Lions’ student instructors Stephanie Guffey and Jon Savage taught beginners basic moves such as the East Coast, Blues and the Charleston. Although there was dancing and fun, Guffey wanted to make sure that history was also involved.

“We want to incorporate history with the dances and for people to know where they originated from. Jazz, for instance, was started in the 1920s by the African-American youth,” Guffey said.

“Although it died down it was revived in the ‘90s. Jazz is something that was made in America by Americans. It is this piece of our culture we should be proud of.”

HellzaPoppin Hoopla included the history of other dances with showings of short films and lectures.

The first night ended with a social dance that included line dances and a contest. Six contestants took the stage to show off their best moves.

Contestants included dances in their routine such as breakdancing and Jazz moves. Hannah Monroe, a resident of Colorado Springs, stood out among other dancers and took first place.

“It feels great to win … I knew some dances such as the ‘Tranky Doo’ and ‘Shim Sham’ and once you know those kinds of moves it is easier to incorporate in your routine,” she said.

The social dance, held every night of the three day Hoopla, was a great way for beginners to practice moves and advanced dancers to learn something new.

“I enjoyed that even though I have taken many swing dance lessons I was still able to learn new moves,” first-time attendee Russell Klimas said. “Even though you are at a high level you can always learn new things.”

Lindy Lions has been teaching people about dance since 2008, but the Hoopla is a unique opportunity, according to Guffey.

“We are able to bring in dancers from other cities. This is a great way to see new dances. It is also a fishbowl of history,” she said.

Guffey stressed that the club welcomes people from all areas.

“We are very open to many different backgrounds and do not judge anyone based on their preferences of any kind,” she said.

Those who are interested in swing dancing can join Lindy Lions every Monday night from 7 to 10 p.m. in Berger Hall. Dancers of all levels are welcome.