Every Monday and Thursday evening from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., the Student Center’s dance rooms welcome all students who are ready to jump, jive and spring into the air.
The Swing Club was introduced by junior behavioral and cognitive neuroscience major Bilal Hammoud.
Hammoud said he learned how to swing dance his junior year in high school, and from the moment he learned, he loved it and began to teach his friends, family and even strangers.
“By my freshman year of college, I believe I had taught over 100 people, and that’s when I realized, why not make this something everyone can do?” he said.
Hammoud said he began the club with two goals in mind.
“To give the students at Wayne State University an open, fun and relaxing environment to relieve stress after a long day of classes,” he said. “And to spread this amazing style of dancing known as modern swing, because I truly believe anyone can learn how to swing dance.”
However, when Hammoud founded the Swing Club two years ago, he said it was a rocky start.
“It was difficult at first to get the club off the ground on my own,” he said. “But I quickly found that there were plenty of people who loved it and were looking forward to having something like this on campus.”
From there, Hammoud would begin spreading the word of his newly pronounced club.
“I successfully started the organization,” he said. “By the beginning of this semester, we had a fully functioning executive board such as Conor Daly-Seiler, our vice president, Bilal Dabbousi, our event coordinator, and Alyssa Washeleski, our media coordinator, with a solid 30-member base of people who come every week.”
Senior mechanical and biomedical engineering dual major and the Swing Club’s Event Coordinator, Dabboussi, said swing dance is a chance to explore a different side of yourself and to escape from stress.
“Swing dancing is a very fun and energetic form of dance and allows the dancers to let loose and have fun,” Dabboussi said. “As college students we spend our days filled with classes and stressed out about exams, but coming to swing allows for us to leave the classes and exams behind and simply have fun and dance.”
Dabboussi also said while the Swing Club provides as an outlet for stress, it has grown to be much more than that.
“Swing dance has become one of my regular stress outlets to go and dance and meet new people,” he said. “I have met many new people that have become my good friends. We are like a family. We grow close always accepting new people into our family.”
Former member and WSU alumnus Hamza Ahmed agrees the Swing Club is a great way to meet new people, because that happens to be one of the reasons why he joined in the first place.
“The reason I joined the club is because I wanted to expand the set of skills I possessed on a personal level and to meet new people,” Ahmed said. “I knew how to perform other types of dancing such as foxtrot or the waltz, but swing provided me an opportunity to do something quirky and fun with ballroom dancing.”
He encourages others to join and share fun experiences.
“I think it is really good for students to join the club as it not only provides an opportunity to enhance one’s skillset,” Ahmed said. “But also allows them to meet new people and share fun experiences with in their free time.”
Overall, Hammoud is happy with the outcome of his club.
“This club means the world to me,” Hammoud said. “To see how it has blossomed into the enormous gathering of people that it has is one of the greatest feelings in the world. So many friendships have come about and people who thought that they didn’t have a rhythmic bone in their body are tearing up the dance floor and blowing everyone’s mind. It’s my passion and I couldn’t be happier that Wayne state has taken this organization so well.”
Hammoud said the Swing Club encourages students to join even if they have no experience.
“It doesn’t matter if you have two left feet, one left foot, or no feet,” he said. “We can teach you how to dance and you’ll have a good time.”