“Songs for Swingin Lovers” comes to life at Swing Night


The South dancers tear up the floor at Swing Night.

Two years ago, South’s pop singers and jazz bands would perform at the Singer’s Showcase. It was a chance for friends and family to come watch some of South’s talented performers. Last year, the Singer’s Showcase was revamped and became Swing Night.

Swing Night is not only more fun for it’s audience (because we get to swing!), it’s more fun for the performers. “We feed of of people having fun,” said Eric Sayre, South’s band director. And fun was had. The night began with a 30 minute East Coast Swing lesson for everyone and continued with performances from select members of Pop Singers and dances from the dance department.

Mari Daniels Myers, a freshman in the dance program, said: “I prepared mentally by telling myself everything was going to go well and that everything was going to be fun!” The dancers showed us some classical jazz, some swing, and some salsa. A great blend.

Performing from the band program is Jazz 1 and 2. Sayre explained that at Singer’s Showcase the bands perform “four or five tunes,” so preparing 21 songs for swing night is no walk in the park. Sayre said that Swing Night is like a “real gig” for these students.

And singing their way through classic mid century tunes, were the Pop singers. Senior Marie Berlovitz and Pop singers member sang “Why Don’t You Do Right?” by Peggy Lee and said after, “I had so much fun. I love my pop singers!” Her favorite moment? Learning to swing dance!

Working with all the performers and performing himself was JD Steele, a local singer and producer. Steele got the musicians to “Get their heads out of the books and experience it [the music] more,” as explained Sayre. When Steele sang his two songs, all the singers were awed, wishing they could be as smooth as he was.

The reason Swing Night is happening? Sayre explained that it is a more “authentic way of doing this music.” Jazz from the 30s, 40s, and 50s was meant to be danced to.

So yes, other South dances are fun and new music is fun to jump up and down to, but there’s something irreplaceable about a true swing dance. I, for one, am so happy the band, dance, and choir departments have introduced this timeless night.