Participants dance night away at Star City Swing Out

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Photos by Shawn Nowlin

Partipants of the first-ever Star City Swing Out
Attendees dancing in separate pairs to swing rhythms.
Paul Carrier, left, energetically instructs participants during a practice session.

Over the years, Miss Mona’s School of Dance and Performing Arts has hosted numerous events such as holiday recitals, drama camps and theatrical productions. Founded by the late Miss Mona Gevrekian, the family-owned studio has served Salem and its surrounding communities for six decades.

Last Saturday, March 25, adults of all ages participated in the 2017 Star City Swing Out. The purpose of the event was to educate people about dancing.  “We had a very diverse showing,” Alice Inouye, one of the instructors, said. “There were some attendees who come to our regular classes but we also had some first-timers as well.”

Paul Carryer served as guest instructor. With his vibrant personality and attention to detail, his words resonated with participants during the practice sessions. “If you look down at your feet, you will notice that you are sort of creating a line,” said the Michigan native as he gave out instructions. “That is the direction your feet should go.” Participants also learned how to apply swing aesthetics and find their voice on the dance floor during the practice sessions. No matter how many questions he was asked by the participants, Paul had an answer.

A multitude of things took place leading up to the evening dance: registration, a lunch break, participants learning how to use space with their partner and fitting new moves into different personalities. When asked what was his favorite part of the event Paul said, “I enjoyed every single part because there was so much smiling and laughing. It was great to see people having such a good time.”

Alice says it was a team effort that made the Star City Swing Out 2017 a success. “For this being our first time, I think everyone involved did a great job,” she said.

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