Eight Waynesburg University students accompanied Faith Musko, instructor of forensic science and adviser to the West Coast Swing (WCS) Club on campus known as “Sting Swing,” to Dearborn, Mich., in June for the annual Michigan Classic West Coast Swing Dance Competition.
Three passes ($300 value) to the Michigan Classic were donated to Sting Swing from a WCS dancer in Pittsburgh (Dr. Randolph Peters) and were raffled off to Sting Swing members. Brandi Kukler, Jake Restanio and Samantha Bardy were the lucky winners of these passes.
Students competed in the Jack n’ Jill in either the Newcomer or Novice Divisions. A Jack n’ Jill consists of dancing to randomly pre-selected music with a randomly drawn partner. Competitors advance in these divisions by making finals and placing in the top five for that division. Each placement is a designated point amount and when a competitor reaches a specified point value they advance to the next division. The Newcomer division is for those individuals that are beginners or new competitors and/or have earned no points in a WCS competition. Angel Berkey, Jake Restanio, Brandi Kukler, Lexi Boudreau, Samantha Barky, Josh Garrison and Kristen Stone all competed in this division. Kristen Stone, a senior forensic ecience major, advanced to finals in this division and took sixth place.
Robert Cronkhite, a junior exercise science major and president of Sting Swing, competed in the Novice Division, which is the biggest division in the WCS circuit consisting of more than 50 leaders, and took first place with his partner. The Michigan Classic also has the coveted “Top Gun” competition. The Top Gun takes the top four placements from each division (Novice, Intermediate, Advanced and All-Star) and pairs them, high-low. Robert was paired with the lowest seeded All-Star follow from Clearwater, Fla., (Agnieszka Maslanka) and went head-to-head with 15 other couples, and won! He and his partner won a $500 cash prize, free passes to Michigan Classic 2015, a “Top Gun” jacket, names on the traveling trophy and an opportunity to teach a WCS workshop at next year’s Michigan Classic.
In August, sophomore Cortnie Devore competed at her first WCS competition (Swing Fling) in Leesburg, Va. Like her peers, she competed in the Newcomer division and made finals.
Besides competitions, students had the opportunity to take workshops and private lessons with top professionals, as well as social dance with dancers of all levels, educations, occupations and nationalities. Dancers were present from France, Spain, Argentina, Sweden, Canada, Japan, Russia and many others.
Sting Swing meets at 8:30 p.m., in the Old Gym on Wednesday evenings. Students, Faculty and Staff are welcome to attend.
The Michigan Classic is sanctioned by the World Swing Dance Council, which was organized in 1993, and is the key service organization designed to further communication and to provide informational services and record keeping for those in the Swing Dance Community.