On May 3rd, the EAC western dance class hosted a dance at Discovery Park as their final. Free to the public, the dance was energetic and fun for all. Behind the hill and in the large ranch house, the dance was already in full swing by seven fifteen. Great country grooves were provided by the local DJ Ryno, and pizza and sodas were served. However, the snacks were ignored for the most part because people were too busy dancing. These college students danced every single dance, and it wasn’t just the timid side sway that so many girls dreaded from high school. People did high flying flings and lifts to the music, while others did dips and impressive swirls.
The floor was filled with dancers, and most of them were doing some remarkable dancing. Women were being swung up into the air and then spun, while the men guided their partners around the room with ease and confidence. The dance was free to the public, and a few couples showed up out of curiosity. However, all were impressed by the energy and talent of the EAC western swing instructors, Adam Rossow and Britney Moffitt. Adam led every dance with confidence, vigor, and the sheer euphoria of the music. Britney flew on the tips of her cowboy boots with an extreme grace that suggested that she was no longer human but somehow a specter of what every girl wished they could be on the dance floor.
Rossow, originally from Alaska, is now a photographer and EAC student. He teaches the class, and encourages anyone who wants to dance to attend. “The type of swing we teach is a very loose swing. We don’t teach very strict classical swing, which I think is more fun,” Rossow stated, “And students nowadays find it easier to learn it, and it’s a little bit more improve. I didn’t have a lot of time to advertise the class, but the class filled up.”
For many in the Gila Valley, the biggest void that needs to be filled is the fact that it’s hard to find a place to dance. Of course there are local bars, but they are not truly set up for dancing. Many residents of the Gila Valley have to go to larger cities such as Tucson or Phoenix to find a place to dance. It was highly appealing to many that the college to provide a western swing dance class. Even though the class wasn’t very well advertised in the community, it was filled. “I just think that it’s very beneficial to have something like this in this town,” Moffit stated, “There’s not a lot of things for kids our age to do. There’s the institute at the college, and the college has dances maybe once a year. And other than that, there’s nothing. There’s not a whole lot that we have in this town.” By teaching so many enthusiastic dancers, Rossow aspires to help make a change in the community. “My hope when I was starting the class, was to fill the community with people who do know how to dance and who could force someone to open a venue to fill that void.” The people Gila Valley has spoken, and the call is quite clear: They want to dance.
Until the void has been filled, however, we still have western swing class at EAC. Individuals over fifty-five can enroll in the class for free, and it is only a single credit class. For more information, call the Eastern Arizona College Registration Office at: (928) 428-8270, or Adam Rorossow: 928-965-9957