Swing, swing

Story by Bridget Cooke, Staff Writer

With a live band to provide the music, Higherground offers swing dancing once every month on either a Friday or Saturday to any students who want to join in, no admission required.
General Manager of Higherground Hannah Lesko said that they wanted to change the everyday of a nightclub setting and bring in something a little different.
“Higherground, as you probably know, is most known for our clubs and those are always successful and people always like them,” she said. “But we were like ‘well, we’re not just a student club, we’re a student facility that offers different late night activities.’ So we wanted to switch things up and start something new.”
Lesko added that there is no admission and that she and the other people who attend seem to enjoy themselves. The band begins playing at 9 p.m. and generally goes to 1 a.m.
Sometimes the band plays later going until 2 a.m., providing live music to anyone who’ll dance, and will even join in with the dancers accordingly to senior Mike Malone. Though Malone said that he prefers to play for the audience rather than partake in the dancing.
Malone, who offered to play with his band a few years ago when swing was starting at Higherground, is the one who ensured that swing dance would take place at the student hangout.
When one of the big bands from UW-Eau Claire had to cancel at the last minute, he offered to step in with his own band and has not regretted it.
“It’s rewarding to be able to go out and play for our peers and have them enjoy it,” Malone said. “It’s a very fun night filled with live music and it’s a good way to meet new people.”
Sometimes playing to a dancing crowd of 150, Malone said that he enjoys it because they are an energetic and fun audience.
In a lounge that serves food and beverage to the occasional pool players during the daytime, Higherground changes at night, offering music or live entertainment much like Malone’s swing band does monthly.
According to Lesko, a few band members even offered to play with their funk band, performing to students who were having fun with the change of pace.
Lesko and Malone both voiced their opinion about the friendly atmosphere and how enjoyable swing dancing is for all of those that attend.
“Everyone is really welcoming and you don’t need to know how to swing dance,” Lesko said. “There’s people there that will just grab you and dance with you or you can just watch. People are dancing and talking and it’s very just open, and