Grand Rapids Original Swing Society comes to Calvin

Photo courtesy Grand Rapids Original Swing Society
Photo courtesy Grand Rapids Original Swing Society

Every Wednesday night, Calvin College hosts Grand Rapids Original Swing Society (G.R.O.S.S.) for a fun-filled night of swing dancing with fellow Calvin students. The cost is $5 for each attendance. The location changes week by week but you can find the location details in the student news. Over the next four weeks, the event will be held in the Covenant Fine Arts Center, room 135.

“We’ve never had a gateway back to Calvin because the Zaagman family, who all graduated from Calvin, didn’t really have a connection to bring it back,” said Kayla VandenBosch, an assistant instructor for G.R.O.S.S.

 VandenBosch, a freshman this year at Calvin, has been swing dancing with G.R.O.S.S since she was in the seventh grade and has helped bring the swing dancing society back to Calvin.

“I’m also on the marketing committee for G.R.O.S.S. I love talking to people and getting people involved because it’s a great way for Calvin to reach out into the community,” said VandenBosch.

The event is also a great outreach to the community as half of the members are not Calvin students.

“It’s a great date night, it’s a great friend night and it’s also a great way to make friends, either from Calvin or from the community,” said VandenBosch. “It has gotten me to meet so many great people and now it’s like a second family to me. I just really love it and have never really considered myself a dancer.”

“Swing dance has really gotten me out of a bubble and it has taught me skills that have transferred over to other aspects of my life,” she added.

According to VandenBosch, the weekly event partners with the Ballroom and Social Dance Club (BASDC) student organization.

“They do have a night where they do swing but we are focused mainly on East Coast swing, which is a very easy step that anyone can learn,” said VandenBosch.

Students with little or no dance background are welcomed to attend on Wednesday nights as the focus will be on teaching; over six instructors will be present and willing to work with newcomers.

“We do a lot of floor work if you don’t want to do aerials, where your feet don’t leave the ground,” said VandenBosch regarding the type of swing dancing they focus on.

The number of people that come every week varies and people can come whenever they would like. For more information, contact VandenBosch via email at or the Grand Rapids Original Swing Society Facebook page.

About the Author

Kellee Dragt

Kellee Dragt is a Chimes staff writer for the 2013-14 school year.

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