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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Midterm break, art seekers flee campus

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Five weeks in the city of Northfield, often barely leaving the main campus, can be overwhelming for some students. Luckily, midterm break offers the perfect opportunity to escape to the Twin Cities. This year, some students saw musical theatre productions or ventured to the Twins game, but one of the most popular events for students was the Midwest Lindy Fest. Spanning from Friday night to Monday morning, over thirty Carleton students swing danced each day for anywhere from 4 to 8 hours.

The group loaded into vans after classes ended on Friday to drive towards the Cities. During the two days of the festival, participants were broken into classes depending on individual level and experience with Lindy Hop. Most of the Carleton group danced in the beginner course but two students auditioned and danced with the higher-level groups.

At night, open dances were hosted in a large dance studio, complete with mood lighting and a live band. Sometimes there were even competitions for higher-level dancers and many of the participants, such as student Annmarie Delfino ’18, loved watching these professionals.

“You got to watch them dance right in front of you which was really cool because they were really good,” she commented.

Surrounded by these professional dancers, local community members, and other college students, Midwest Lindy Fest provided a stark contrast from the dance community at Carleton. Leaving the aptly named “Carleton bubble” gave students the chance to meet peers from schools such as the University of Minnesota Twin Cities and the chance to meet alum. One alumnus, Kendra Strode ’10, even helped run the entire event while other alum welcomed students into their houses for the weekend.

Staying with both parents of group members and these Carleton alums, offered change in scenery from the constant hustle and bustle of Carleton dorm life. Rachel Moore ’18 remembers her hosts, parents of a fellow Carleton swing dancer, giving the 18 of them living in the house a freshly made breakfast one morning. “It’s nice to be in a house. You have a little more space. It feels like you’re at home kind of when you are in a house.”

Undoubtedly bringing back new knowledge to the Carleton community, each class advanced over the weekend. “I decided to go to Lindy fest to get better at lindy hop. I had taken the intro class and I was going to some of the meetings for Monday night swing but did not feel like I was getting a whole lot better and I thought this would be a good opportunity to do that,” Moore said.

Fellow freshmen Delfino agreed with Moore. With a background in west coast swing dance, she was excited to learn more about lindy hop. Previously under the impression that lindy lacked a diversity of movements, Delfino’s favorite part of the festival was learning the assortment of steps lindy offered. “I think my favorite part, personally, was that it expanded by understanding of what lindy was because before I didn’t know how many moves existed, that you could play with the dance.”

This new knowledge made all the difficulties of organizing this group of students made the group’s co-organizer, Isaac Garfinkle ’17, really excited. “The best part for me was hearing everybody talking about all the cool things they learned in class and all the fun they had at the evening dances. People had a lot of fun and they all got really inspired.”

While everyone interviewed acknowledged problems with the event such as Delfino’s uncomfortable dance with a sweaty stranger, “this one guy who I danced with who was literally a wall of sweat. My entire arm was drenched,” each decidedly agreed they would attend the event again.

A nice break from campus life, the weekend in the Cities allowed these students to eat at a diverse spread of restaurants, see new, urban sights on walks, explore the Macalaster campus, get a home cooked meal or even meet a cute twenty year old, not living two dorms down.


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