Swingin’ Good Time


Tatiana Gee

Saddleback hosted the “Big Band Swing Thing” on March 26th of this year. The event was to raise funds for student scholarships in the arts program. The event was a 1930’s theme, with inspiration drawn from the United Service Organization Canteen dances from back in the day. Many of the guests had actually lived through WWII, and fondly remember these kinds of dances.

“I was 16 during the second World War,” said June Peterson,83, “and I danced my head off!”

She remembered going to the canteen dances with all the men in uniform. Saddlebacks own band played the event. The band rehearsed jazz songs from the era, so that the people had a familiar sound and song to dance to.

There were a few dance and song performances as well. Dancers that study at saddleback, including Kristin Hopkin, 22, Dance and Carly Steele, 29, Psych/Dance. There were two different dance performances by the groups.

There werealso amazing song performances by Aderyon Gronss, 28, Business Administrative.

“There’s a very supportive community around the school,” said Gronss. “Without everyone who comes, we would not be ale to put on these events”.

The support for this particular event came from Ken Realista, 57, Angels Board Member, and his wife June. He admits that they didn’t actually have a target of how much money they wanted to raise, but the main idea was to add to the grants because any amount can help.

Money was raised by sales of snacks and drinks, along with old vintage photos, and raffle tickets. The raffle was small but worth it, seeing as they raffled off $500, Joey’s Auto Detailing, and Dinner/ Theatre Tickets for two.
The event was put on very smoothly and engaged the crowd with lots of energy, music, and performance. Ingrid Papich and Lois Strenkowski admitted to going dancing up to 6 times a week. Papich and Strenkowski agreed that the best part of the event was “the music and dance of course”.

This different style of event seemed to be very loved and enjoyed by the attendants, and many expressed that they would like to see more. Hopefully there are more swingin’ times ahead at Saddleback College.


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