It is a warm night night at State College, Pennsylvania. I’m enjoying a cool drink after a long day, watching people dance in in a backroom at a dimly lit underground bar. In front of me are a myriad of styles; one couple doing ochos in Argentine Tango, another couples’ hips snapping at the air with fishtails from Blues dancing, and yet another couple gliding along the floor in what appears to be West Coast Swing.
This is the unofficial Wednesday night venue in State College known as The Rathskeller. Usually DJ’ed by a man known as Rob Jones, it is an fun affair. Often due to my busy schedule I don’t get to show up until midnight, where it gets interesting. Before midnight its usually people only from the Swing Dance club are in attendance and music is catered to that crowd. After midnight though, the salsa club’s weekly venue closes and people from the Penn State Swing Dance Club, Ballroom Dance Club, Argentine Tango Club and Salsa Club all show up to drink, enjoy each others company and dance.
What is amazing though is dancers who you would normally never see in a the same venue, dancing with each other and having a good time. What I love about the place is its not about “who’s style is better” but about working together to make something as a whole. Even just sitting back and watching the couples dance is a joy, during some songs you can see four different types of dance each creating their own work of art with the music as their muse.
It is nice being at an event that unities the local dance community as a whole. I really hope to see this trend continue.