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Swing dancing at schoolSubmitted: 02/07/2014
Story By Karolina Buczek

Swing dancing at school
EAGLE RIVER - Middle school dances can be an uncomfortable part of growing up.

But a little bit of dance practice is just what some Northland Pines Middle
School students needed to break out of their shell.

Eighth graders at Northland Pines Middle School can show off some new moves at
the next school dance.

Students spent the past two weeks in gym class learning to dance with different
partners.

"They end up having a better time than they think they're going to have in
dance. We all remember dance in middle school. It's kind of torturous to dance
with other people but they do a great job," said Brad Dodge, a physical
education teacher at Northland Pines Middle School.

The high school jazz band played live music.

Some students even dressed up for the occasion in 1930s attire.

But the students were most excited about getting to spin their classmates
around.

"The guys have to go out and ask a girl if they want to dance and we learned
all of this a week before. And we learned how to "an around the world" and
spin the girl," said Bobby Schilling, an 8th grade student.

"Usually they spin you and you're facing a different direction so you get to
see different places each time," said Carsen Hickson, an 8th grade student.

Getting all the students to dance wasn't easy.

There are more boys than girls in eighth grade this year.

So students had to dance with many different partners.

But teachers believe this helped them become more comfortable with classmates
of the opposite gender.

"Seeing some of the kids that are very shy come out of their shell and just
seeing some great blooming from these middle schoolers. You don't normally see
this side of them and all of a sudden they show you some really, really neat
things," said Dodge.

The students learned to slow dance, do the Texas two-step, and swing dance.

And they are excited to put their new dance moves to use.

"This can help at weddings and if you go to Texas or somewhere then you'll know
how to do it," said Hickson.

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