The opportunity to attend one of Jay Gatsby’s legendary parties came to USF yesterday in the Marshall Student Center Ballroom as the Swinging Bulls hosted the Great Gatsby Swing Dance. Students were able to dance the dance of the roaring ’20s, when, in their opinion, dance was at its best.
“I thought it would be a good idea,” Jennifer Lai, who is in charge of recruitment and fundraising for the Swinging Bulls, said. “The Great Gatsby” was a landmark novel for society and it fits in perfectly with swing dancing.”
Lai said because of the historical nature of swing dancing, it wasn’t a far stretch to plan a fun 1920s event.
“A lot of the officers from the club are big book readers and big history people, so we’re trying really hard to make it as authentic as we can,” Jeila Alai, president of the Swinging Bulls, said.
With the highly anticipated movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio slated for release next month, “The Great Gatsby” is in the media spotlight once again, giving the club the perfect timing for the opportunity.
“We kind of thought because the movie is coming out it would be a good idea to do it now,” Lai said.
While it was not required, the club urged people to come to the dance dressed in their best 1920s attire.
Attendees were able to participate in a costume contest during the dance to win the “best 1920s outfit.”
Competitors were encouraged to get creative, but the winners would have to stick to time-period pieces.
“That would be sort of the ’20s flapper kind of look,” Alai said.
The club created an exciting and diverse soundtrack, ranging from ’30s jazz to Jay-Z, to fit the atmosphere of one of the greatest parties in the history of literature.
Fans of F. Scott Fitzgerald saw a few nods toward the book, including a “visit” from Gatsby himself, one of the club members dressed up.
“We (tried) to pull as much from the book as we can,” Alai said.
Alai said decorating was a challenge due to the Marshall Student Center’s decorating policies.
“We (tried) to figure out how to get as similar to one of Gatsby’s great parties as we could,” Alai said.