Men and women dressed in cowboy boots and hats for Weber State University’s hoedown on Wednesday night. The event started at
8:30 p.m. and opened with a line dance, followed by a 30-minute lesson. Men scrambled to find partners while some women danced with their friends during the shindig.
Madison Stratton, the president of the WSU Ballroom Dance Club, organized the event.
“They (the Union Station) always have country dancing every Wednesday night, so we joined with them to have an end-of-the-year event for our ballroom team,” Stratton said. “We just hoped everyone can come and learn to dance, and maybe we’ll get some more members as well.”
Stratton said she wanted to start the Ballroom Dance Club because she took ballroom dancing in high school and fell in love with it. When she found out there wasn’t a club at WSU, she started one herself.
“Ballroom is pretty diverse,” Stratton said. “The country dancing is also pretty random. There will be really old people sometimes, coming with their wives, and young college students, bikers — everyone’s here. It’s just a good, fun atmosphere.”
This year, the Ballroom Dance Club taught samba, salsa, the waltz, West Coast swing and a little bit of country dancing. Everyone is welcome to attend the lessons, but there is a $10 fee for official membership.
“We let people come whenever they want and just show up,” Stratton said. “You don’t need to know how to dance when you come. We just want them to love dance like we do and get involved in campus.”
The Cowboy is a country swing club at the Union Station that features country dancing every Wednesday from 8:30-11:30 p.m.
“The hoedown is an event we came up with to help raise money and bring awareness to the Cowboy itself,” said Maarissa Mason, a nursing sophomore at WSU and the marketing director of the WSU Ballroom Dance Club. “We thought this would be a good place to have an event and that it would a lot of fun. . . . You will see a lot of different people here. You won’t just see people that like the country/Western, because they do play a variety of music. Anyone that is looking to have a good time and looking to learn how to dance is welcome to come. You don’t need a partner. A lot of times people come here single and then they just meet each other and it goes from there.”
Jaycie Broth attended the hoedown and said that, though her friends wouldn’t come, she still wanted to join in. Broth is still a senior in high school, but plans to apply to WSU’s nursing program in the fall.
“The lesson helps, especially for those who don’t know how to dance,” Broth said.
Rex Shoell taught the country dance at the event. He said he just started teaching last week. Shoell first attended the lessons on Wednesdays and eventually became one of the teachers.
“The main thing is everyone looks like an idiot, so don’t worry about it,” Shoell said. “Just have fun. Get out and do something. It’s pretty scary to sit on the sides, so just get out and do it.”
Raffling took place at the end of the night, with shirts and gift cards as the prizes.