Rosemary Chesney, Campus Carrier arts and living editor

The new club National Dance Education Organization held their first ever solo event teaching Berry students how to dance in a
1950s Sock Hop line dancing style. The club partnered with local linedancing organization, The Dixie Stompers. Kristen Tucker | Campus Carrier

The new club National Dance Education Organization (NDEO) which started this semester held its first solo event last Friday. This kickoff event featured a local instructor teaching sock hop dancing, a style of line dancing from the 1950s, for students of all skills in dance to learn. 

The Sock Hop event took place in Krannert 324 from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., and about 35 students attended it. Students involved in NDEO decorated the room to resemble the 1950s with glass soda bottles, a photobooth, candies and chips. NDEO president, senior Carson Thatcher, said that they partnered with a local dance instructor Lois Roberts who leads a line dancing group called the Dixie Stompers in Rome.

“It was so fun to watch everyone fall in love with the dances,” Thatcher said. “Everyone seemed to have a really funtime, and I appreciated seeing the non-dancers stick with it and keep dancing. It was a very fun, group bonding type of event.”

The idea to start the NDEO club sprang up among students and faculty advisor Sara Pecina in the dance company last semester. The club now consists of Thatcher and nine other students, most of whom are a part of the dance company as well. Senior Sara Johnstone is the treasurer for NDEO.

“My interest in dance has been my whole life,” Johnstone said. “The point of NDEO is to share dance with everyone at a beginner level.”

NDEO partnered with Alpha Psi Omega (APO) at the beginning of the semester to hold the ice cream social and ho down events. Johnstone said that she connected with the Western Promenaders Square Dancing club in Rome to set up a square dancing event at Berry, but when it fell through they connected her with Roberts to run a Sock Hop event instead.

“One of my favorite parts was interacting with Lois Roberts,” Johnstone said. “She was such a sweet little lady, and she brought a few people from her club to join us, which was really fun.”

Kristen Tucker | Campus Carrier

One of the challenges with running the Sock Hope event was finding 1950s decorations. Thatcher said they had to make their own decorations for the photobooth. Being their first solo event, it was also difficult to manage scheduling and booking the room in Krannert.

“I’m really proud with how the whole event turned out,” Johnstone said. “It was pretty much exactly what I was picturing for the Sock Hop dance.”

Another challenge with the event was that Thatcher was worried people would have a hard time finding the room since it was so far upstairs in Krannert. This did not seem to be an issue, however, as students filtered in and out of the dance the whole night. Johnstone said that the atmosphere throughout the event was very sweet and friendly. Sophomore Madeline Thompson also attended the dance as a beginner dancer and said she found the event to be very welcoming. 

“As someone with little dance experience,” Thompson said, “I was a little bit nervous going to the event. Everyone ended up being super friendly and I had a great time.”

According to Thatcher, NDEO is currently planning a movie night featuring “White Christmas” and a square-dancing event. Thatcher said that she hopes to include the Spires or other outside Berry communities in future events. 

Posted by Campus Carrier

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