Billy Brooke is an Engineering Major at Principia College from Idaho. His dance journey started only four years ago his freshman year but it has become a passion of his. I did a phone interview with Billy for him to share his reason why he chooses to dance and the answers are as follows:
How long have you been dancing?
"I began when I came to Prin my freshman year, so about seven and a half semesters now"
How did you get involved with dance?
"I'm not entirely sure, I've always had an interest in big bands during high school and I'd seen a little bit (swing) here and there. Then I came to Prin and found out they had a swing club and I sign up the first week and I've been dancing ever since.
What made you want to start dancing?
"I love big band music, old-time movies, and I grew up watching TV shows like "Lawrence Welk" and Fred Astaire movies and thought they were all amazing! I also listened to Glenn Miller so seeing those made me want to learn swing when I came to Prin."
Why do you choose to dance today?
"It's fun, I enjoy it, it's energetic and happy. Its also exercise I guess that's helpful. I also have a connection with the music that I just didn't have before and I really enjoy that. I enjoy being on tempo with the music.
Would you like to continue dancing after college?
I would love to be able to but it depends on where work takes me. I would be very sad if I couldn't continue dancing.
Do you prefer to be a dancer or a choreographer more?
I haven't really ever just been a choreographer. I really enjoy being a dancer because it requires a whole lot less work. I like choreographing because I get to choose the movement styles that I enjoy but I don't know if I would ever like making a piece and not being able to be in it.
"Generally I enjoy dancing the most when I have a really great partner and a really good song. I don't have that very often but when it does occur its so much fun!"
Do you consider yourself a dancer or just someone that dances?
"I would consider myself someone who dances, primary vocation is not dancing for me. Engineering is presently my vocation and what I'm in college for. I don't think I'm good enough to be paid professionally and people wouldn't pay me to dance."
How do you feel when you dance?
"Energetic, happy, enthusiastic, upbeat. Rhythm is something I really enjoy, regardless of the style. Sometimes I get a little tired when I'm dancing."
What is your favorite style of dance?
Swing is my favorite but I do enjoy a waltz. I like more uptempo swing like the Charleston, Lindy hop and more of a break-way style. I also enjoy Balboa which is another category under swing.
These photos were taken at Principia College in the McVay Center for the Performing Arts, Dance Studio in early March. This was the only session I did at night in the studio and used off-camera lighting.