Dance will be a hop into history


Jamie Glenn

The Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center and the NMU Swinging Cats swing dance club are collaborating to host the “50s Sock Hop” dance from 7 to 10 p.m. on Saturday Nov. 4 in the Great Lakes Rooms of the University Center. Attendance is $5 for the general public and $1 for NMU students.

This dance is in correlation with the center’s “Cold War in the U.P.” The idea for the Sock Hop came about because it fits in culturally with the time period at the beginning of the Cold War years, and it’s reminiscent of youth dance parties of the time.

“We wanted to create a fun event that students and the public could get involved in,” explained Dan Truckey, director and curator of the Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center. “We’re just hoping that it’s a fun event for people to kind of relive the 1950s.”

The Cold War years of the 1950s were a tense but energetic time in America that brought about an expansion of youth culture and the invention of rock ’n’ roll, Truckey said.

“There was a lot of optimism and a great explosion of the youth culture, that rock and roll came out of. At the same time, [there] was a great fear and paranoia because of this potential nuclear conflict [with] the Soviet Union.”

There will be dance contests, as well as a ’50s-style restaurant stand with burgers and ice cream for sale. Meanwhile, Truckey and his band, Drew and the Geezers, will contribute live music to the event. The band has been practicing for two months to prepare.

“It’s been a lot of fun learning all these wonderful tunes from the ’50s. I want to see people there dancing and enjoying the music. I want to see people immersing themselves in the culture and hopefully wearing some period costumes. It’s kind of a time machine, if you will,” Truckey continued. “For people who weren’t born yet, it’s an opportunity to experience the culture of the time: the music, the dances. It’s a celebration of rock and roll and growing youth culture in the 1950s,” Truckey added.