On Thursdays from 9-11 p.m. people from around Laramie come together
to dance at the University of Wyoming, the largest club on the UW campus.

The club is known as the Cowboy Country Swing Club and it was founded in
2011.

It began as a club to pull students away from the party scene but quickly
grew to the largest club on campus, having more members than any other
group.

Founder of the club, Hunter Christensen, started the club due to him not
feeling comfortable dancing in bars around town. When the club was first
organized, all of the venues were booked on campus but with the help of the
Latter Day Saint Student Association they were able to meet at the
institution.

“It started much more as a Mormon bend, which is why we don’t allow any
alcohol. We also don’t affiliate with any bars, because of that leaning. But
now it has changed into a Laramie phenomenon,” longtime attendee, Caleb
McCarragher, said.

In the fall of 2012 the club was granted multiple opportunities to dance at
the Union Ballroom.

The club was slowly able to have more gatherings on campus, with the
second year having about 50 percent and the third year having the majority
of the dances on campus.

The club held their first meeting with a total of 15 attendees, and quickly
grew to 72 attendees by the end of the year party. The second year averaged
70 dancers, the third 150 and the fourth between 250-300 coming in
throughout the night.

The Cowboy Country club encourages its members to bring friends, which
has led to the explosive growth of members.

UW students are not the only people in town who participate. A variety of
adults in town and students from Laramie High School attend the
gatherings every week.

“I’ve been coming to swing dancing since my freshman year and it is a lot of fun, I’d rather be here than doing homework,” LHS student, Max DeYoung, said. “The moves are really fun and it’s also really fun dancing with people. I’ve met a lot of new people.”

The club is a place many people dance for the first time, which results to an
increase of members. Instructors are there to help in teaching the basics
and even the advanced lifts for people looking for a challenge.

When people learn advanced lifts for the first time, accidents can happen
that can lead to injury. Therefore visitors must sign a waver and people are
around the dancers to spot, making sure nobody is hurt. Even with
measures taken to prevent injury, falls still do happen.

The club also held the world record for the largest swing dance, established in April of 2015 and breaking the previous record of 756 dancers. More than 1,300 dancers attended, ranging from ages 8-84.