The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News

The student news site of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.

The Daily Eastern News


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Students line dance at the hoedown

Ashanti Thomas
Gabriel McElroy swing dances with Kayla Tomaszkiewicz, the president of the Underground Line Dancing club at their Panther Hoedown event on Saturday evening.

After one year of line dancing with the underground line dancing club at Eastern, the club marked the accomplishment with a hoedown in the Martin Luther King Jr. University Ballroom on Friday. 

The club has grown and several people had the chance to learn about line dancing for the first time.

Panther Hoedown, students learning how to line dance in the University Ballroom. (Ashanti Thomas)

“I am just now part of it,” said Paola Cuatepitzi-Rojas, a senior early childhood education major. “I came because I wanted to learn more  dances from different cultures and stuff. So, I am out here supporting.”

The club’s biggest achievement has been the hoedown, which was coordinated with the university board.  

“It was a small idea, and then it turned out to be something huge,” co-founder of the club Kayla Tomaszkiewicz said. “This is the biggest event that we’ve ever had, especially with the help of the university board.”

Cuatepitzi-Rojas said that her favorite song to dance to was “Shake It for Me” by Luke Bryan. 

“I’m sweating and I did not think I was going to sweat, so that’s how fun it is. It is hard to do as well,” Cuatepitzi-Rojas said.

The club also danced to songs outside of the country genre, including Boyz II Men.

“We also have ‘Cupid Shuffle;’ we do ‘Church Clap.’ We have another one coming up, it’s called the ‘Biker Shuffle.’ That is also fun, and it has some rap in there,” said Tomaszkiewicz. “It has nothing to do with country music, but it is still fun.”

The club has also influenced many dancers in the community when it comes to teaching line dancing.  

“I started attending the underground a year ago and started to check it out because I had heard about it in town, and they had a good setup. They had good teachers and good line dances,” Boot Scootin’ Barn dance instructor Sam Stowell said. “It influenced me because I have used a couple of their line dances for my own teaching stuff, and I really liked the simplicity of the dances they teach.”

The group of dancers view each other like a family.  

“We just have a good group,” Tomaszkiewicz said. “We have a good family, like as you see it keeps growing and people will keep coming back and we just love that.” 


Chandler Smith can be reached at 581-2812 or at cbsmith5@eiu.

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About the Contributors
Chandler Smith, Reporter
Chandler Smith is a senior broadcast journalism major. He previously served as a reporter at The News.
Ashanti Thomas, Photographer
Ashanti Thomas is a senior digital media major. She previously served as photo editor and assistant photo editor at The News.

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