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University of Iowa News Release

 

Oct. 24, 2006

Costume Swing-Dance Party Open To Public Oct. 27

You can wear a Halloween costume, learn how to swing dance and possibly win a portable DVD player on Friday, Oct. 27, starting at 7:30 p.m. at Old Brick, 26 East Market St. in Iowa City.

Part of the "Life in Iowa" series, the Halloween dance is sponsored by the University of Iowa Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS), the UI Swing Club and the Organization for Active Support of International Students (OASIS). The event, with a live band and a Halloween costume contest, is free and open to the public.

The Iowa Swing Dance Club officers will offer free swing dancing lessons from 7:30 to 8 p.m. "The Tornadoes," a local band made up of UI faculty and staff, will play a mix of swing, jazz, blues, jump blues and rock 'n' roll from 8 to 11 p.m. A 7-inch portable DVD player will be given away to the dancer with the best costume.

"Life In Iowa" is a series of workshops and social events offered through OISS to help acclimate international students into Iowa culture.

"Through these social activities international students often make deeper and more personal relationships," said Michel Pontarelli, an OISS adviser who helped organize the dance. "Often these ties impact them much more than the rest of their experience."

Pontarelli encourages non-international students to attend the event as well. "These interactions are also important for the domestic students here at Iowa, because many of the Iowa students do not have the opportunity to travel overseas to experience different cultures," she said.

Formed in 1997, "The Tornadoes" have been performing at clubs in Iowa City, Cedar Rapids and Des Moines. Their repertoire includes classic electric blues, with songs by Muddy Waters, B.B. King and the Fabulous Thunderbirds, among others, as well as swing and rock. They have recorded one CD, "Blowin' Thru Town."

For more information on the Halloween dance, contact Michel Pontarelli at michel-pontarelli@uiowa.edu or 319-335-0335.

OISS is part of UI International Programs, which enables University of Iowa students, faculty, staff and the public to learn from and about the world. Its offices, degree programs and events provide life-changing opportunities on campus and abroad, heighten intellectual and cultural diversity, and give all University constituents access to vital international knowledge. For more information, visit http://intl-programs.uiowa.edu/ or call 319-353-2700. International Programs is part of the Office of the Provost.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Lois Gray, 319-335-2026, lois-gray@uiowa.edu; Program: Michel Pontarelli, 319-335-0335, michel-pontarelli@uiowa.edu; Writer: Aris Dravillas.