Kinsey has loved swing music for the longest time, but she finally got to start learning how to swing dance last summer with the Lindy and Blues Organization in Philly. She went to as many events as she could in order to pick up the skill she’s desired to learn since the age of thirteen. Learning any skill presents challenges, and when she started, Kinsey felt really bad about asking people to dance with her because she was not very good, and did not want to ruin their good time. With the desire to achieve her dream in mind, Kinsey pushed past all the missteps and the frustrated partners and kept practicing. At summer’s end, Kinsey really started to develop a sense for swing dance.
By the time the school year rolled around, Kinsey decided to try out for UPenn’s West Philly Swingers. After an intense tryout process, the West Philly Swingers welcomed Kinsey as one of their newbies. With the Swingers, Kinsey found a close group of supportive people who share her love for swing dance.
Kinsey considers swing dancing to be her happy place. She will have the privilege of choreographing a piece for the West Philly Swingers’ next show, showing how far she has come on her swing dancing journey. She promises to always stay true to the love of swing dance. According to her, nothing compares to the “feeling of dancing with a fantastic lead.” Swing dance has become and invaluable part of her life, and any time she is having a bad day she can turn to swing dance to cheer her up.
Photography and Text by Adrian White, Copyright 2015
About the Author: Adrian White is a senior Psychology major at the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2015.
For me, eroticism tickles the uncomfortable; it’s the delicate play of contrasting feelings of ease and unease. It’s the product of a dichotomy between overt sexuality and something that both pushes you back and draws you in. What defines erotic as erotic is precisely this interaction. The concept of seeing only enough to force you to fill in the rest plays strongly with my views of eroticism, allowing a not-fully nude image to sometimes be more sexually driven than one where everything is purely raw.
As a deeper conversation with the viewer occurs, the creation of a scene which beckons for an accompanying narrative causes the interaction to deepen. In the end, it doesn’t matter if the story is the same as the stories imagined by all the others, nor the story imagined by the subject at the time of creation, as long as it is one that spawns a desire to know the character and know how the depicted situation managed to occur. In order to embody these themes and appropriately have them relate to the ‘philo’ environment, I imagined one half of the dynamic play to involve the concept of purity and intellectual soundness. The Philomathean Halls, of the University of Pennsylvania are gilded with knowledge, so a fair counter would be that’s slightly disturbing and somewhat scandalous, which would eject itself from the ‘ivy-bubble’ as much as possible.
To show eroticism, I plan to pose myself in an uncomfortable, tied up fashion, as if just left in this building, for non-specific torture to ensue. Such would invoke much internal conversation, a discomfort with the image, and a great contrast with the neat, orderly, olden feel of a library.
Portraits of Jennie Shapira by Tony Ward, Copyright 2015
Editor’s Note: The Philo Project|Interpretations of Erotica consists of a series of images and essays of and by members of the University of Pennsylvania’s Philomathean Society.