Dance Floor Theory Workshop

Future leaders learn to work together for change

Students and staff participated in the Dance Floor Theory Leadership Workshop on Feb. 7.

Photo provided to The Clarion

Students and staff participated in the Dance Floor Theory Leadership Workshop on Feb. 7.

Pat Kempfer, Copy Editor

When the words Dance Floor Theory are said, what comes to mind? You might think that about the physical properties of a dance floor. Or you might think about the amount of energy that accumulates when groups of people come together and dance. If you thought it was the latter, then you’d be almost right.

On a chilly February afternoon, a Saturday when college students are usually sleeping or busy studying for that next exam, 50 or more potential Madison College leaders came together to learn what it means to become a part of a positive movement, that all started with a singular idea of bringing people together.

When one person dances all by him or herself, they are often viewed as being wild, crazy or maybe just a little nutty. But what if someone were to join in? Even if they were to mock them, that might give someone else the idea to join in as well. In turn, that third person may invite more of their friends to join in, and thus creating a dance party.

Now these are just some examples of what transpired on Saturday, Feb. 7, at Madison College at the Dance Floor Theory presentation hosted by Tom Krieglstein. This event was planned and sponsored by Madison College’s Executive Leadership Team and supported by the Student Life Office.

Tom Krieglstein is a rambunctious young man you would be surprised to hear is anywhere near 30 years old, and what he does will amaze you. Tom has spent the last few years traveling the country going from city to city to teach young people about Dance Floor Theory and its parent program Swift Kick. Tom is now something of an entrepreneur, but once upon a time he was a regular guy trying to start his own student leadership company.

Having just graduated from college, and having little more than the passion and drive to do something great, Tom knew that he needed help in learning how to become a better facilitator and speaker. It was that drive that guided him in meeting Kevin Prentiss. Tom and Kevin met at SuperCamp and it was there that they discovered their combined abilities to co-found one of the most innovative and groundbreaking companies of its kind. Swift kick’s Dance Floor Theory student leadership training has been taught all over the country in over 450 schools.

Some of the highlights in Saturday’s event can be described as fun, exciting, goofy, daring, hilarious and inspiring, and here are what some of the attendees had to say.

Seely Bomberg, Fellowship Officer with Phi Theta Kappa, said she discovered her leadership style while attending Saturday’s event.

“Introducing people that have things in common, but not having to invent them myself will be something I will use in the future when leading groups,” said Bomberg.

Some of the attendees had something up their sleeves when entering the room.  Marketing program student and Phi Theta Kappa honoree, Harold Dettinger, shared his thoughts.

“What I found most valuable about Tom’s presentation was how to become a ‘spatula’ and improve peoples engagement,” said Dettinger.

Bianca Bono, UW-Transfer student and Student Life participant, said she found value in how “connecting two people” and “stepping out of the way” can help build a better business. She also said she plans to use the “blender event” idea by introducing activities and promoting her company, “Balloontoon.”

Rachel Virnig, photography student and another Student Life participant, commented on the speaker.

“He was very interactive and spoke about topics that were easy to relate to. He broke down the structure of how campuses integrate… He made me feel important and made me feel that I could be a part of something,” said Virnig.  “We, as student leaders, have a lot of power here [at Madison College]. I hope to take in the advice he gave about being a strong well-rounded leader and advice about getting by in school.”

Krieglstein boasted that he made it through college without any caffeine, and he even has an ingenious and fun way of working through tired spells.

Perhaps the most memorable and moving segment of Krieglstein’s presentation was his take on creativity. He said a common mistake people often make is when they try to start their own “parade.” Rather than start your own parade, bring your own float to someone else’s parade.

In closing, it should be said that what Dance Floor Theory and Swift Kick teach to students is that change for the better can happen, does happen, and will happen, provided that the people who wish to see a change happen make it so by working together and leading one another towards success.