Arts & Culture / Mosaic / October 2, 2013

Ballroom club gets down with improvements, recruits

Freshman Mary Houlihan, senior Carter Roberson, freshman Anne Finnelly and junior Sowad Jabin dance in the Auxiliary Gym Monday, Sept. 25th as part of the Ballroom Dancing Club. (Eliana Belkin/TKS)

Freshman Mary Houlihan, senior Carter Roberson, freshman Anne Finnelly and junior Sowad Jabin dance in the Auxiliary Gym Monday, Sept. 25th as part of the Ballroom Dancing Club. (Eliana Belkin/TKS)

Having “two left feet” is no excuse for failing to stop by the Ballroom Club at least once this term. This year, the club has gained many new members, while retaining a majority of the members from the year prior. Because of this development, the club has set its sights on bigger plans.

“It is great to be able to build off the knowledge from dancers who were involved last year and grow. Last year we had all beginners, so it was a very different learning atmosphere,” junior Abby Kravis said.

As in previous years, Ballroom Club will offer a variety of dances, including swing, cha-cha, salsa and jive. However, this year also offers the opportunity to expand to two weekly dance lessons — one for beginning dancers, which will meet Wednesdays from 7-8 p.m. in the Auxiliary Gym, and one for intermediates, which will meet on Mondays at the same time and location.

According to Kravis, “The intermediate class will be spending more time on each dance to become more comfortable with them and building off of prior knowledge. And the beginner class will be learning the basics of each type of dance to get a general idea for what each one is.”

Sophomores Roman Magid and Nicci Hinton dance in the Auxiliary Gym Monday, Sept. 25th as part of Ballroom Dancing Club.  (Eliana Belkin/TKS)

Sophomores Roman Magid and Nicci Hinton dance in the Auxiliary Gym Monday, Sept. 25th as part of Ballroom Dancing Club. (Eliana Belkin/TKS)

The club will not only be learning different types of dances, but will also make trips to Peoria and the Quad Cities to benefit from dance lessons and the opportunity to dance with dancers of various skill levels.

In Peoria, the Ballroom Club goes to the Contemporary Arts Center for swing night or salsa night where they take a basic lesson. Then, members dance amongst themselves, offering a picture of the dances amidst a social setting.

“Personally, I love these trips for the opportunity to see how much I don’t know and to motivate me to always keep learning new moves,” Kravis said.

Participants are drawn to the club for a number of reasons beyond the possibility of these excursions.

“I used to dance ballet, tap and jazz, but never ballroom. It looked like a lot of fun, so I decided to try it out,” freshman Arielle Grosser said.

But prior experience is not something that is required when coming to the dance lessons. Freshman Ian Tully “just decided to go” on the most recent trip to Peoria.

“It was a very fun and casual event even with little to no experience. It’s an excellent group with helpful instructors that make the hour very enjoyable,” he said.

However, the club has further hopes for expansion beyond new membership and educational outings.

“This year we want to increase our knowledge and comfort level with various dances in hopes that next year we will be able to go to a competition as a performing ballroom team,” said Kravis.

The Ballroom Club will also be performing in Terpsichore’s informal show in Kresge Hall on Nov. 15. The intermediate class will perform a swing dance called the “Shim Sham”, while the beginner class will do a more traditional ballroom dance.

Samm Nordstedt

Tags:  anne finnelly auxilary Ballroom dance foxtrot roman magid swing terpsichore

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