Arts & Culture / Dance / Mosaic / February 5, 2009

International dancing with Ballroom Club

How do you dance the rumba?

“With passion!” said freshman student Victoria Ezell.

On Thursday, the Ballroom Club learned a variety of dances to reflect the international atmosphere and culture of I-week.

“It is a way for people to bond, and experience and appreciate culture and enjoy a country’s music,” said Ezell.

The general group of Ballroom Club learned to dance rumba and waltz while the advanced group danced samba. Rumba is a ballroom dance of Cuban origin in two-four or four-four time with a basic pattern of step-close-step and marked by a delayed transfer of weight and pronounced hip movement. For the rumba, the ballroom dancers faced shoulder to shoulder and with a bent arm, and the leaders held their partners and danced in a half-box pattern.

Waltz is a ballroom dance in three-four time with strong accent on the first beat and a basic pattern of step-step-close. Ballroom Club danced the waltz in a characteristic box step. Samba is a Brazilian dance of African origin with a basic pattern of step-close-step-close and characterized by a dip and spring upward at each beat of the music.

Asked what she thought of the dancing, freshman Erin Duff said, “It’s interesting how dance is a good example of transculturation…From waltz, which is traditionally European, samba is a sexy Latin dance, and rumba is a combination of the two. [It] had the pattern of waltz and the sauciness of samba and the funkiness of Latin dance.”

Ezell said, “Ballroom is wonderful because whatever background you come from, you can get together and have fun.”

Sheena Leano

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