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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Ballroom Dance Club gives UA some razzle dazzle

    Courtesy+of+Aaron+SalazarElizabeth+Studstill+%28right%29%2C+a+senior+studying+English+and+Italian+language+and+literature%2C+and+Chris+Berger+%28left%29%2C+a+UA+alumnus%2C+dance+the+cha+cha+at+the+University+of+Nevada+Las+Vegas+Desert+Challenge+ballroom+competition+on+April+24.+The+UNLV+competition+is+one+of+three+competitions+the+UA+Ballroom+Dance+Club+attends+every+year.

    Courtesy of Aaron Salazar

    Elizabeth Studstill (right), a senior studying English and Italian language and literature, and Chris Berger (left), a UA alumnus, dance the cha cha at the University of Nevada Las Vegas Desert Challenge ballroom competition on April 24. The UNLV competition is one of three competitions the UA Ballroom Dance Club attends every year.

    Tango. Rumba. Foxtrot. Viennese Waltz. No, this isn’t an episode of “Dancing with the Stars,” it’s an average day at the UA Ballroom Dance Club.

    While there are a number of activity-based clubs to join at the UA, none have quite the same flair as the Ballroom Dance Club. With nearly 70 members and official recognition as a club sport, the Ballroom Dance Club offers dancing for people at any skill level.“Everyone is free to join at any point during the year,” said Aaron Salazar, a physiology senior and president of the Ballroom Dance Club. “We are always happy to accept new members into the club and show them what we do.”

    According to Salazar, the club offers both beginning and intermediate instruction every Monday from 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. in the Ina Gittings Gym with lessons taught by Moses Ramos, the club’s ballroom instructor. On Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m., the club offers lessons for new members to review with the advanced dancers and then hosts an open dance later in the evening.

    “Open dance is a chance for everyone to get out there, ask whoever they would like to dance [with] and just practice and have fun with the music,” Salazar said.

    Along with open dance on Wednesdays, the club also has open dance sessions on Sundays at 4 p.m. in the Student Recreation Center.

    When the club isn’t holding its weekly meetings, the members are prepping for different dance competitions throughout the year. Their first competition is on Oct. 25 at Arizona State University, and will be followed by others at University of California San Diego and University of Nevada Las Vegas in the spring semester.

    Despite the competition between schools, Elizabeth Studstill, club member and senior studying English and Italian language and literature , said the entirety of dressing up and preparing for a competition is what makes them an exciting experience.

    “Two things I love [about the competitions] are the costumes and the spirit competition,” Studstill said. “For the girls in ballroom, dressing up for competition isn’t just for fun: One way to get the judges to notice you is to have a flashy dress and good ‘show’ makeup.”

    Studstill said the spirit competition between schools is part of what makes the competitions bonding experiences between members as they cheer on and support each other.

    “There’s an award at the end of the day for the most spirited school,” Studstill said, “so everyone has a lot of fun cheering on UA couples and sneaking UA spirit gear into our costumes.”

    The UA Ballroom Dance Club accepts members all year, and the first lesson anyone attends is free. People can pay a nightly cost of $5, or pay dues if they decide to join. Though the club meets Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays, don’t fret if you miss a lesson; the club records videos of every lesson to post on Facebook and YouTube.

    “I think ballroom is special because it encourages a closeness that I think other styles of dance might not touch on,” Studstill said. “Almost all of my friends I know because I started ballroom my freshman year, so I owe the club a lot.”

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    Follow Mia Moran on Twitter.

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