UA Students Get Classy on the Dance Floor
If you read this article’s headline and it interested you because you can do the Gangnam Style, take your talents elsewhere. Ballroom Dancing is for the sophisticated mind, with technical movements that take quality time to learn and years to master.
With the multiple combinations of dances the Ballroom Dancing Club works on every week, it makes it easy to tell that being on a dance floor is not all fun and games.
The ballroom dancing team started in 2009, and has since blossomed to 35 members who participate on a regular basis. There are two different components of the club that meets up, the social class that practices Thursday nights as well as the competition class that practices Mondays from 7-9 p.m.
Being social is a key component to ballroom dancing. While the girl members are in the majority as of now, president Laurelyn Ramoly said that the gender ratio continues to improve for the club.
“We are actually relatively close this year in the number with the girls and guys. There are still a few more girls. It is not really heavily lopsided right now,” Ramoly said.
A ballroom dancing class and club would probably get men of a different era on their feet, but today the chivalry of a nice dance has worn off.
Now, ‘dancing’ doesn’t seem to be real dancing at all. But one thing’s for sure, dancing is a lifelong skill that simply leaves a good impression on people, no matter how old fashioned it may seem to this generation.
The types of dances the club works on are some of the fare you would see on Dancing with the Stars. Slow dances like the waltz, foxtrot and tango are executed, as well as the faster rhythm dances such as the swing, cha cha and rumba.
The competition team has been hard at work, preparing for an event this weekend in Columbus, Ohio, which is one of the biggest competitions in the United States.
This will mark the first year the club has made a trip like this for performance, and they hope to get a chance to compete again next semester.
“In Columbus we are competing in the International Latin category, which is the cha cha, rumba and jive, and also in the international standard, which will be the waltz, quickstep and tango,” Ramoly said.
The team is sending 10 members to Columbus to participate, and they have been working on perfecting their moves for the big stage.
Even though the competition team is taking care of business on the big stage, the social class is just as important to the club’s overall makeup. The club has been able to use it’s talents to give back to the Northwest Arkansas community.
They participated in Dancing with the Stars of Northwest Arkansas, which benefitted the building of the new NWA Childrens Museum. The club also held a Day of Dance event, benefitting health awareness at Washington Regional Medical Center.
Dues for the club are $40 for the social class and $75 for the competitive team, with the team having to pay a little out of pocket for costumes and travel.
The team has to pay out of pocket for the 14 hour trip to Columbus, but they have done fundraising to help cover costs. They held a Masquerade event a few weeks ago to support their causes.
Being able to participate in these events is all part of the fun that comes with ballroom dancing. There is always a party when there is dancing, which may be the reason to join the club in the first place.
“It is a really good opportunity to meet a lot of people, to make good friends and be able to learn a lifelong skill. So that’s why we think a lot of people join,” Ramoly said.
What’s stopping you from trying something fresh that challenges the mind and body? Ballroom dancing has all the answers you need.