Dancers from around the country are coming to campus next weekend to compete against the Valparaiso University Ballroom team, performing a variety of dances from the classic waltz, to the tango, to upbeat 1920s swing and jive.

Has dancing ever interested you? Then mark your calendar for Feb. 18. The competition will begin at 7:30 a.m. in the Harre Union Ballrooms, all are welcome to attend the free event. The competition will conclude at 9 p.m.

For those who may not know much about ballroom dance, it is the competition of two dancers, a lead and a follow, who partner to demonstrate their skills against other pairs to a panel of judges. If the partners gain enough “callbacks” they will move on and compete in the next round.

There are four different styles the pairs can compete, each with multiple with multiple dances. Smooth and Standard are the first two styles of ballroom dance. Although the two categories require use of different techniques and moves, they consist of many of the same dances such as: waltz, tango, foxtrot and Viennese waltz, but the technique and moves used in each style can be very different. Similarly, Rhythm and Latin dance: cha-cha, rumba, swing and samba, have similar dances but different variations.

Having been on campus for many years, the ballroom team has been able to improve on multiple techniques that each style demands. With these skills, VU Ballroom became a major player in the competitive world.

Additionally, a huge portion of the team’s success can be attributed to the many team members, currently around 40 people, made better by their coaches from the Chicago area. 

“The Valparaiso University Ballroom team has been nationally ranked at the collegiate level for the past three years and has hosted this event for almost a decade. We would love to have a huge crowd of VU students and faculty come out and support us,” said Sydney Senger, president of the team. “Not only would you get to see some great dancing from college students, but you would also get to see some of the best dancers in college dance. Imagine Dancing with the Stars, but right here on campus!”

The dress is casual, and all are welcome to come watch and enjoy. Who knows, maybe you’ll be asked to dance a bit yourself! An opportunity like this only comes once a year, so don’t miss out on a seeing some amazing ballroom dancing!

The views expressed are those of the writer and not necessarily those of The Torch.

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