Ballroom dance teams swings further

The clicking of heels and melodies of Waltz from the campus recreation studio are courtesy of the ballroom team, a competitive part of the Swing and Salsa Society.

Senior Chelsea Davidson and her partner, junior Eric Newbury, recently became national champions at the USA Dance national championships, Newbury said. “[Competitions are] kind of like a track meet, you have events, you might do more than one event and they’re in heats,” Davidson said.

UVM members of all years and experience levels will do well at competitions, senior and club president Saritha Beauchamp said.

 

“Everyone here tends to do really, really well,” Beauchamp said. “We’re one of the schools that focuses much more on technique as opposed to fancy figures, so we might do basic stuff but we look extremely good doing it.”

 

Some join the team with experience in partner dance, ballet or other athletic backgrounds, but others don’t, she said. 

Neither Davidson nor Newbury said they had danced before college. “I liked it because it was technique based,” Davidson said. “I also like dance, it’s expressive.”

Davidson and Newbury said the challenges and practices are definitely worth it. “You do have to cut something out, but when you want something as bad as improving your dance, you’ll throw it away easily,” Davidson said. The national champions said their greatest challenge is finding adequate practice space. “Ballroom is the kind of sport that takes up a lot of space,” Newbury said.

Many members emphasized the sense of community that comes with the team. “We get along really well and the older members are really open to helping the younger ones,” first-year Hannah Lister said. “We’re all there to dance, and get better and learn from each other and I think that’s definitely great.”

Swing and Salsa Society’s next event, a themed Disney Dance, will be held May 1 at 7:45 p.m. in the campus recreation studio. Anyone can attend and all are encouraged to dress up, Beauchamp said.