The Salsa and Swing Society (SASS) is an avenue for students who wish to either socially dance or compete in salsa and ballroom dance styles.
SASS was started in the fall of 2005 by salsa dancer Tin Bechard. Since 2005, SASS has grown to the fourth largest club on campus. Part of the appeal to the club is that no previous dancing experience is necessary and no partner is necessary, either. The only thing the club specifies is wearing dance shoes or dress shoes, as street shoes are prohibited, according to their club website.
“My favorite part about SASS is its inclusivity,” SASS president, senior Annette Rubin-Crump, said. “I love how accepting and welcoming the atmosphere is at these lessons, and that the students of SASS are able enjoy the greater Burlington area through social dancing.”
If a student gets more involved in the club, he/she is encouraged to join the Ballroom competition team or the Salsa Performance Team, which has more rigorous lessons and attends competitions.
The Competitive Ballroom Team does not hold team tryouts, but team members are expected to pay a $10 fee each semester to help with the cost of instruction, competitions and transportation, according to their club website. Newcomers do not have to pay the fee until they rise up in skill level. On average, the ballroom team attends three ballroom competitions per semester. The team has participated in competitions such as the USA Dance National Collegiate DanceSport Championship and the Manhatten Amatuer Classic.
“Competitions are so much fun. It’s not just about winning and losing; competitions are about having fun,” Rubin-Crump said. “There’s nothing like it.”
The Salsa Performance Team, on the other hand, holds tryouts for the team. The team practices four times a week as well as performs at UVM events such as the Orchesis Showcase in the spring.
Students wishing to get involved with SASS can attend free beginner salsa social classes every Tuesday from 10 to 11 p.m. in the Dance Studio at the Patrick Gymnasium; beginner ballroom social classes are every Thursday from 9 to 10 p.m. in the Dance Studio. There are also intermediate ballroom classes every Thursday from 8-9 p.m. in the East Basketball Courts at Patrick Gymnasium.
On Oct. 26, SASS is hosting two different social dances. At 7 p.m. there will be Argentine Tango lessons and at 7:45 p.m. there will be a Halloween themed costume dance.