Ballroom dancing the time away

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By: Min Qiao <mqiao@hilite.org>

With the increasing popularity of shows like “Dancing with the Stars” and “So You Think You Can Dance,” ballroom dancing is on the rise as well. For Amanda Finin, president of Ballroom Dancing Club and sophomore, “Dancing with the Stars” is exactly why she got into this genre of dance.

“When ‘Dancing with the Stars’ first started I thought the way the professionals moved was amazing. So in May of 2006 I started taking lessons over at Arthur Murray,” Finin said. “(In) freshman year, I was really into ballroom dancing and had thought about starting a club. I was in Swing Club at the time, so I had met some other people who have become my close friends, and we kind of tossed around the idea. I then found a sponsor and figured out what I had to do and in October 2007 things got started.”

Brent Blackwell, dance instructor of the Ballroom Dancing Club, said that he began taking ballroom dancing lessons so that he could dance well at wedding receptions. He also agrees that ballroom dancing’s popularity is rising and that dancing, in general, has become more popular in recent years.
Finin said, “The professional dancers can be doing a move and in a split second they can just stop and hit this really outrageous and cool pose. I think that’s what people look at and go ‘wow’.”

This increasing interest in dancing is reflected in the Ballroom Dancing Club, which aims to teach people these dances. In addition, Finin said this club also wants teach students to dance so that it can benefit them in social events.

“Being in high school, there are a lot of dances that go on, so knowing how to dance socially and having friends that know how to dance is a big benefit.” Finin said. “It may not seem like the cool thing to do, but I know that knowing how to socially dance will help when it comes to social events for my future. I would like to show more people this, and show them that in the long run knowing how to ballroom dance is a huge benefit to possible future careers.”

In the Ballroom Dancing Club, students can learn a variety of dances from the waltz to the samba. Blackwell said that he basically teaches the members whatever dance they request to learn. For the most part, they have been learning major dances that are popular internationally. Blackwell said that he usually teaches the members a couple of steps that tie together and can be danced in a pattern.
“Ballroom dancing may not seem cool, but it comes in handy when it comes to social outings. This one is especially true for guys,” Finin said. “They may think that ballroom dancing is not very masculine, but the thing I find most attractive is when a guy knows how to handle a girl. So if a guy can dance and lead me through things and make me look good while still making himself look good is very attractive.”

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