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Dance the night away

The VSU Ballroom dance club is ready to welcome new members to the dance floor this semester. Students will learn how to ballroom dance both recreationally and competitively.
The idea for the club started in Professor Eric Nielsen’s dance class last semester, when three of his students wanted to create an environment for students to learn how to ballroom dance.
“The idea was received very well when we first brought it up,” Nielsen said. “Really, it’s a two-fold system; first, it provides an inexpensive class for students interested in just the social activity. Second, it’s good for students who want to learn how to dance competitively.”
The Ballroom Dance Club is open to both experienced and novice dancers.
According to Nielsen, most of the interest in competitive ballroom dancing on campus stemmed from shows such as “Dancing With the Stars” and collegiate dancing competitions.
“The thing is, I don’t think people realize the amount of discipline and work it takes to get to that level,” Nielsen said. “It takes a lot of time to take care of all that footwork, the style, and the actual performance. Not only that, but it’s very expensive to compete. But we don’t want the club to get to the point of discouraging people from learning.”
The Ballroom Dance Club hosted an interest class last semester to get an approximate figure of the people who wanted to learn how to dance. Fifty-four people who were interested in the club attended the meeting. At the first class of this semester, that number jumped to 74 people.
“Unfortunately, we’ve only got about 20 guys and 50 women,” Nielsen said. “We need more men so we can adhere to the US Dance Associations regulations of having consistent dance partners for competitions.”
The Ballroom Dance Club hopes to host fundraisers to enter dance competitions. One of these fundraisers may include an annual ball. However, according to Nielsen, a ball big enough for the Student Union Ballroom is still a ways off.
The main focus for the club is to keep the students interested in learning how to dance before any exhibitions take place.
Freshman engineering major, Justin Ardey, and sophomore education major, Lidya Zuern, agree that the Ballroom Dance Club is an interesting concept.
“It would be cool to actually learn how to ballroom dance,” Ardey said.
The club meets on Fridays at the University Center in room 2108 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
To officially join the club, members must pay dues of $20. Dues go towards covering expenses such as keeping the dance studio reserved and paying for guest teachers.

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