Get to know RIT Tango Club from Rochester. I was lucky to get some information from Amalia, as these guys are busy teaching and performing. Right now they have one of the youngest Argentine dance communities in NYS, possibly the US.
– Amalia, what’s is the history of RIT Tango Club?
The RIT Tango club was founded back in 2010, but attendance dropped to 0 by 2011 in spite of the founding members’ efforts to sustain membership and general interest. It was at this time that Curtis Burtner, a young but already experienced Argentine Tango dancer, enrolled at RIT and took the reins of the Tango Club. Membership was still almost non-existent until 2012 when the club started gaining consistent members. Although club membership stayed above 0, the club saw little growth from Fall of 2012 through Spring of 2016. It wasn’t until Fall of this year – 2016 – that the club grew exponentially through the dedication of several key members who took up tango the previous year.
– What about the coaches and how many members there are?
As a club, we focus entirely on a single dance – the Argentine Tango. Curtis Burtner, who has been dancing the Argentine tango for 8 years, still teaches our weekly lesson even though he has already graduated. We also have a guest teacher, Alexandra Carcich who has also been dancing for 12 years. We bring in new, inexperienced dancers who are eager to learn Argentine tango. The size of the club tends to fluctuate week to week with about 14 dedicated members. The years of experience range from 3 months to 3 years.
– Where do you teach?
We teach free Argentine tango lessons every Wednesday and an intermediate course that collaborates with the University or Rochester on Fridays for free. We also host dances for the community and students and occasionally perform for various dance collaborations.
– And your future plans?
As a club our goal is to keep bringing more young dancers into the Rochester dance scene in order to expand the Argentine Tango community here in Rochester.
Today we interviewed Christina Lai, she’s the Vice-president of The Notre Dame/ Saint Mary’s Ballroom and Latin Dance Club. So let us share with you another great post about the dance club of Norte Dame.
– Christina, how many members there’re in your club?
The Notre Dame/ Saint Mary’s Ballroom and Latin Dance Club is proud to claim approximately 25-30 active members. We also get the occasional students and faculty members that drop by for a quick dance lesson here and there.
Nd Ballroom Dance Club
– How was the club founded?
The Notre Dame/St. Mary’s College Ballroom Club was started by Loretta Spencer, a Canadian competitive professional approximately 25 years ago. Her husband was a professor at Notre Dame. Ramsey, our faculty advisor, helped her to demonstrate. After a time, she decided to quit teaching the class as she was busy raising small children. Two of our three current coaches and another of our past coaches took coaching lessons and taught alongside her.
– Can you name some achievements of the dance club?
As for accomplishments, the club does several performances each year. In previous semesters we have held “Call-out” performances at the beginning of each semester in order to invite students and faculty to join us. We have also been asked on several occasions to perform at various events such as in the half-time show at basketball games, and for local schools and nursing homes. More recently, in conjunction with the Notre Dame Swing Club, we held a flash-mob outside of South Dinning Hall on Oct. 28. Our annual charity performances include in Welsh Family’s(residence hall) Dance fest and The Project Fresh (P Fresh) Show. Fundraising
performances include our Notre Dame Day performance.
– How about dance competitions?
Outside of performances, the ND/SMC Ballroom Club competes at various collegiate-level dance competitions around the Mid-West. We regularly attend competitions at OSU, Valparaiso, and Badger Ballroom as well as any other competitions that fits into our schedule. Additionally, each Spring we host our own collegiate-level competition called the Irish DanceSport Gala. This is THE event for our club as it takes a lot of time and dedication from our Club Officers and the planning committee to make the competition happen and run smoothly.
– Who are your coaches?
We have three professional dance coaches: Mariusz (Mario) Skonieczny, Kathy Nate, and Barb Coon, Mario teaches the International Latin style dances. Kathy teaches American Ballroom, both smooth and rhythm. Barb teaches our social lesson which is primarily a beginner’s level lesson to learn the basic moves of dances mentioned above, as well as other more social dances including: West Coast Swing, Night Club Two-step, Salsa and Bachata.
– What are your future plans/goals?
Currently, we are focusing on building and expanding our club and increasing our presence around campus. We truly enjoy ballroom and latin dancing and would love for people to join us!
Today we interviewed Holley Shugart of CP Swing and DDB Secretary. Get to know Cal Poly Swing Club.
What’s the story of the club?
– The club was founded in 1998 and our sister club, Drop Dead Blues, was founded a few years after as a subset of Swing and then became an official club later. We have 10 officers serving on the Executive Council and their duties include planning and running events, putting on weekly lessons and social dancing, and other club related activities. The officers serve the CP Swing and Drop Dead Blues Clubs’ Executive Councils. The Council works with an advisor who is a professor on Cal Poly’s campus.
What type of dances do you teach?
– We have a lot of frequent returning dancers that come to lessons and social dancing every week. Our style of dance is Lindy Hop and we also teach Collegiate Shag, Balboa, and Charleston. Every Fall Quarter the CP Swing club puts on a 10 week lesson series to take people from beginner to intermediate dancers in Lindy Hop. It is a great opportunity to learn all of the dance styles we teach, and learn about the history of Lindy Hop and its music.
Who do you bring to coach and what events there are in the club?
– We host 3 big events every year; The Fall Swing Workshop, The Winter Blues Workshop, and The San Luis Obispo Lindy Exchange in the spring. For the two workshops we bring in professional teachers to teach two days worth of lessons and there are social dances each night. The Lindy Exchange is our biggest event with 3 days of dancing, and group activities like Beach Day and Lindy Games. This Fall we are bringing in the great Ann Mony and Ryan Calloway to teach in our Fall Workshop.”
We continue our topic of dance clubs all across America and today we interviewed Ray Burgess, Social Captain of UCSC Ballroom Dance Club. Ray shared some information about his dance club with us.
– Hi Ray, can you tell me a bit about history of your dance club?
The farthest back we can trace our club is to someone named Sean Ericson. He noticed that there was all the framework laid out for a ballroom club at our school, however it was inactive. He essentially revitalized it and started the club anew, and here we are today around 7 years later.
– How many members are in your club?
We have roughly 25 members who actively participate in the club right now.
– What dance styles do you do?
We cover the majority of styles you see in ballroom competitions: International Waltz, Quickstep, Foxtrot, VWaltz, Tango as well as their American counterparts. We also compete in the international Latin events e.g. Cha Cha, Rumba, Samba, Jive, and Paso Doble. We don’t do any of the Rhythm dances but we do have most of the nightclubs such as West and East coast swing, Hustle, Salsa, Merengue, and we even throw in a little Blues Fusion w/ our lessons!
– Ray, what about the coaches? Who trains your club?
Our coaches so far are Tom Roher and Kaytlin Kuns. They teach us international Latin styles since they’re competing in novice right now and are the best couple still on our team. They’re former students but they’re in the area so they stick around with us. We currently lack standard coaches.
– Can you name some achievements of the club?
There aren’t many accomplishments we have as a team itself. However, on an individual basis we have couples placing first in multiple events ranging from Bronze to Open in collegiate competitions.
– What are the plans for the near future?
Our plans are to host a collegiate ballroom competition in Santa Cruz in the 2017-2018 school year! As well as continue expanding the team, we left off last school year with about 8 members and we’ve almost tripled in size since then – we’ll do our best to keep those numbers up.
Today we’re starting a new line of our blog where we’ll be covering various dance clubs all across USA. One of them is Ballroom Dance Club at Indiana University. To get acquainted with them we interviewed Ann-Heckman Davis – the president of this dance club.
– Ann, what is the history of your club?
– Our club was started by a graduate student named Mel Rosare in 1984 when she attended IU as an MBA, in the graduating class of 1986. This makes it probable that 2016-2017 is our club’s 32nd year of operation, but it is possible that the club may have disbanded at some point and restarted (if records were kept, they have been lost, so it’s impossible for us to know for sure. Everyone who was involved with the club at that time is long gone by now.) According to Ms. Rosare, she modeled the club after BYU’s Ballroom Dance Club, which was one of the premier dance clubs in the country. Ms. Rosare had learned ballroom dancing and became an instructor during her undergraduate years at the University of Hawaii.
How many current members there are in the club?
We have approximately 50 members (I say approximately because many do not attend practices or lessons for a long stretch of time but will later come back, so it’s difficult to pin down an exact number.) Our executive council is composed of eight veteran club members, led by myself as President and Sydney Arnold as Captain. We are coached in American styles by Chris Spalding and Kelly Bartlett, owners of the Fort Wayne Ballroom Company, and in International styles by Gert Roslender of Aurelia Dance Studio in Indianapolis.
Can you tell me about your club’s accomplishments?
Our club competes in a variety of competitions across the Midwest in all four styles: American Smooth, American Rhythm, International Latin, and International Standard. We have dancers of all skill levels ranging from Newcomer to Open. Our club prides itself on a strong sense of community and camaraderie while we compete at competitions, and we always give a strong showing. We placed 6th place overall at the Arnold Dancesport Classic both last year and the year before.
This school year, we introduced a new program called Ballroom Buddies that was meant to facilitate social interactions between veteran members and new members through ice breaker games such as “the human blob”. Thanks to this program and the concentrated recruitment efforts of all the veteran members, we have managed to double the size of our team and bring in a much larger Newcomer class than we have had in the past years I’ve been a part of this club!
Last year, we organized a large social we called the Disney Ball to raise money for a local charity. The Middle Way House is a local shelter for women and children who are victims of domestic abuse. It’s a great organization—a handful of members, including myself, have also volunteered there on our own time as well. Our club performed showcases to Disney music and raffled off private lessons with our members. In total, we raised about $900 for Middle Way House through this event!
Ann, what are the future plans for the dance club?
Although we have nearly doubled in size over the past year thanks to the recruitment efforts of veteran members, our club hopes to continue to growing in size. We also hope to continue organizing charity events such as the Disney Ball. Our most important goal is to improve at every competition, grow as dancers and as a team, and, of course, have fun dancing and being around one another!
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