By Zoe Crain
On Saturday, Jan. 27, Ballroom Dance Club held the first of their bi-semester dances. As per usual a slightly doddering, sweet, elderly man referred to by all as “just Andy” taught the dance attendees how to Night Club Two-Step. To the delight of some attendees, Ballroom Club stuck to their declared French theme, with some students dressed in “traditional French garb,” i.e., striped shirts and berets.
The first lesson kicked off at 6:30 p.m., with attendees separated into leads and follows. Students and community members lined both sides of the Eagle Gym while Andy demonstrated the basic step and a simple spin to his rapt audience. As he then continually reminded everyone, “Remember, leads! If your follow is not doing what you want them to be doing, it’s because you didn’t lead it correctly!”
The effects of this statement were instantaneous. All leads instantly furrowed their brows and focused extremely hard on getting their follow to dance the correct moves. The result of this effort was a lot of toes being stepped on and couples consistently dancing offbeat as the leads turned purple in their attempt to maneuver themselves and another person through a series of moves.
Despite the physical difficulty, it was clear that attendees were enjoying themselves. Smiles flashed in the dim lighting as the lesson concluded and the students and off-campus guests alike took to the dance floor to show off their moves.
Looking across the dance floor was almost like looking at a flower garden in bloom. As women spun on the hands of their partners, skirts billowed and twirled. One student in particular looked like a Greek goddess in a floaty yellow dress and glittery hair.
Each dance put on by the Ballroom Club has a different feel to it. Depending on what type of dance is being taught, the dances can feel anywhere from lively and bouncy to slow and sweet. This dance fit into the latter category, with the Night Club Two-Step fitting well with artists like Michael Buble, Ella Fitzgerald, and Johnny Cash. Night Club Two-Step can also be danced to country music.
Night Club Two-Step is best danced to slower songs that are in a 4/4-time signature, similar to the dance Country Two-Step. It is actually very easy to interchange Night Club and Country Two-Step while dancing. With Ballroom Club consisting of many members with jazz and country music backgrounds, members were excited for the opportunity to dance to their favorite type of music.
Unfortunately, the consensus of attendees this time around about the music played was negative. Said student Kristina Landen, “I didn’t know a single one of the songs. I think it was because the club really stuck to the theme this time around … I wasn’t very motivated to dance when I didn’t recognize the music.”
Student Sarah Moss agreed, “It was still a lot of fun to be there and dance, and I’ll of course continue going. But hopefully next time the music is a little more upbeat.”
Ballroom Dance Club holds their weekly lessons on Tuesdays at 5 p.m. in the Lower Hangar.