Students get a taste of ballroom flavor

” Put on those dancing shoes and join the University of Akron’s Ballroom Dancing Club Fans of Dancing With the Stars can put their feet to the test with the UA’s Ballroom Dance Club. Club instructors teach a variety of dances including American ballroom (waltz, foxtrot, tango, rumba and cha-cha), salsa and swing (East and West Coast swing, lindy hop and hustle), and work to make even a beginner more comfortable on the dance floor.”

Put on those dancing shoes and join the University of Akron’s Ballroom Dancing Club

Fans of Dancing With the Stars can put their feet to the test with the UA’s Ballroom Dance Club.

Club instructors teach a variety of dances including American ballroom (waltz, foxtrot, tango, rumba and cha-cha), salsa and swing (East and West Coast swing, lindy hop and hustle), and work to make even a beginner more comfortable on the dance floor.

Even if you’re not a natural dancer, we are patient and will take the time to help you learn, club president Leanna Irvine said.

The club meets for dance lessons throughout the week, all year long. Members learn how to salsa every Wednesday from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. in Memorial Hall, and are instructed on ballroom and swing every Thursday from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. in Guzzetta Hall Room 391.

At times members try to mix it up and bring those ancient dances face-to-face with current music.

We like to put a fun spin on old dances, Irvine said. We cha-cha to ‘Poker Face’ by Lady Gaga and swing to ‘Right Round’ by Flo Rida. Membership is not restricted to UA students; it is open to friends and family of students, faculty and community members. Interested parties can join the club by attending any of the dance instruction nights. Members are not required to attend all meetings, simply the ones that arouse the most interest. 

UA has a ballroom dancing competition team that only active students are permitted to join. The team meets every Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the REC studio A, where an hour of practice is followed by two hours of instruction by a professional.

The Ballroom Dancing Club is not confined to the UA campus.

We go out to places like the View, Sunset, Cedar’s and The Bohemian on a regular basis so our members can get experience dancing in a social setting, not just a classroom, Irvine said.

The competition team will be traveling to Ohio State University on April 17 to compete in the Dancesport competition.

Irvine, who is also an instructor on ballroom and swing night, has been in the club for almost three years. She had always been involved in dance, and was looking to continue as she entered college. One day she saw a flyer advertising the club and attended a salsa lesson.

I loved it. After a couple lessons in salsa I decided to try ballroom and swing and I was hooked, Irvine said. Now I don’t go a week without dancing.

Her favorite part of the club is the competition and knowing that all those hours of practice were worth it.

There’s nothing like the feeling of floating across the floor during a waltz with you and your partner perfectly in sync, Irvine said. There’s the excitement and nervousness of waiting to see if you’ve been called back, and the fun we have once the competition is over.

The Ballroom Dancing club often hosts social dances at UA.

The night starts with a quick lesson if there are many new faces in attendance, followed by a DJ spinning contemporary music.

We also love to bust out the line dances that everyone knows, like the Cleveland shuffle and the electric slide, as well as some that are known in the ballroom world like the jitterbug stroll, Irvine said.

Irvine recommends the club and says it is a great way for people to get in shape, and make new friends and memories.

For more information on the Ballroom Dance Club, attend one of the weekly dance nights or e-mail ballroomatua@gmail.com to be added to the mailing list.