Students showcase talents on the dance floor

UW-Platteville Ballroom Club waltzes its way to the dance competition

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Ballroom Dance Club earned 31 first place awards at the Rockford Ballroom Dancing Showcase. They spent the weekend in Rockford, IL, where they competed in a showcase against other ballroom dancing groups of similar skill levels. 

The competition had two parts, an individual and team portion. In the individual portion, each heat had 1-10 pairs on the floor, and all of the pairs were asked to dance to an unknown piece of music for one minute and thirty seconds. The unknown piece of music could have been anything from a smooth piece like a waltz or tango, to a more rhythmic piece like a jitterbug or salsa. The pairs were judged on their ability to stay in time with the music and their floor-craft, which is a pair’s ability to stylize their dancing.  

“The dancing crowd was very welcoming, friendly and willing to help you by showing how to ‘style’ your dancing. I would say that there were 200 – 300 people there, and we danced, watched, ate and had a very good time together. One little girl was so excited to be in the competition that she came up to me jumping up and down and saying how much fun she was having,” senior health and human performance major John Schaefer said.   

The team portion was a half-hour stint of team versus team dancing, with UW-Platteville’s club representing the school in blue and orange. The scoring in this competition was similar to how the individual portion was scored, with the addition of the look of the team as a unit while on the floor.  

“They did great! All weekend long people complimented the students on their dancing, their participation and their willingness to put themselves out there in the competitive arena. Their next competition, they will enter at bronze level, where the syllabus changes and expectations start to rise quickly,” club advisor Caryn Stanley said.  

Competitors and audience members of all ages came to watch, and the community at the event was very proactive about helping each other improve. 

“My favorite moment was dancing an International Waltz. My partner and I were one of two couples on the floor which added extra pressure, but I am super happy with how it turned out. It was so much fun,” senior engineering major Sarah Caccese said.  

The club always welcoming new members and is always willing to help newcomers learn how to dance and expand their capabilities.

“I think that the group is hopeful to continue participating in these leveled competitions and experiences,” Stanley said.