The IU Ballroom Dance Club will have their callout meeting at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 3 in Alumni Hall.
The club is open to all IU students and any member of the Bloomington community who is older than 18, Sarah Harrison, the club’s president, said. The time commitment is based on how involved a member wishes to be, so it can be as minimal as once per week or as extensive as four times per week.
“I started out as kind of a shy freshman, and this club quickly welcomed me in and became like a second family to me,” Harrison said.
The club has lessons with professional coaches twice a week. The coaches teach a variety of competitive ballroom dance styles such as the waltz, tango, cha cha, rumba and many more, Harrison said.
The lessons start from square one for new members, and the club has optional open practice time where the more experienced dancers are around to help new members, she said.
“No experience in any form of dance is needed,” Harrison said. “Many of our top level dancers today never danced before joining the club.”
The club gives all new members a free one week trial period. This allows them to test the club and teaching styles before deciding whether or not they wish to become involved.
Ballroom dance lessons with professionals are very expensive when you attend lessons at a dance studio, Harrison said.
“It is incredibly beneficial to learn from our coaches now rather than pay lots of money for someone else later,” Harrison said.
The club also has the option of attending collegiate ballroom dance competitions throughout the Midwest, and it gets the chance to compete against other dancers at their skill and age levels, she said.
“Competitions are not required for our members, but they are highly recommended because they give us the chance to travel away from IU and see other schools, meet new people, and they are the best way for our club members to get to know each other,” Harrison said.
This semester the club is attending the Green and White Gala at Michigan State University, the Badger Ballroom competition at the University of Wisconsin and the National Collegiate Dancesport Championships at the convention center in Columbus, Ohio, she said.
“In the beginning, each dancer only competes against other dancers that have been dancing for approximately the same amount of time as themselves,” Harrison said.
The club also has three themed social dances during the semester. Each dance is free and open to the public, she said.
“At these dances, the club teaches a social dance style, and then members spend the evening dancing and socializing,” Harrison said.
The club has really helped students to break out of their shell and become a stronger person and dancer, she said.
“For me personally, joining the IU Ballroom Dance club has been one of the best experiences I’ve ever had,” Harrison said.
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