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Dancers Place First In Harvard Competition

By Vikas Bhushan
Team Member

The first ballroom competition of the season was held last Saturday, when Harvard University hosted its fifth annual Beginners' Competition. This competition showcases the up-and-coming talent on the collegiate ballroom dance teams in the region. Participants competed in either the newcomer level (for those who just starting dancing this fall) or the beginner level (for those who have been dancing for no more than one year).

MIT has a tradition of dominating this competition, due in large part to the strong commitment the team makes to providing its rookies with excellent coaching, making them competitive early in the season. This year's event was much larger than in previous years, with 300 competitors from 15 schools participating. The competition was also much tougher, but MIT held its ground and placed first in the team match in a three-way tie with Harvard and Brown University.

MIT couples made it through six rounds of competition to place in the finals of all of the individual events. Approximately 80 couples were entered in the newcomer events and 30 in the beginner events. Yedilaklil Workeneh '98 and Propa Ghosh '98 placed ahead of the competition to take first in the Newcomer Foxtrot, while Ghosh and Eugene Bae G placed third in the Newcomer Swing. In the Beginner Swing, Jorge Barrera '99 and Stephanie Hong '98 took fourth place while Feng Li '97 and his partner placed sixth in the Beginner Waltz.

All of the couples from MIT made it past at least one round in their events, an encouraging result and a tribute to their hard work. It is also a reflection of the dedication of the team's coaches and veteran members in training and supporting the rookies. Both rookie and veteran team members are now preparing for the upcoming Brown Invitational competition next month and the Yale University regional competition in December.