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Ballroom Dance Team Swings Past Competition at Tournament

Courtesy of MIT Ballroom Dance Team
Vikas Bhushan G and Rachel J. Dowell G dance the tango at the Sixth Annual Harvard-Radcliffe Invitational Ballroom Dance Competition. See story, page 28.

By Tom Nugent
team member

The ballroom dance team made a strong showing, both in individual results and team matches, at the Sixth Annual Harvard-Radcliffe Invitational Ballroom Dance Competition. There were more than 140 couples from over a dozen universities in the Feb. 2 competition.

The team did exceptionally well in the beginner level by consistently placing two to three couples in the final round of most events.

The dedication of the team's coaches and enthusiasm of MIT contestants accounted for much of the team's success. Members of the ballroom team also had a role in running the competition. Emcee Warren Dew '81 and scrutineer Elizabeth Earhart G both did an excellent job and kept the competition on time all day.

The day began with the American-style rhythm category. Feng Li '97 and Jennifer Hammock '98 took first place in the beginner swing. Michael Posner and Wendy Luo G also took first in the advanced swing. Next came the international-style Latin category. Li and Geeta Sankappanavar '97 took first place in both the beginner cha-cha and the beginner jive. Not far behind, Jorge Barrera '99 and Stephanie Hong '98 took third place in the beginner cha-cha and second place in the beginner jive.

At the intermediate level, Lajos Molnar '97 and Yuying Chen '97 took first place in rumba/cha-cha and second place in samba/jive, while Jorge Goncalves G and Ling Liau took third in the rumba/cha-cha.

Goncalves and Liau did better in the advanced level, taking second place in the rumba/cha-cha. Steve Casey G and Suzanne Goh placed third in the advanced rumba/cha-cha and took first place in the samba/jive.

During the middle of the day, the team matches were held. These consisted of four dances in both the American and international styles. Harvard University's A team, the current national champions, placed first. However, MIT finished right behind them and placed second to Harvard in both styles.

The individual competitions continued with the American-style smooth category. Li and Hammock took first in beginner waltz, while Kuo-Chun Wu G and Radhika Dutt '99 took second place.

In the beginner foxtrot, Li and Anna Lukasiak G placed first, while Justin Zhuang G and Dutt placed second. At the intermediate level, Rich Finlay and Anne Moroney '82 took third in waltz/foxtrot and second in tango. Finlay and Moroney went on to take the first place at the advanced level in both waltz/foxtrot and tango.

Goncalves and Yumiko Osawa placed third in the advanced waltz/foxtrot and second in the tango. Team captain Vikas Bhushan G and Rachel Dowell G placed third in the tango.

MITswept the open level, a combined waltz, tango, foxtrot, and Viennese waltz event. Bhushan and Dowell placed first overall, while Posner and Anna Dvorak took second, and Brian Fairchild G and Susan Chiu '94 took third.

The final category of the day was the international standard. Li and Hammock took first in both beginner waltz and quickstep. Finlay and Moroney took second in both intermediate waltz/quickstep and foxtrot/tango, while Raymond Kam and Janice Cheung took third in the foxtrot/tango. At the advanced level, Finlay and Moroney placed third in the foxtrot/tango.

Tomorrow and Sunday, the team will be competing in the Massachusetts Amateur Ballroom Dancers' Association's annual collegiate competition to be held at the Wonderland Ballroom in Revere. The Ballroom Dance Team will be hosting the final competition of the season on Saturday, April 5 in the Dupont Gymnasium.