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Ballroom Dancers Win Several Awards at MIT Competition

By Vikas Bhushan
Team Member

The ballroom dance team hosted its second annual Open Ballroom Dance Competition on April 4 and 5 in duPont gymnasium. This year's competition attracted over 300 competitors, a 50 percent increase in attendance from last year, making it the largest collegiate ballroom dance competition in the region.

The mayor of the Cambridge, Francis Duehay, was on hand to watch some of the competition and to present awards. MIT cable also videotaped the competition for a live broadcast.

Since the competition was held over two days, organizers were able to add additional events at the beginner level, as well as team matches and fun dances. On Saturday evening, the first annual MIT Alumni Ball was held. Competitors from all of the collegiate teams in attendance got the opportunity to socialize and get to know one another.

The MIT team did a great job of organizing and running this competition, and it received many compliments from both competitors and spectators. In addition to hosting the competition, members of the MIT team also placed very well in individual and team events. A team consisting mainly of MIT ballroom dance team members placed second overall in both the American and international style team matches.

At the newcomer level Jeremy Zucker, a staff researcher at the Artificial Intelligence Lab and Chun Yu, a postdoctoral fellow of the Harvard-MIT Health Science and Technology program, won the International-style cha-cha. Zucker and Michelle Goldhaber G won the American style swing.

At the beginner level, Pubudu Wariyapola G and Viktoria Kheifets '00 won the paso doble, placed third in the international style rumba, won the bolero, placed second in the American-style rumba, fifth in the mambo, and won the American-style smooth four-dance title by placing first in the waltz, tango, and foxtrot and third in the Viennese waltz. Yedil Workeneh '98 and Kathleen Mahoney '92 placed second in the International-style waltz. Martin Szummer G and Mahoney placed second in the International-style Viennese waltz and the American-style tango. They also placed third in the quickstep, bolero, and International-style tango, fourth in the American-style cha-cha and waltz, fifth in the American-style Viennese waltz, and sixth in the swing and mambo.

Szummer and Isin Dalkilic '99 placed seventh in the international style waltz. Wynn Sanders G and Catherine Sanders G won the international-style tango and placed second in the foxtrot.

Eugene Bae G and Stephanie Shaw G placed fourth in the International style Viennese waltz. Bae and Christine Tsien G placed third in the International-style rumba, cha-cha, and paso doble, and sixth in the jive. Seth Webster G and Tsien won the American-style Viennese waltz and placed third in the waltz. They also placed sixth in the International-style quickstep, tango, and foxtrot. Mark Herschberg G and Tammy Yap '99 placed fifth in the International-style waltz and foxtrot and in the American-style waltz, tango, and bolero. They were also fourth in the American-style foxtrot and sixth in the cha-cha. Zucker and Goldhaber placed second in the mambo.

At the advanced level, Andreas Gast G and Silvia Hoehn G won the International-style five-dance title, placing first in all five dances: waltz, quickstep, tango, foxtrot, and Viennese waltz. Vikas Bhushan G and Rachel Dowell SM '97 placed fourth in the international style waltz, ahead of teammates David Cho '97 and Jennifer Hammock '98 who placed sixth. Cho and Hammock also placed third in the international style tango, fourth in the foxtrot, and sixth in the quickstep.

In the paso doble, Bhushan and Dowell placed fourth, Wariyapola and Kheifets fifth, and Bae and Tsien sixth. Wariyapola and Kheifets also placed second in the bolero and fifth in the American-style cha-cha.

At the open level, Steve Casey SM'97 and Deirdre Pierotti placed fourth in the International-style cha-cha, fifth in samba and jive, and sixth in rumba. Bhushan and Dowell placed sixth in the paso doble. Michael Otero, a researcher at Lincoln Labs, and Marta Lipinski G placed sixth in the international style tango, quickstep, and Viennese waltz. They also placed in the finals of the American style tango, foxtrot, and Viennese waltz.

Michael Posner and Ling Liau of Northeastern University did exceptionally in all styles, placing second overall in both the International-style latin five-dance and the American style smooth four-dance and winning the American style rhythm five-dance title placing first in all five dances: rumba, cha-cha, swing, mambo, and bolero.

For those left standing after two days of competition, two fun dance events were held: a hustle and a non-traditional partner medley. A number of MIT dancers made it to the finals these fun dance events including Hammock, Zucker, Bhushan, Posner, and Reena Freedman. The MIT team is now looking forward to its next competition, the Seventh Annual University Network Fundraiser competition on April 25 and 26.