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MIT Ballroom Dancers Excel At Fifth Annual Tournament

By Boris Berdnikov


The MIT Ballroom Dancing Team held its fifth annual dance competition at Du Pont gymnasium last weekend.

The competition, with almost 400 participants, is one of the largest collegiate ballroom competitions in the country.

The MIT competition spans every experience level, from Newcomer (those with ballroom experience limited to four months) to the Open (the highest category in which the choreography is often breathtaking and the skill of the dancers are astounding).

In each level, dancers competed in any of the four styles: International Standard, (Waltz, Foxtrot, and Tango); American Smooth (same music as International Standard, but less rigorous and more theatrical, À la Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers); International Latin (Rumba, Samba, or Paso oble); and American Rhythm (Swing and Mambo).

Continuing its recent winning streak, the MIT team performed extremely well. Mark Sheldon ’90 and Didi von Deck, a couple ranked third nationally who have represented the United States in world championships several times, claimed a clear victory in the Open level of the International Standard.

In the same event, Igor V. Pavlovsky G and Yanfeng Lin G, one of MIT’s rising couples, placed third.

In International Latin, the MIT team also dominated the field. Iakov Y. Bart G and Stephanie L. Shaw G won the Open level while Pavlovsky and Alexandra Frangi G placed second in Cha-Cha, Rumba, and Samba, and first in Jive.

In both American-style Open events, Michael Posner and Reena Freedman represented MIT to grab first place.

In a separate team-match event, MIT fielded two teams of four couples each. These teams captured first and second place out of 14 teams from other colleges. The first MIT team earned a perfect score, winning all four dances.