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Freshmen, Grads Waltz to Awards

By Miriam Sorell


The MIT Ballroom Dance Team kicked off their season on Oct. 19 at the the Cornell Dancesport Spectacular. The team traveled to Ithaca, NY for their first of four straight weekends of competition.

MIT did fairly well over all, with the most impressive performances coming from David A. Ovadia ’06, Ekaterina V. Lesnaia G and Luca Daniel. Ovadia placed in every one of the “newcomer” divisions, after less than two months of lessons. Meanwhile, Lesnaia and Daniel placed first in one of the largest categories, the Bronze International Rumba.

In Smooth, newcomers Ovadia and Catia S. Verbeke ’06 came in fifth in Tango and second in Foxtrot. Eric D. Nielsen G and Michelle Goldhaber placed third in gold-level Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, and Viennese Waltz.

Ovadia came in fourth in both of the newcomer Standard Styles, dancing with Anne Jeschke for Waltz and Yana Averbukh ’05 for Quickstep. In silver-level standard, Chen Ling and Tilke M. Judd ’03 came in sixth place for Waltz and Viennese Waltz. At the gold-level, Nielsen and Goldhaber placed fourth for all five dances: Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Quickstep, and Viennese Waltz. Also doing all five, Bill Liteplo SM ’00 and Ika Setyawati placed third.

Switching partners was popular among the team’s newcomers. In Rhythm, Jeschke paired with Verbeke, for fifth place in Rumba, while Ovadia and Averbukh came in placed eighth for Rumba and third in Swing.

In Latin, Ovadia and Jeschke placed sixth in Jive and second in Cha-Cha. At the bronze-level, Daniel and Lesnaia came in first for Rumba and second for Cha-Cha.

The competition also featured several “fun dances,” in which dancers spontaneously partnered-up for silly variations of standard dances. Setyawati and Liteplo came in third in Reverse-Role Rumba, while Judd made it to the semifinal round of “Robo-Cha” with her sister Stephanie Judd.