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Ballroom Takes 1st, 2nd in International

By Carrie Sougnez

TEAM MEMBER

At the Harvard Invitational Ballroom Dance Competition last weekend, the MIT Ballroom Dance Team proved itself to be the strongest all-around team in the North East, as well as boasting some of the strongest individual couples. The region’s second-to-last major competition of the season, and one of the most prestigious, it attracts the most serious competitors in the Championship and Pre-Championship divisions, making it one of the most exciting competitions for spectators.

As at a track meet, each Ballroom Dance event is based on individual performance, so that in most divisions, MIT couples are competing against one another instead of working together. The one exception to this is the team match, where each university can select its best couples to compete together in a special four-couple combined event.

The MIT Ballroom Dance Team was able to dance their way into the final placing first and second in the International Style Team Match. Dancing on the winning team were the following Igor V. Pavlovsky G and Yan-feng Lim G in the Quickstep, Dejan Mircevski and Maria Minkoff G in the Waltz, Carlos A. Lopez ’03 and Genevive Cuervas ’03 in the Cha Cha, and Boris Berdnikov and Carrie Sougnez in the Jive.

In the latin events, MIT Ballroom dance team continued to show improved competition results. George Henes (CMI) and Lilia Wood are showing remarkable progress in their latin dancing, placing fourth in Intermediate Cha Cha/ Rumba/ Samba, and sixth in the Advanced Cha Cha/ Rumba events. Wood is a newcomer to dancing and has been training for only eight months so this result is an exceptional placing for Henes and Wood.

The latin success continued later in the day when Carlos Lopez and Genevive Cuervas, the stars of MIT’s latin dancing team, placed sixth in the Pre-Championship Latin event. Lopez’s and Cuervas’ dedication to dancing has started to show real results in their competition dancing. Traveling to New York twice a month for new choreography, Lopez and Cuervas are dancing sophisticated routines that showcase latin dancing in its purest and finest form.

There were many more great performances from dancers of all levels and in the end the Harvard Invitational was a great success for the MIT Ballroom Dance Team.

There will be no rest for the weary dancers, however.

The team is already preparing for their next competitive showing at the MIT Competition next month. The team enthusiastically invites spectators to the competition held April 5 and 6 in DuPont. For more information, visit http://ballroom.mit.edu/ comp.