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Ballroom Dance Takes 20 First-Place Finishes

By Miriam Sorell


While New England suffered from freezing temperatures and blizzard conditions this past Presidents’ Day weekend, members of the MIT Ballroom Dance Team were turning up the heat at the Holy Cross Fifth Annual Ballroom Dance Competition. The team walked away from the competition with 20 first place finishes.

The Holy Cross competition was structured differently from most. Each dance was judged separately. Typically a couple’s results are based on the compilation of their scores for all the dances in a level, such as Silver International Latin or Open American Smooth. Here, a couple could come in first in Silver International Cha-Cha even if they didn’t make it to the final in Silver International Jive, both of which are Silver International Latin dances.

Because of this structure, MITBDT did well in far too many categories to report them all, but here are some of the highlights:

In International Standard, Eric D. Nielsen G and Michelle Goldhaber placed first in Gold Tango. In Bronze, Mark Sin G and Christina Laskowski ’05 placed first in both Foxtrot and Quickstep. In the Open level, which was judged by category, Bill Liteplo SM ’00 and Ika Setyawati took first place overall.

Nielsen and Johnna D. Powell G took first place in each category of Silver International Latin, as well as in Gold Cha-Cha and Jive. Liteplo and Goldhaber took the rest of the Gold medals for Gold Latin, in Samba, Rumba, and Paso Doble. In American Smooth, Nielsen and Goldhaber placed first in all the Gold level dances: Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, and Viennese Waltz. Bill Coate and Irina Nikoforova placed first in Silver Waltz. Coate and Nikoforova took another first place in Silver American Cha-Cha, while Liteplo and Goldhaber took place over all in the Open American competition.

For complete results for Holy Cross and other recent competitions, visit the Ballroom Dance Team’s Web site,