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MIT Ballroom Dancers Shine at College of the Holy Cross Competition

By Jessica Lee

TEAM MEMBER

On a glowing dance floor with a breathtaking view of Worcester last Saturday, the MIT Ballroom Dance Team competed against 18 other schools at the College of the Holy Cross.

It was a small competition, and only two couples competed in the three Standard dances at the Newcomer level (International Waltz, Tango, and Quickstep). One of those couples was from MIT -- Steven Hsu and Jingwen Ouyang ’08. Hsu and Ouyang later took on 20 couples to place first in all three of the Newcomer Smooth dances (American Waltz, Tango, and Foxtrot). Ouyang danced with Eng Sew Aw G in the Latin dances in which, out of 20 couples, they placed third in International Jive, second in International Rumba, and first in International Cha Cha.

The Newcomer level is for competitors who began dancing in January 2005, and this was a first taste of competition for almost all the Newcomer-level competitors.

MIT also made a strong showing among the Bronze competitors, those who have been dancing since the fall of 2004. Aw danced with Helen Zha ’07 in the Smooth style, taking third out of 25 in all three dances. They were also among the seven couples who competed in Bronze in International Foxtrot, an exceedingly complex dance that can be mastered only after a few months of experience. Charles Q. Du ’03 and Evangeline Tzatzalos ’05 danced the Foxtrot as well, and they later took fourth in International Rumba.

Shih-Yuan Liu and Jessica R. Huot ’06 danced consistently well, placing within the top six in the International Waltz and Foxtrot and within the top three in the Latin dances and in the Rhythm dances (American Cha Cha, Rumba, and Swing).

At the Silver level, competition was more select; between five and nine couples entered each of the Standard dances (International Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, and Quickstep). Among them were MIT’s Ron Hoffmann ’79 and Jessica A. Lee ’05, who placed within the top two in each dance. They also placed first out of four couples competing in Gold International Viennese Waltz, the only Gold event held at last Saturday’s competition.