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On the weekend of March 7 – 9, several couples on the MIT Ballroom Dance Team (MITBDT) traveled to Columbia University to compete in the Big Apple Dance Competition (BADC), one of the largest such competitions on the East Coast. Of note, every MITBDT rookie, that is anyone who is a first year dancer on the team, made at least several semifinals. This year’s rookie class dominated in the newcomer finals. We also had a team couple place as a finalist in Champ, the highest skill level.

The two-day competition began with the American Rhythm and International Standard events. With over twenty couples competing in the Newcomer events, Daniel R. Chen ’16 and Brittany N. Bautista ’17 placed second overall in Newcomer American Rhythm, while Zohaib Mahmood G and Francesca Y. Majluf ’17 placed third overall. Chen went on to finish first overall in the Newcomer International Standard with his partner Casey R. Crownhart ’17. Daniel D. Richman ’17 and Devon A. Sklair ’15 placed second overall.

The Bronze Rhythm had over fifty couples competing with varying experience in dancing. Some of the dancers were quite experienced, while MIT’s own Corey A. Cleveland ’17, for example, had only six months of dancing experience. Cleveland successfully finished second place overall with his partner Clio Flikkema from Wellesley College in the Bronze Rhythm.

On Sunday, March 9, the MITBDT dancers participated in the American Smooth and International Latin events. Chen and Crownhart, and Richman and Sklair once again showed their prowess and placed first overall and third overall, respectively, in the Newcomer Smooth event. Mahmood and Majluf nabbed first overall in the International Latin event. Cleveland and Flikkema also placed first overall in the Bronze Smooth.

In addition to the rookie class, a few other MITBDT couples also attended the Columbia competition. Jorge L. Valdez G and Laura J. Perovich G placed sixth in the Silver American Rhythm Swing/Mambo, and seventh in the Silver International Latin Samba/Jive. Alex Martinov G and Julia Shen placed third in the Prechamp International Standard Waltz/Tango/Foxtrot/Quickstep and second in the Prechamp International Standard Viennese Waltz. Ben Moss G and Esther Rheinbay placed fifth overall in the Champ International Standard.

The next competition for MIT will be the Harvard Invitational at the Hynes Convention Center, April 5 – 6.