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MIT Ballroom Dance Team started off the ballroom competitive season at the Harvard Beginners Competition this past weekend, taking at least half of all placements in the finals in all events in which we competed.

The team’s newly minted rookies, only having trained for one month, swept in all the newcomer events. Josh Sherrer ’18 and Carolyn Rogan ’18 won first in newcomer swing and rumba and placed in both foxtrot and waltz finals; Alexander F. Padron ’18 and Amber T. Guo ’18 won first in newcomer foxtrot and waltz and placed in both swing and rumba finals. Matthew L. Cavuto ’17 and Rachel Schwartz ’18 also placed in three of four newcomer finals.

The yearlings – members who have trained for one year — also placed in all their events. Daniel R. Chen ’17 and Hao Zhang G placed in all bronze events with their respective partners. Chen and Brittany N. Bautista ’17 placed second in bronze Latin, while he and Casey R. Crownhart ’17 placed first in both bronze standard and smooth. Zhang and Peggy Zhu ’17 placed third in bronze Latin, while he and Vira Semenova G placed fifth in bronze standard. Corey Cleveland ’17 and Clio Flikkema ’17 placed across all silver events.

Although the competition focuses on beginner competitors, some veterans danced as well. Jorge Valdez G and Laura J. Perovich G placed in both silver rhythm and Latin trips. Vitaly Abdrashitov G placed in both silver Latin, with Arlene Hijara, and silver standard, with Amy S. Ishiguro ’16.

At the end of the long competition, the teams participated in a rookie-vet team match. Dressed in ridiculous costumes, a rookie teamed up with a veteran dancer and performed a quick foxtrot, hustle, polka, salsa, or swing. MIT and Northeastern tied for first.