Over Veterans’ Day weekend, the MIT Ballroom Dance Team (MITBDT) again sent its dancers to the top of the finals at Brown University’s 20th Annual Ballroom Competition.
In addition to winning the Christina Cryan Newcomer Team Match for the eleventh year in the row, MITBDT’s rookies dominated the finals in their second competition this season, taking the majority of the finalist spots.
Throughout the competition, Matthew L. Cavuto ’17 with Rachael Schwartz (Wellesley ’18) and Alexander F. Padron ’18 with Amber T. Guo ’18 vied for first place at the Newcomer level across all styles. Cavuto and Schwartz placed first in all Rhythm and Latin events, while Padron and Guo placed first across all Smooth and Standard events. Also of note, Ethan A. Bates G and Laura Jarin-Lipschitz ’16 placed in finals across all Newcomer events.
Although the day began with Rhythm events, the bulk of the veteran dancers did not compete until the Smooth and Standard events. At the Bronze level, Daniel R. Chen ’17 and Casey R. Crownhart ’17 took first place across all events for both Smooth and Standard styles. Jacky Chen G and Francesca Y. Majluf ’17 finished close behind at second place. Vitaly Abdrashitov G and Amy S. Ishiguro ’16, and Corey A. Cleveland ’17 and Clio Flikkema (Wellesley ’17) placed across all Silver Smooth and Standard events, with Abdrashitov and Ishiguro taking first place in International Waltz/Quickstep and Cleveland and Flikkema winning International Tango/Foxtrot.
Although only a couple couples competed at the higher levels in Standard and Smooth, all dancers placed in the finals. Dilip J. Thekkoodan SM ’14 and Amy C. Fan ’15 took home first place in all Smooth events for MITBDT; Ross E. Finman G with partner Ji Shiyan, and Thekkoodan and Fan also took two of the five finalist spots in all Gold Standard events.
The highlight of the Standard and Smooth events came as Benjamin R. Moss PhD ’14 and Esther Rheinbay, beloved amateur coaches, took to the floor for the Open Standard events amongst the cheers of the entire team. Moss and Rheinbay won first place after performing a stunning Open five-dance.
Finally, the long day ended with MIT taking Latin events by storm. In addition to rookies taking six of the seven finalist places, MITBDT members came out on top for all Silver and Gold events. Aaron Beal and Amy Yuan (Wellesley ’16) placed first in Silver, with MITBDT Captain Jorge Valdez G and partner Laura J. Perovich G, and Cleveland and Flikkema rounding out the top three. Finishing up the night, Brian R. Solomon G and Jessica Bernier SM ’11 placed first in Gold Latin.