The MIT Ballroom Dance Team is an organization of about
100 members. We have grad students, undergrad students
as well as MIT affiliates and their partners.
You don't have to be a dancer or have any experience in order to
join the team. We don't have tryouts and we have a motley of
different types of classes to help you get started.
The team itself originated from the MIT Ballroom Dance Club
that was established in the 1970s.
And because of the popularity of ballroom dancing competitions
several club members decided to start a ballroom dance team
because they wanted to compete and focus more on the technical
aspects of dancing rather than the social aspect.
So we have a bunch of classes. We teach all the way from beginner
to champ and we have instruction in the four different styles
that comprise ballroom. It shows in the way we compete and
the way we perform, and we are probably one of the
stronger collegiate teams in the country today.
We also host one of the largest competitions nationally,
where we have almost 1000 competitors come in, which
is very exciting.
The Ballroom Dance Club focuses on social dancing
which means that we do cover all of the regular ballroom dances
and we do teach all of them, but it is at a pretty relaxed pace.
We don't actually require them to have any partners or any
previous experience. It's supposed to be an environment that's
friendly and casual; a place where people can feel
comfortable coming and going.
Although the team and the club have slightly different ways
in which we operate, in the end it all comes down to the same thing:
we all love ballroom dancing.
Often you'll find team members involved in running some of the
things the club does, and some of the club members are team
Some people might want to choose to dance one style competitively
but they still want to learn the other style just to be able to dance it
socially. So we are all part of one big system.
There is a pretty large variety of people and we do welcome
everybody. It ranges from the MIT students, faculty and staff, and
then there are other people who are just in the community and
they like learning how to dance.
One aspect that really plays into it, is just how passionate people
here are at MIT. You'll see someone light-up about, phytoplankton
and then at the very next moment they'll be talking about how they
just love this one samba song and I think it's this passion that really
drives people to be willing to commit as much time as
necessary to perfect not only their academic work but also their
dance technique or any other extracurricular activities that they do.