By Regina Barbosa
Two couples from the Ballroom Dance Club at Saint Mary’s University placed in the top five at the Badger Ballroom Dancesport Classic on Saturday, Nov. 9, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
“It was a huge competition,” said senior Gus Wiggert. There were dancers from University of Michigan, Notre Dame, Northwestern, Iowa, St. Olaf, Carleton, UW-Madison and some other schools, he said.
Dance couple Sarah Leitzke and Wiggert placed third in newcomer waltz, and couple Abi Osborne and Wiggert placed fifth in newcomer mambo.
“The interesting thing about it is that these aren’t choreographed routines we do. There’s a set number of moves that we have to use,” said Wiggert. “You’re judged on everything from the actual execution of your moves, to simply your floor presence,” he said.
“[The judges] really want to see if you can create the feel of the dance, as well as doing the moves,” said Osborne.
It was the club’s fourth time ever at a dance sport competition, and first time at such a large one. “In every heat that we competed in, there were about 60-70 couples,” said Wiggert.
Different dancer categories ranged between newcomer, bronze, silver, and gold. The newcomer category is reserved for those who have been dancing under six months, bronze for over six months and silver and gold are for more serious dancers, according to Leitzke.
“All of our couples danced newcomer and bronze,” said Osborne.
“As a club, we just started competing,” said Wiggert. “We are geared much more towards the social dancing,” he said.
“We’re not looking to be professional dancers,” said Osborne, who encourages people to give SMU’s Ballroom Dance Club a try. “This is something to take advantage of,” she said.
“It’s a fantastic club,” said Leitzke, “and it’s worth going to at least once.”
The Ballroom Dance Club meets in the dance studio on Tuesdays at 7 p.m.