UA ballroom competition team prepares for Gamecock Invitational

Claire Yates, Contributing Writer

The University of Alabama’s Collegiate Ballroom Competition Team practices three nights a week at the UA Student Recreation Center in preparation for the Gamecock Invitational, a ballroom dancing competition on Saturday, Oct. 23, at the University of South Carolina. 

There are over 20 styles of ballroom dancing, but UA ballroom dancers have practiced everything from standard to Latin.

Smooth/standard ballroom dancing includes the waltz, tango, foxtrot and more, while rhythm/Latin dance is made up of the rumba, cha-cha, swing and mambo.

“A lead and a follow synchronously respond to each other, utilizing body language to convey their emotions and energy,” said Jayna Enguita, a junior majoring in chemical engineering and a UA ballroom dancer. “Whether the room is silent or music sings from the speakers, a partnership dancing across the floor turns the space into something magical.”

There are many skill levels to ballroom dancing from beginner, or pre-bronze, to bronze, silver and then gold; any level above gold is considered professional. Most UA ballroom dancers are in the beginner and bronze level, with a few in the silver division. They haven’t participated in any competitions yet, but they have attended  multiple social dance events. 

A couple weeks ago, the ballroom dancers’ sister club, Crimson Tide Ballroom Dancers, held a “Decades Dance” event that was open to everyone. .Attendees dressed in the fashion of any decade and watched  performances from the Crimson Tide Ballroom Dancers and the Collegiate Ballroom Competition Team. There were partner dances and line dances so that everyone could participate.

No experience is required to be on the team. 

The Collegiate Ballroom Competition Team’s president Louis LeBoeuf, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering, and vice president Lauryn Smith, a junior majoring in management and marketing, share a passion for ballroom dancing. 

Smith considers being part of the Collegiate Ballroom Competition Team to be like a sorority

“Almost after every dance, we always go and get food or go to someone’s apartment to play board games, card games or whatever we want to do,” Smith said.

For Leboeuf, the teaching aspect is the best part. He likes getting dancers out of their shells so that they can be confident with their dancing. “Our biggest aim is to have fun,” Leboeuf said. “We are a big family and have a bonding event every other week along with two social dances we attend every Friday night.”

The team is looking forward to showing off its talent at the competition this October.