The Ballroom Dance Society is a mix of beautiful contradictions.
Members come wearing sneakers and jeans to dance waltzes, rumbas and quicksteps. The students spin and step in an elegant back and forth in all the trappings of casual attire. If anything, the comfortable clothes and surroundings only serve to make the complicated moves appear that much more natural of the dancers.
Cecilia Smith, the society’s president, said the group formed nearly a decade ago when dance students on campus grew interested in practicing beyond the classroom. Since then, the club has expanded to a type of classroom of its own.
“Basically we teach a different dance each week,” Smith said. “We teach each of the separate parts. Once we’ve taught everything, we get together and go over the dance.”
Smith said the club is open to anyone on campus and said she herself joined after a club’s flyer sparked her personal interest in dance.
“I personally like to dance. If I get a good beat I just start dancing,” Smith said. “It’s relaxing to me. It’s a fun way to meet people and just shake off the stress of the day.”
Lisa Perforres is the club’s former president and is still in attendance at the weekly Tuesday night meetings. She talked about the society with a constant grin on her face and even laughed when asked what her favorite part about the society is.
“Looking cool,” she giggled.
It is not uncommon for members to talk about the society with a sense of humor or candidness about their initial hesitations. Savannah Kapper, vice president of the society, said she was more than skeptical when her roommate, Smith, first invited her to the club.
“She dragged me here kicking and screaming,” Kapper said. Kapper’s concerns, though, slipped quickly slipped away.
“I fell in love with it right off the bat,” she said. “I wasn’t that great at first but I fell in love with the dances.”