5 Things I love about Collegiate Ballroom Competitions

August 15, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Hi everyone, if you didn’t see my last blog post, I will be photographing Yale’s Ballroom Competition in October. On top of that I will also be photographingBallroom at Maryland’s (BAM) DC DanceSport Inferno (DCDI)! That will make 3 collegiate ballroom competitions that I will have photographed by the end of this year. Crazy!

In light of this, I would like to list the 5 things that I love about the Collegiate Ballroom Scene:

  1. CHEERING!: Because the collegiate scene is centered around university teams, they tend band together and cheer their teammates on during the competition. Not only does this make the competition more lively, it also makes it that much easier to perform and have fun on the dance floor!
  2. Travel: When on a collegiate ballroom team, you usually get to travel to 2-3 competitions a semester. While I was on BAM’s team, I was able to travel to Ohio, UPenn, MIT, and a few other places to compete. I was able to see a good part of the North Eastern part of the US in just a few short years. Not only that, you travel as a team, either by motor coach or by carpooling. This is a really great way to bond with your teammates and get to know the new members of the team each year.
  3. Camaraderie: This kind of goes hand-in-hand with the cheering point, but everyone on a collegiate team looks out for each other. It is common to see upper level dancers give tips, doing hair, or lending a helping hand to the newcomers during a competition. Everyone wants to see the people on their team to do well.
  4. Friendship: The last point has little do with being on one particular team, but rather becoming friends with people on other teams. Of course, when on the dance floor, you are focused on out dancing everyone else on that floor, but off the floor you get to meet and become friends with all the wonderful people from other teams that have come to the same competition. Sometimes you become good friends with the person behind you in the “On Deck” area because you realize just how much you have in common with each other.

The collegiate scene is not like anything else in the ballroom world. In the real world, teams are replaced by studio, less and less people take group classes, and there is very little socialization outside the in-studio interaction. Being on a collegiate team truly is one of the best experiences in my life.

For these reasons, I find photographing these competitions so much fun and so rewarding.

If you dance, why do you dance and/or compete?


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