Students Taught to Waltz in Monty

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On Friday, April 20, there was a lesson in Waltzing in Montgomery Hall, room 25, at 2:45 p.m.

It was organized by senior Monica Liddi and artist-in-residence Brian Ganz of the Music Department, and was taught by dance faculty member Donna Jordan and an outside ballroom dancer, both of whom danced in recent competitions.

The lesson was approximately one hour in length, and students and faculty alike – though mostly students – went to the lesson, looking forward to learning how to ballroom dance.

The lesson consisted of the box step (moving in place, in a box formation) and the chain step (a type of box step where the pair of dancers moves in one direction, in a straight line, that is also known as the traveling step). At the end of the waltz lesson, there was a piano recital given by students and faculty; the event ended at approximately 5:00 p.m.

Waltzing is among the many cost-free events that happen on campus, though this ballroom lesson was something that has never happened before. There were many more females than males at the lesson, though there were still (at a minimum) between twenty and thirty students, many of whom gave positive feedback when asked about the ballroom lesson. Sophomore Alexia Tanski, when asked how she believed the lesson went, said, “Waltzing was awesome. I had done swing before, and ever since then I’ve just wanted to try all types of ballroom. It’s great being able to experience these things for free, too.”

Because of this recent lesson, there has been expressed interest from a number of students in a ballroom dancing program at St. Mary’s. While he does not ballroom dance very often, sophomore Kevin Tennyson, who has taken swing lessons, said that he would participate if a ballroom program was started. Tennyson did not attend Waltz Friday, though expressed an interest in attending lessons of that nature should they continue.

“It’s definitely something they should do again,” sophomore Eugene Hammond said. “It would be a really good thing to have a program here.” He built on this by commenting on World Carnival and saying, “Maybe they could have contests during World Carnival; bring back the classiness.” Hammond mentioned that having ballroom dancing “parties” might be a good thing to do as well.

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