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14th Annual Michigan Ballroom Dance Competition

14th Annual Michigan Ballroom Dance Competition

This year is the 14th annual competition hosted by the Ballroom Dance Team at the University of Michigan.  This competition is a wonderful opportunity for dancers from various schools across the Midwest (and the country) to meet and compete.  Dancers of all levels are welcome to compete.  Friends, family, and community members are encouraged to attend, as there is plenty of seating for spectators.

The 14th Annual University of Michigan Ballroom Dance Competition will be held on Saturday, April 5th, 2014 at Pioneer High School.

Click here to register for MichComp 2014

Click here to find out more

March 6, 2014 0 comments Read More
So You Want To Try Ballroom

So You Want To Try Ballroom

If you’ve found this page, then you probably are at least a little bit curious about ballroom dancing.  Maybe you’ve been inspired by an episode of Dancing With the Stars.  Maybe you like to dance and want to try a new (or first) style.  Maybe you want to meet some cuties.  Or maybe you just want to try something new.

Excellent!

Over the course of September, we have a lot of opportunities to dip your feet and test the waters of Ballroom Dancing.  Please come.  The events are free, and can tell you more about the team than I can possibly tell you in this little post.  In each of these events, we’ll teach you two brand new dances.  Even if you decide that this team isn’t for you, you’ll walk out a better dancer.  You can meet the rest of the team, and we’ll be glad to tell you how great this team is.  We don’t bite, I promise.  We all started just like you, taking that first step into ballroom dancing.

You can also keep track of what’s going on in that neato calendar to the left of this post.

You probably have a lot of questions about this.  We’ve been doing this for a while, and these are the most common questions new dancers ask.

What Should I Wear?

Ladies, come in something that you can move easily in. Nothing too constricting like tight pencil skirts/tight body dresses. Leggings/shorts are fine, but feel free to dress up! A flowy skirt/dress would be welcome and most dancers generally wear spandex under skirts/dresses. For shoes, most people come in flats. Nothing that doesn’t stick with the bottom of the foot such as flip flops, but sandals are usually fine. You will see some team members in ballroom dance heels, but flats generally are the best for your first time (and regular heels don’t have a dance sole).

Gentleman, wear what feels comfortable. For new dancers, we recommend a pair of slacks, dress shoes, and a button-down shirt.  A tie might be “overdressed”, but a t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers would be a bit under-dressed (and difficult to dance in).  It’s not critical, of course, and if you’re more comfortable in sneakers, by all means, come as you prefer!
We also ask that everyone wear shoes for the entirety of the lesson. In other words, NO BARE FEET.

Do I need to be a Student?

You do need to be a student to join the ballroom dance TEAM.  But, we do have a ballroom dance CLUB that is open to EVERYONE.

Do I need to bring a partner?

No, there are plenty of people for you to dance with!  If you do want to bring a special partner, that’s cool too.  You can rotate with the other people, or keep your special someone to yourself.  Either way is fine.

Are there Tryouts?

Only if you have previous competitive ballroom experience.  If you don’t, just come to the newcomer classes, learn, and have fun :).

What if I have two left feet and no rhythm?

That’s fine!  Actually, most of our best dancers started with ZERO dancing experience.  We started by tripping all over each other.  We’re good at teaching people from scratch.

Will I be competing on Dancing With The Stars?

No, but you can say you did.  Also, who knows what the future holds?

 

If you still have questions, you can email the whole executive board at ballroom-exec@umich.edu.  One of us will get back to you with an answer.

We hope to see you dancing!

August 24, 2013 0 comments Read More
Board Nominations

Board Nominations

Here are the board nominations. Click on name for campaign photo:

President

Charles Wang

There are a number of things I would like to accomplish as president and they do all tie into my desire to make the team more cohesive, more efficient, and to better allow for current and future members to enjoy their team as a part of the team. I plan on performing all the tasks expected of the president on a regular basis-working and building a relationship with Steve and Susan as well as the Durbins, engaging our current and prospective team members, and working with the rest of the executive board to ensure that team operations are going smoothly.

There also a number of specific movements I would like to undertake, many as a result of discussions that have come up with team members across the past two years. I plan on finding ways for our members to become more involved in the recruitment process and the promotion of MichComp, promoting not only more member participation but also creating a more cohesive team through the efforts and time devoted to such efforts; I would like our team members to feel they have vested interests in the team, and not just as students that come to learn to dance. Also, I would like to revamp the subsidization program in a way that promotes more active participation from team members. In short, there is much more to being a part of this team than just going to lessons and I would like to make changes that reflect that in addition to carrying out the regular duties necessary as president.

Home Competition Coordinator

Patrick Lau

MichComp is one of the biggest collegiate competitions in the Midwest. I want improve everyone’s competition experience and continue to give back to a team that has given me so much. Having mentors who were both Home Comp Coordinators means that I have been involved with organizing MichComp since my freshmen year. As the current technology chair, I have already increased the speed at which competition videos are released. As Home competition coordinator, I will:

Increase community outreach and advertising
Over the years, community attendance and involvement has decreased dramatically. I would like to work with local businesses to get sponsorship and bring food and other services to MichComp. In addition, I will also give local businesses free tickets for advertising for MichComp. This will be a good source of revenue since MichComp needs to be self-sustainable.

Explore alternative venues
Saline Middle School has a lot of space for competitors, but it is also very far away. I will endeavor to find a location that is closer to our school. One possible location is the Indoor Track building where Dance Marathon was hosted this past year.

Improve the competition experience
This year, MichComp was quite well run on the day but there is always room for improvement. I would like bring back sponsorship from Vitamin Water and Ben & Jerry’s. Previously, they provided free ice cream and drinks to the competitors. I would like to bring that back. In addition, I would also like to work with local businesses to bring a massage therapist and other services to MichComp for free.

Vote for me and let’s work together to make MichComp the most successful yet.

Support Patrick on Facebook

Bryan Hicks

I joined the UMBDT the first semester of my freshman year with the intent to try something that I may never be able to do again. I was hooked within weeks, and I quickly became immersed in all aspects of the team. Now, I want to help make the team even better for all of us who are a part of it. To that end, I would like to submit myself as a candidate for the Home Competition Chair position.

I am the type of person who never approaches a project without a clear, detailed plan for success. This ability has been refined by my extensive engineering project work, and I have become adept at identifying and prioritizing project tasks, working in a team, and obsessing over crucial details. Additionally, my place on the 2012 MichComp Committee has already given me some insight into how to organize and execute this major event.

My vision for MichComp 2013 features corporate sponsorships and a strong advertisement campaign. This past year, our team lost over $8000 in funds primarily because attendance at our competition reached an all-time low. Aggressive advertisement early-on in the school year will raise awareness and attendance among competitors and spectators alike. Similarly, capturing sponsorships from companies will add to the quality of MichComp while eliminating some of our expenses.

With this plan in mind, I will work together with my MichComp Committee to make the 14th UM Ballroom Dance Competition a world-class event.

Support Bryan on Facebook

Curriculum Chair

Alex Pulgini

I am running for the position of Curriculum Chair. When I joined ballroom, I did not expect it to have the significance in my life that it does today. This year marks my third year on the team, and my involvement has continued to grow in terms of dancing as well as my efforts to further the team’s success. For the entirety of my first year as a ballroom member, I was a newcomer without a partner. My lack of a partner demonstrates my commitment to this team. With that experience, I know the importance of finding a partner for  competitions. As an upper-level team member, I took the initiative this year to help the team in a number of ways. I created Google Documents for each competition during the winter semester to connect those without partners who want to attend competitions. I also organized multiple Flash Mobs during Winter Welcome Week to promote the UMBDT to students who would not normally be exposed to all we have to offer, in addition to engaging prospective members.

As a candidate for Curriculum Chair, organizational skills are crucial. I am studying Education, and I am experienced in writing lesson plans. The composition, along with effective execution, of these lesson plans demonstrates my ability to efficiently organize and present information that is easily understandable to others. If elected, I plan to implement my current efforts to further the success of the team, most notably through the use of a Google Calendar to keep an organized and up-to-date record of when people teach at DTS.

Support Alex on Facebook

Technology Chair

Matthew Ward

The technology chair responsibilities are tailored to my skill set. Filming things and dealing with the many issues technology presents is both my major and my job. This is exactly what I get get up in the morning to do. In terms of website management, last summer while I was working at Hasbro I ran the hubworld.com webpage. I can run lists online and always stay organized. I am incredibly prepared for each responsibility of the tech chair.

On the team, I have been assisting with the many technology issues we have. During the welcome week events, I set up our soundboard and made sure everything sounded beautiful. At Michcomp I not only filmed our dancing for our personal viewing, but I also streamed the event for anyone who couldn’t attend. The stream was incredibly successful, with 1,000 total views ranging from around the world. And even when there were issues, I kept a cool head and fixed them. At Arnold, I spend my scarce free moments gathering footage for a special video for a Zipcar contest in addition to the glorious Gangnam Style general dance. It would have been far easier to sit down in between dancing, but I put in everything I have when it comes to getting the job done for our team.

All of this is the effort I put into the team when it is NOT my obligation to do so. Imagine what I’ll do when it is. Please vote for me, Matt Ward, as your new Tech Chair.

Support Matt on Facebook

Public Relations Chair

Lindsey Winslow

Board members made my experience as a newcomer wonderful and now I feel that it is my turn to step up as a leader to give back to the team. As Public Relations chair I will work in collaboration with other members of the board to make decisions and resolve any issues brought to our attention. I feel that I can contribute unique ideas to help keep the team thriving. I will work with board members such as the president and recruitment chair to encourage current team members and ensure the addition of future members. I will do this by attending events and lessons as an example and a leader to those deciding if the team is right for them. Not only is it important to work within our team, but with the public as well. Our team has made positive impressions on other campus organizations and I will work to continue developing those relationships. Our team is presented with many unique opportunities that I personally have been a part of such as, show cases and teaching other groups how to dance, and always had great experiences. I want more team members to have the same experiences that I was able to have, so I could use my experience as a way to encourage them. I have grown with this team and developed friendships that will last a lifetime and I want others to have that same opportunity. This team is incredibly important to me and I feel that through my experience with the team and the passion that I have for the team I would make an excellent addition to the board.

Support Lindsey on Facebook

Recruitment Chair

Sam Caronongan

Support Sam on Facebook

Amanda Grimm

After serving two years on the Ballroom Executive Board, I’ve learned that the most important key to successful leadership is to realize what your strengths and weaknesses are. I learned that each executive position on the board requires a specific set of skills and I’ve realized that my particular set of skills are based on my ability to interact with other team members.

And so, the reason why I want to be next year’s recruitment chair is because I want to interact with every new potential member in the CCRB, Diag and Union and get them as excited about ballroom dancing as I am. I will form honest friendships with our newcomers to ensure that they realize how much of a social niche the Ballroom Dance Team can be.

Ultimately, I want to be next year’s recruitment chair because I’ve realized that I will be recruiting new members whether or not I am elected the position. I have such a love and passion for this team that I can’t help but try to get other members as excited as I am. I want the team to have more dancers, I would love to make some new friends, and mostly I’d love for others to feel the way that we as a team feel about ballroom dancing every night.

Support Amanda on Facebook

Treasurer

Jonathan Hershaff

This year, I overhauled our applications for University funding. Previously, we were lucky to get a few hundred dollars; in my first year as Treasurer, we received $17,000 to subsidize our members’ competition costs.

This was no accident: I attended mass meetings detailing the funding system for student groups and met individually with members of the committee determining student org funding. This led me to apply for away competition funding for the first time in team history and is where we received the bulk of our awards.

I championed taking care of our drivers. Drivers received the largest subsidies obtained via CSG grants. In addition, to ensure drivers never were left on the hook for travel expenses, I created a system where the team pays back the driver for their passengers’ share of the costs and then collects directly from those passengers.

Additionally, I worked to increase the transparency of member expenses. Via detailed spreadsheets, members know exactly how their debts and credits were calculated and can be confident we took into account all expenses and payments.

Finally, to the delight of some and dismay of others, I instigated the playing of bachata music at ballroom parties. :)

Next year, I will continue to work with the new CSG funding committee to maximize funding for the team. I will work closely with the Mich Comp committee and form a nimble team of fundraisers and marketers to bring in spectators and sponsors and help raise as much as possible for our team.

Support Jon on Facebook

Away Competition Chair

Christopher Ruehs

Since my freshman year a lot has changed in my life, but there has been one thing that remains constant, ballroom. I still consider joining ballroom my first semester one of the best decisions of my college career. I have made lifelong friends and had a ton of fun along the way, not to mention picking up a skill that will last for the rest of my life. Dancing was something I thought I would never be able to do, but through ballroom I have found confidence and a love of the sport that I never knew I had. This is something that I hope to pass off to many more people and I think the best way for me to do this is by becoming part of the board to assist the president, Steve and Susan, and the rest of the team in keeping this organization a great social group and maintaining our status as one of the best ballroom teams in the country. The team has given me so much and I want to give some of that back.

I hope to be able to do this by becoming the Away Competition Chair. One of the greatest opportunities our team presents is not only the ability to go to competitions, but making going to competitions easy, stress free, and an overall great time. I think attending a competition can be an incredibly intimidating thing to do as someone just learning how to dance, but also one of the most rewarding. As the away competition chair, I will do my best to not just set up rides and rooms for competitions in a timely and efficient manner, but to make sure everyone on the team is aware and excited about upcoming competitions and to encourage everyone, from newcomer to A team, to attend. My goal will be to make the process of registering and attending competitions as seamless as possible so everyone attending can relax and focus on the most important part, the dancing.

Coming from a computer science background, I have a great attention to detail and I will assure that every minute detail will be attended to and taken care of well in advance of all competitions. I will do my best to accommodate every dancers needs when it comes to sleeping and driving arrangements. If I become away competition chair, I will make it my top priority to make the away competitions the highlight of your school year. I hope I get your vote and if you have any questions I’d be more than happy to answer them. I’m looking forward to a great year of dancing!

Practice Coordinator

Nolan Marsh

The biggest reason that I want to be on the board is that I love this team. Anybody with whom I have spoken at all this semester, more or less, will tell you that you will be hard pressed to find someone else as passionate about not only ballroom dancing but about the team as an entity. I have gone through these past through semesters with the ballroom team as my college family, and I want more than anything else to have the opportunity to give back.

As for this particular position, I feel like my attention to detail, eagerness to please, and naturally charming and adorable nature make me well suited for all of the tasks required of the practice coordinator. I am always happy to make other people happy, so who better could there be to represent the team with the owners of our various practice spaces? I also, more often than not, am one of the last people to leave DTS after lessons and practices so that I can make sure that whoever is closing gets any help that I can offer, which means that I have more knowledge than most on the team of what goes into maintaining our practices spaces past just the basic assignment of chores.

Support Nolan on Facebook

Josh Blumberg

As part of the UMBDT, I have grown to love the team, its members, and all of the practices and competitions, and I want to take on responsibilities as a leader by being the Practice Coordinator.  Currently, our team has a less than stellar relationship with the Durbins, DTS’s owners.  Over the past several years, our team has taken advantage of the Durbins by neglecting DTS and not keeping it spotless.  As a result, we have become somewhat of a nuisance to them.  There has been a chronic problem with commitment and getting everyone on the team to pitch in to making sure that we keep DTS.  If we don’t drastically change our treatment of DTS, we may lose it.  This is a pivotal point in our team’s history.  Since the team started, we have been lucky enough to use DTS for free.  We all love DTS and would be sad to lose it.

If elected, I can and will ensure that we not only keep DTS, but improve our relationship with the Durbins and curb our chronic problem in committing to keeping DTS clean.  I am going to do this by making sure that we do everything the Durbins ask of us and then some, and going out of my way to make sure that DTS always looks cleaner when we leave than when we arrived.  Further, I am going to raise money to purchase vacuums, repaint the walls, and maybe even replace (at least part of) the floor to fix up DTS.  I am a dedicated, responsible, reliable, and organized clean freak who will already be at DTS most nights until everyone leaves to facilitate its cleaning and closing.   I will keep an organized schedule of who will be at and close DTS when I am unable to, and secure the practice spaces that we need to continue improving our skills as competitive ballroom dancers.  I am willing and ready to give our team my all to make sure that we keep our privilege of using DTS.  I am very passionate about and love love love our team, I feel that I would be a strong addition to the board, and I would be thrilled to serve the team as Practice Coordinator.

Support Josh on Facebook

Jiaxin Zheng

Practice makes perfect, and ensuring enough practice space is absolutely essential to the vitality of the team.

Throughout my extra-curricular life, I have worked with numerous different groups to coordinate workspace and events. For my service clubs, I would never hesitate to get in touch with organizations to plan community service events. For science olympiad, I effectively worked with a teacher to ensure we would have a room for club meetings and test trials. For marching band and flute choir, I communicated with the band director to guarantee a practice room for our weekly rehearsals. Indeed, I was in a position for many of these clubs that involved planning, and never was afraid to open out to others in order to reach a goal.

Although many of these are high school experiences, my involvement in these clubs have made me very comfortable with effective coordination. Additionally, if ever confronted with a problem, such as our team not meeting cleaning standards, I would be more than eager to work with the owners of a practice space to resolve the issue.

My two semesters on the team have given me a strong understanding of the responsibilities of practice coordinator, and I believe I would excel at this position. For years, Michigan Ballroom Dance has had practice space in DTS, the CCRB, and other numerous places–and with my meticulous planning and effective communication skills, I know I can continue to secure the practice space we have grown so accustomed to having.

Support Jiaxin on Facebook

Brian Lee

I will be entering my third year on this team.  Since becoming a Wolverine, joining UMBDT was the best decision I made that was not related to academics.  As a member who loves this team and takes dancing seriously, it is time for me to step up and do even more for the team than I have ever before.  For as long as I have been on the team, I have received help from a number of members both past and present.  Now the time has come for me to become that person who can help other members.  Taking care of the team and its members will become one of my highest priorities.  At competitions, I have recorded members on the team with my own personal camcorder who were on the dance floor and uploaded those videos onto YouTube.  I have also provided food, Powerade, and Gatorade to team members to make sure everyone feels energized when they compete.  As practice coordinator, I will make sure that all dancers will continue to have practice space available at DTS and CCRB.  Being a board member also means having to take leadership responsibilities and being available for members who may need help.  As someone who is former military, I can say that being a leader is something that comes naturally to me and I will ensure that members of the team are taken care of to the best of my abilities.

Teresa Vasievich

Support Terest on Facebook

April 3, 2013 0 comments
13th University of Michigan Ballroom Dance Competition

13th University of Michigan Ballroom Dance Competition

Each year the Ballroom Dance Team at the University of Michigan holds its own dance competition. This competition is a wonderful opportunity for schools across the Midwest to meet and compete. We have been fortunate enough to hold our competition at Saline Middle School in recent years. The gymnasium is spacious and provides a nice wood floor with stands for spectators. Encourage your friends and family to attend!

The 13th Annual University of Michigan Ballroom Dance Competition will be held on Saturday, February 9th, 2013 at Saline Middle School.Andre and Natalie Paramonov will be showcasing at the end of the competition.

They will also be teaching at a workshop in the Michigan Union Ballroom from 12-1:30 on Sunday.

Andre and Natalie Paramonov at MichComp 2013

Click here to register for MichComp 2013

Tentative Schedule of Events

Friday, Feb 8, 2013
8:00PM-10:00PM Welcome Dance
Saturday, Feb 9, 2013
8:00AM-10:30AM Syllabus Smooth
10:30AM-1:00PM Syllabus Standard
1:00PM-3:00PM Syllabus Rhythm
3:00PM-6:00PM SyllabusLatin
6:00PM-7:30PM Open Events
7:30PM-8:00PM Showcase with Andre & Natalie Paramonov
Sunday, Feb 10,2013
12:00PM-1:30PM Workshop with Andre & Natalie Paramonov

*Note: Event order will run Newcomer/Silver, then Bronze/Gold.

February 6, 2013 0 comments
Free Welcome Week Dance Lessons!

Free Welcome Week Dance Lessons!

What’s better than free dance lessons? During the recruitment season our team gives away 5 free Latin and Ballroom dance lessons to get you moving. We teach at least two dances each Welcome Week event (including the Cha Cha, Swing, Salsa/Mambo, Foxtrot, Tango), and at the CCRB on Saturdays our world-class professional coaches teach 3 dances in 2 hours. The free events alone will teach you a TON of ballroom dancing skills that will last a lifetime. We encourage everyone to come and check us out. NO PARTNER OR EXPERIENCE NECESSARY!

Free Welcome Week Lessons:

Thursday 1/10, 8:00pm-10:00pm @ Michigan Union Rogel Ballroom

Thursday 1/17, 8:00pm-10:00pm @ Michigan League Ballroom

Free Trial Lessons:

Saturday 1/12, 4:30pm-6:30pm @ CCRB Mirror Room (Activities Room # 3275)

Saturday 1/19, 4:30pm-6:30pm @ CCRB Mirror Room (Activities Room # 3275)

Saturday 1/26, 4:30pm-6:30pm @ CCRB Mirror Room (Activities Room # 3275)

January 11, 2013 0 comments
End of Semester Party/After-Party!

End of Semester Party/After-Party!

At the end of each semester the team hosts a party in order to celebrate the past few months of friends, fun, and dancing. The end of semester party is a great way to unwind before finals with a potluck, talent show, and games. Afterward the team leaves the official party venue and reconvenes for a fun night with more music and dancing. Friends and alumni of the team are welcome at the after-party!

Click the post title to go to the Facebook event page to learn more.

December 2, 2012 0 comments
8th Consecutive National Championship Title!

8th Consecutive National Championship Title!

Ohio Star Ball 2012

The USA Dance National Collegiate DanceSport Championship marks the time of year when schools from all over the midwest and further come together to compete for the national title. The competition coincides with the Ohio Star Ball Championships, where many of the up-and-coming amateur and professional ballroom, smooth, rhythm, and Latin dancers compete all week long.

This year the Ballroom Dance Team at the University of Michigan brought over 80 competitors spanning all styles and skill levels.

November 23, 2012 0 comments Read More
A New Look

A New Look

After a bit of elbow grease and plenty of research into design online, the new home of the Ballroom Dance Team at the University of Michigan is shaping up pretty nicely. A lot of what you’re used to is still available, and hopefully this shift in paradigm will allow us to deliver more inspiring, up-to-date content on a consistent basis!

November 5, 2012 0 comments Read More