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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

USC Ballroom Dancing Competes In Santa Barbara

USC students show off their ballroom dancing skills in competition at UC Santa Barbara.

When you think of dance, you probably think of ballet or hip hop or tap. Something you probably don’t think about? Ballroom and Latin dance. What you might not know is that USC has its very own Ballroom and Latin Dance Team.

Right now, the team is fresh off a great showing at the Beach Ball competition at UC Santa Barbara. The UCSB Beach Ball is the final competition for this semester, but competitive season starts again in just a few months, with the next event at the end of February.

The competitive aspect of the SC Ballroom and Latin Dance Team is what distinguishes it from other similar dance clubs. While others focus more on social dancing, the Ballroom Team also places an emphasis on competition, encouraging its members to compete as much as possible, even if they just want to have fun.

As much fun as competing can be, it requires a significant time commitment. For example, UCSB was an overnight competition, meaning most team members carpooled up to Santa Barbara Friday evening and did not return until Sunday afternoon. On the actual day of competition, everyone wakes up around 5 or 6 a.m. to prepare and ensure that everyone is ready to leave. Getting the whole team ready takes about two hours: this includes hair, makeup, loading cars and of course, breakfast.

The competition itself is a long day. At UCSB, doors open at 8 a.m. and most people do not leave until much later that night, between 9 and 10 p.m. For the SC Ballroom and Latin Dance Team, that’s nowhere close to the end of the night—the team heads back to where they are staying for a few more hours of intense team bonding, complete with an impromptu pillow fort.

Even though collegiate competition is over for this semester, the team is proudly sending two couples to nationals next week in Ohio. Both couples will be in Ohio all weekend for the competition while the team cheers them on from here in Los Angeles.

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