Juliana Delsante ‘20, Ballroom Dancing Queen!

Year: First-Year

Hometown: Gilbert, Arizona

Major: Classics

Campus Activities: Kenyon College Ballroom Dance Team, Her Campus Kenyon, Kenyon College Softball Team

How long have you been a part of Ballroom Dance Club, and what is your position?

I've been in Ballroom for a few months, and I'm the Publicity Manager.

 

What is your favorite part of Ballroom? What is your least favorite/what is the most challenging part?

My favorite part is being able to execute a move with a partner that I had spent a long time working on. My least favorite thing is the super uncomfortable shoes and how far away the KAC is for practice.

 

What types of dances do the members of Ballroom do in competitions?

We do Waltz, Tango, Cha Cha, Rumba, Swing, Jive, Viennese Waltz, Foxtrot, Samba, and Mambo. There are both American and International versions of a few of those, so in total we end up dancing 20 different dances at competitions.

What is your favorite kind of dancing? What do you most like to teach?

My favorite is probably either Viennese Waltz, Swing, or American Cha Cha. I haven't taught anything officially yet, but over winter break I attempted to teach my family how to Swing dance.

How many members of Ballroom regularly attend competitions?

I would say around 15-20 people regularly attend competitions.

 

Do members of Ballroom wear a specific kind of shoe for dancing?

There are Rhythm/Latin shoes and Smooth/Standard shoes. For girls at least, the former are open toed heels, and the latter are close toed.

 

Tell us a little bit about the competitive side of Ballroom!

There are four different levels at our competitions: Newcomer, Bronze, Silver, and Gold. It is very flashy, and I personally like to call it “Competitive Attention Seeking.” It's really important to maintain the judges’ attention, because for the first few rounds of dancing, the most important thing is catching their attention and getting your number written down. A lot of the outfits are ridiculously bedazzled/feathery/tasseled, and it’s all in order to get all the judges looking your way. You’re only on the floor for a very limited amount of time, so you have to make it count!

What is the best/funniest/most exciting thing that you have experienced because of Ballroom?

Just competitions in general are an amazing experience. This past October we drove nine hours to Maryland to compete in DCDI (DC Dancesport Inferno) and it was so nice spending all that time with the team. It isn’t unusual to learn brand new moves in line just minutes away from competing, and watching the Gold dancers perform just reminds you want you’re striving for. Everyone in ballroom has their own funny competition anecdote that we’re almost too willing to share, so I guess you need to come see us to hear more about competition shenanigans!

 

What would you tell someone who is thinking about coming to Ballroom but has little or no experience with dancing?

Don’t be afraid! The atmosphere is always so welcoming, and everyone is incredibly helpful. It gets a lot easier the more lessons you go to. I used to be absolutely terrible at dancing, and now after only four months I’ll be dancing at the Bronze level in our upcoming competition, so consistent attendance really does make a difference.

 

Thanks so much for talking with us about Ballroom, Juliana!

The Ballroom Dancing Club meets Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays in KAC room 237 from 8-10 p.m., as well as lessons taught by a professional on Monday nights. Make sure to check it out; it’s a great time!​

Image Credit: Juliana Delsante, Annmarie Morrison