Ballroom

BALLROOM

We are a mixture of Caltech students and community members. CBDC Ballroom is currently coached by Mengsha Gong, an alum of the Cal Ballroom Team. We offer beginner and intermediate classes, as well as group workshops with professional coaches in international latin and standard. Please refer to our calendar for our schedule or events or contact us for more information. If you are interested in joining our team, please contact us at mgong@caltech.edu

WHY DANCE BALLROOM?

If you ask people why they decided to join ballroom, you will get all kinds of different answers. Some will say: “I’ve always wanted to try it,” and others will say: “My friend dragged me here.” You might also hear: “I wanted to meet girls,” or “I want to be more confident.” If you ask third and fourth years why they keep dancing, you might hear reasons like: “I love the people,” “I want to get really good,” or “I just love to dance.”'

Ballroom dance is an art form, but we are judged on our performance. It is a sport, but it must also be beautiful. It is different from most other dance forms in that it focuses on communication between two people without speaking, as well as technique with a level of complexity associated with playing the violin.

Dance is about moving with the music. It’s about telling a story to the audience through movement rather than words. It’s about the feeling of grace flying and twirling across the floor. It is the satisfaction that you are improving, it is mind-blowing realizations, it is discovering that your body had muscles you never knew existed. It is beautiful dresses and painful shoes and always keeping your poise, even though your shoe broke in the middle of competition and you tripped over your partner and ripped your dress. It is about performing under stress. It is about learning how to stand up straight, to pull your spine back through your shoulder blades, and to breathe through your left lung. For me, it is about that one moment where you and your partner feel like one being. One is cause and the other effect, and together you create an illusion.

So much of dance is an illusion. The illusion of movement and the illusion of stillness. The illusion of speed, of stature, of power beyond the limitations of the body. The illusion of ease. The illusion that you're creating the music as you dance, that sound emanates from your movements. To dance is to deceive, not as a liar deceives, but as a magician deceives, to suspend disbelief and bring wonder to the audience.

For information about Ballroom Dance, contact mgong@caltech.edu or find us on Facebook at Caltech Ballroom Team

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