CSU Having a ball

Sep 122011
Authors: Jordan Jacoby

Colorado State University offers a variety of different clubs, but the Ballroom Dance Club might just might be one of the most interesting to ever waltz onto campus.

Engineering student John Fan and Leslie Reiker, a nutrition science major, put the club together after meeting last year at a CSU swing dance meeting.

And while some students may think only dances like the fox trot and waltz will be taught, the Ballroom Dance Club offers many different types of form.

“I will teach a series of Latin dances such as jive, cha cha, paso doble, samba and merengue,” said Elene Chobanyan, the club’s vice president of instruction. “I also teach slow waltz, tango, quick step, fox trot and the Vietnamese waltz.”

Ballroom Dance Club started last year with almost eight members. This year, the club sees an average of 30 members attending each meeting.

“This club is flexible. People do not have to come to every practice because we know student’s schedules change,” Fan said, adding that they meet every Friday at 7:30 p.m.

According to Fan, many members of the club had never danced before their first meeting and have little experience.

“This club has a beginning environment,” said Fort Collins community member Daniel Paden, at his first ballroom lesson last week.

Beginners like Paden are in good hands since Fan has been dancing for a total of 15 years.
“I did jazz and went to underground bars and saw salsa and tango dancing, and it inspired me to ballroom dance,” Fan said, adding that he’s also competed in many different ballroom competitions.

Chobanyan taught ballroom dancing in Europe and Colorado after she stopped competing two years ago to get her Ph.D in electrical engineering.

For some newcomers, ballroom dancing can be a bit difficult to pick up at first, Reiker said.

“Ballroom involves more proper positions and it builds a lot of muscle, so it takes longer to learn than other kinds of dancing,” she added.

Fan, Reiker and Paden all agreed that ballroom dancing helps build life skills.

“You can dance whenever you want, from the age of 20 even to 80 and it is a great social activity,” Fan said.

“In Fort Collins, there are so many opportunities to go out and go dancing,” Paden added. “This is a place to start.”

Collegian writer Jordan Jacoby can be reached at news@collegeian.com.

Get Involved

Show up to a meeting, which is held every Friday at 7:30 p.m. in the University Center for the Arts at 1400 Remington St. across from the CSU flower trial garden.

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