Decked out in tuxedos with tails and ballroom gowns, six couples in The
Claremont Colleges Ballroom Dance Company stepped out onto the floor at
the National Collegiate DanceSport Championship for a Fred Astaire
The dancers performed the quick step to “Top Hat, White Tie and Tails;”
glided to “The Continental” with the tango and waltz; danced the fox
trot and Viennese waltz to “Steppin’ Out with My Baby;” and swooped in
for the win with a tango to “Let’s Face the Music and Dance” to wrap up
the five-minute number.
For the third year in a row, the tour team took first place in the
formation category at the U.S. Amateur Ballroom Dancers Association’s
national championship held in the fall in Columbus, Ohio. The previous
two years, under former ballroom dance director Wes Acker, the team
chose a Latin medley. This time, Christopher Witt, director of
the dance troupe, said the choreographed standard ballroom medley had a
classy, elegant flair. The formal wear helped, no doubt.
About 150 students from five of the Claremont Colleges participate in
the ballroom dance program each semester. The ballroom dancers initially
were a small club until six years ago when Acker took it over as a dance
company. Witt replaced Acker in 2003. About 30 students perform on each
of the two teams, the campus team and tour team. The group shares their
talent with the campus community during their annual spring concert.
“Our strength is the team events,” said Witt. “We’ve got a lot of
couples who dance well together as a team.”
Witt has been impressed by the students’ dedication. The tour team
dances three days a week, from 7–9 a.m. They also rehearse on their own
time. “They really strive for excellence,” said Witt.
Witt has yet to decide whether to do a Latin or standard medley in the
fall competition. Either way, the dancers are bound to be simply
spectacular, as always.