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Ballroom Dance Company Wins Formation Event at "Dance by the Shores" Event

The Claremont Colleges Ballroom Dance touring team who took first place

The Claremont Colleges Ballroom Dance touring team who took first place

The Claremont Colleges Ballroom Dance Company (CCBDC) captured first place in the formation event at the Dance by the Shore competition held at the University of San Diego, on February 3. In addition, several Claremont Dance Company students competed very successfully in individual categories.

In San Diego, the CCBDC’s national team won the formation event with their performance of their “Nightmare Before Christmas” Latin Medley, the routine they used to capture second place at the nationals event last fall.

The tour company consists of:

  • LeeAnn Allen SC '12
  • Darina Kostadinova  SC '12
  • Megan Swim SC '12
  • Amanda Wilmsen PO '12
  • April Wong SC '12
  • Catherine Wright PO '12
  • Jacob Berrera PO '14
  • Toby Hammet PO '12
  • Kevin Jaatinen PZ '13
  • Max Kukartsen HMC '13
  • Vincent Shieh HMC '12
  • Russell Thompson HMC '12

According to CCBDC Coach Paul Roach, Pomona ’07, “This is the most successful young team we’ve ever had. Almost a third are non-seniors, and two joined the team in January. Instead of being in a building year, they are just amazing.”

Individual CCBDC partnerships also had great success in San Diego. 

  • April Wong and Alex Goldman PO '12 took 1st pre-novice Latin.
  • Toby Hammett and Sarah Higley PO '11 won 1st west coast swing and took 3rd novice Latin and 6th pre-novice Latin.
  • Kelsey Frost SCR '13 and Kevin Jaatinen captured 1st in pre-novice standard and 4th in novice standard.
  • April Wong and Jay Daigle PO '08 took 2nd novice standard and 2nd pre-championship standard.

Kelsey Frost, CCBDC secretary was kind enough to explain what the categories mean. “There are two main ballroom styles danced in Claremont: International Latin and International Standard. Both of these styles have levels in ascending order as follows: newcomer, bronze, silver, gold, pre-novice, novice, pre-championship and championship. Pre-novice through championship are multi-dance levels, meaning that to compete in one of those levels, a partnership [does] multiple dances within either the Standard or Latin Style (two different dances for pre-novice, three for novice, four for pre-championship, and five for championship). So, for example, in pre-championship standard you dance a waltz, foxtrot, tango and quickstep, and for novice latin you dance a cha cha, samba, and rumba. To place well in a multi-dance level, the partnership must have a good average score from all of their dances.”

The CCBDC has been ranked as one of the nation’s top two collegiate formation programs for more than a decade. There are 120 students in the dance company with 40 students on the beginner team, 45 on the campus team and 35 on the tour team. At the beginner level, students learn three dances. On the intermediate campus team, members learn 10-12 dances, work extensively on one and perform shows on campus. The tour team, which includes the 12-member national team, performs in shows both on and off campus. The tour team next competes in the San Francisco Open international contest, March 23-25.

The Claremont Colleges are nationally renowned as a place where students can pursue academics and Ballroom Dance at the highest levels.