Yale’s Ballroom Dance Team showcases college-level ballroom dance routines


Grace Mak

Junior Ruben Ascoli goes through the newly taught routine with a member of the Yale Ballroom Dance Team.

Grace Mak, Staff Writer

Men in elegant black and women in glittering dresses took their bow in the middle of Jefferson’s gymnasium as students and staff broke into applause at the sidelines. In order to teach and showcase their ballroom dance skills to high school students, Yale University’s Ballroom Dance Team visited the Ballroom Dance Club on Mar. 16 during eighth period.

“The Yale Ballroom Team is very professional, and we wanted to be able to really give our club an experience with dancers [that] have professional comportment and a very technical knowledge,” sophomore Madelyn Khoury, an officer of the Ballroom Dance Club, said.

Jefferson’s Ballroom Dance Club considered inviting several different university ballroom dance teams before settling on Yale University.

“We reached out to a couple of different universities who were thinking of visiting here,” senior Jainam Modh, another officer of the Ballroom Dance Club, said. “We looked at different universities’ websites, and we were like, ‘Who’s going to tour around here? We saw that the Yale Ballroom Dance Team was going to tour around here around the time after iNite, which I think is the best time we could’ve gotten them, and we asked them to come here and they did.”

Having experienced low or irregular attendance in the past, the Ballroom Dance Club officers hoped to reach out to a larger part of the student body with this event.

“For ballroom there is a lack of students who come to the club regularly,” Modh said. “We really want to promote ballroom, and we’ve been trying really really hard [to do so]. [For example], we’ve been handing out flyers everywhere, especially for Yale Ballroom, which is such a good school to come over and teach us. [Yale’s Ballroom Dance Team] promoting here for ballroom is awesome because it’s a really great way to get more people to join our club, and also people can experience what university ballroom dancing is like.”

Officers of the club, such as Khoury, also hoped that the Yale Ballroom Dance Team’s appearance at Jefferson would help members of their club improve in dancing as a whole.

“Their team is very large, upward to about 20 members, so I’m really excited to see really how big their team is and how they can make their routine cohesive with all the different couples,” Khoury said. “I’m interested to see their formations, and just the typical aspects to make the dances look really polished because you know us, beginners and intermediate level dancers, we know the moves, but there’s a different level of precision that makes you really stand out once you have the skills.”

The Yale Ballroom Dance Team first performed their dance routine, exhibiting higher level dance techniques that many of the students watching had not been previously exposed to.

“I’m actually really surprised because of the difference between ballroom dance at the high school level and the college level is so much,” Modh said. “I really want to see what actual ballroom dancing is because I have never been to an actual show, so this is my first time actually seeing something so crazy with such high technique in there. So [seeing them] was a lot of fun.”

After experiencing what ballroom dancing is like at the college level, the Ballroom Dance Club hopes to incorporate their newly learned techniques and styles in future performances and eighth periods.

“We’re going to take inspiration from some of the dances that [the Yale Ballroom Dance Team] did and add more variety to our club in terms of the ballroom styles that we do and teach,” Modh said. “Because there are a lot of different styles of dance, and we only teach so many, there are a lot of things we can learn from [the Ballroom Dance Team visit].”