RWU’s Ballroom Dance Club

Meringue your way into the spotlight while having a blast with peers 

By: Amy Lenihan | Herald Contributor


Photo: Amy Lenihan

 The sounds of guitars and trumpets echo from the speakers in Studio B as students partner up and attempt to follow the instructors lead.

“It’s fun to watch the progression throughout the night,” Dana Herlich says from her seat on the outskirt of the room, “Like now they are still kind of awkward, but by the end they’ll get it.”

As Vice President of Roger Williams Ballroom Dance club, Herlich is already familiar with the dances being taught tonight, but many of the club members are learning it for the first time.

Each meeting offers the chance for members to learn and practice two different types of ballroom dance, ranging in style from the Foxtrot to the Salsa.

Rachael Capodanno, who has been teaching at a studio for 13 years, is the instructor for the club. She does a excellent job of demonstrating the dances to the club members and always offers helpful advice for those who struggle to grasp the movements at first.

Ballroom Dance is the perfect club for anyone who has a passion for dancing or wants to try it out for the first time. You do not need any dancing experience to join the club, and many members come to not only learn a new skill, but to also meet people and make friends.

Sophomore Tory Bessette is just happy for the opportunity to try new styles of dancing she hasn’t been exposed to. As someone who is looking to core concentrate in dance, Tory is a talented performer and has no trouble picking up the new dances each week.

This week in particular focused on dances traditional in Latin American culture. Members of the Spanish Club on campus came and taught the club members both the Bachata and Meringue. The dances were high energy and very fun to practice. Smiles and laughter reflected off every mirror in the studio as people learned the steps to each dance.

Diana Figueroa, a senior and President of the Spanish Club at Roger Williams, shared that Latin American music is very important to her culture, as dancing is a big way to connect with family and friends. However, it is important to note that not every latino person likes to dance, and to assume so can be a harmful stereotype.

Aside from recreational dancing, the club also allows for those interested to participate in competitions. There are usually three competitions a semester that take place at different universities around New England. Sophomore Cassandra North, who is secretary of the club, says that she enjoys competitions because it makes her feel like she is in “Dancing with the Stars.”

The President of Ballroom, Jamie Hipsman, who has been a part of the club since she was a freshman says she is incredibly proud of the club’s growth through the years.

If you are interested in becoming a member of this club, it’s not too late to join! Ballroom dancing meets every Wednesday from 8-9 p.m. in studio B in the Rec Center. Competition practices start an hour earlier at 7 p.m. Men are encouraged to join!


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