URI club takes a few new steps

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KINGSTON, R.I. – March 8, 2007 – The University of Rhode Island Ballroom Dance Club allows students to two-step and rumba with their creativity, providing classes and competitions for dancers and wannabe dancers of all kinds.

The club holds classes, competes nationally and hosts dances on campus. It also keeps its members updated on socials and dances throughout the local community.

“We like to be able to give everyone a taste of the elegant, smooth, ballroom dancing,” club co-president Kelly Almond of Hollis, N.H., said. “But we also want them to be able to learn the fun, sassy Latin dances.”

The club welcomes undergrads, grad students, staff, faculty and alumni of all experience levels. In fact, no experience is needed for the beginner class or the competition team.

The competition team focuses on making the students’ dancing better instead of expanding their repertoire. The team is lead by URI graduate Tim Sorrentino, who started ballroom dancing at the university in 1997.

Dancers are encouraged to learn at their own pace and are offered the opportunity to travel to other universities to compete. The team has traveled to Florida, Ohio and several northeast competitions.

The group was established in 1995 and started with about 20 members. It has expanded since to offer various classes throughout the week.

Classes offered in the first six-week session are: a technique class, international tango and rumba, international waltz and samba, international cha cha and viennese; and paso doble and quickstep. The second session also includes the international foxtrot, jive and aalsa, and the West Coast Swing.

“I think it’s a shame that, especially before Dancing with the Stars and all the other ballroom shows and movies out right now, a lot of people still think ‘boring’ whenever they hear someone mention ballroom dancing,” Almond said. “I can tell you, it’s anything but boring.”

Each class costs only $5 and covers six weeks of lessons. For more information visit www.uri.edu/student_organizations/ballroom.