Dance club

Ballroom Dance Club members say they have become close family despite the challenge of dancing 6 feet apart


Ballroom Dance Club performance during Culture Night 2021.

Photo by Mark Daeson Tabbilos

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Ballroom Dance Club members said they were required to offer individual dances, rather than the traditional partner dances. Despite the circumstances, the club put on a lively and fun performance of 1920s-inspired moves and cha cha that drew cheers from the crowd.

Alexia Kaley, a Texas high school senior and the club’s choreographer, said the Ballroom Dance Club’s cultural night numbers have generally kept the same formula over the years. However, this year she decided to make it a bit livelier, she said.

Club costumes were simple this year, consisting of plain black shirts and red knee-length skirts. Kaley said the group kept their costumes simple so as not to take anything away from the dances.

Abigail Smith, a computer science junior from Ohio and the club’s vice president, said ballroom dancing is based on pair dances, but current circumstances force dancers to stay 6 feet apart. the other at any time.

To accommodate those demands, Kaley said she based her choreography on Latin and 1920s-style dances and turned them into individual steps to follow the 6-foot-distance rule.


Three women pose wearing black shirts and red skirts on a blue-lit stage with black behind them.

Alexia Kaley (middle) said she decided to make this year’s performance “a bit livelier”.

Photo of Ulziibayar Badamdorj

In the few weeks leading up to Culture Night, Kaley said she collected their dance numbers, filmed them, and posted them to Facebook.

Smith said they were practicing virtually and in person to learn the dances and said everyone in the group were great contributors and learned quickly.

Kaley said it was her last cultural night as she is graduating this year. She said she grew up dancing because her mother was a dance teacher. Her mother’s creativity inspired this year’s exciting choreography, she said.

Gabriela Nielson, a freshman from California with an undecided major, said she was very excited to experience all that Culture Night had to offer.

Nielson explained that she did swing dancing in high school and always wanted to learn more, which is why she decided to join the Ballroom Dance Club. She said she was excited to branch out and explore other types of ballroom dancing.

Nielson expressed how close the band had become and appreciated the connection the band shared. The group became a “little family” during dance practices, she said, adding that she felt supported and loved by everyone in the group.

Alexis Clement, a freshman from Nevada who is majoring in elementary education, shared that she joined the Ballroom Dance Club because she did it earlier in life and wanted to join. to a friend who was part of the group. She expressed her desire to perform even though it is a small group.

She explained, “I’m really excited to master the dances, and it’s fun to perform and even more fun to be the best and put all my energy into it.” She shared that she used to perform and liked to prepare for the cultural night and learn the different dance styles.

Smith said she looked forward to performing on Culture Night last year, but was unable to due to its cancellation. She said, “I saw the culture the night before and knew it was something I wanted to do. I’ve never done ballroom dancing, so it would be fun to learn something new and play around.

See more pictures on Ke Alaka’i’s Facebook page.