features

A Season of Spirit, A Season of Giving

By Nicole Letendre ’23
Staff Writer

On the evening of December 6th, the dance floor was set for the ballroom team’s “Dancing with the Stars” charity event. Hogan Ballroom was decorated with Christmas spirit. Several wreaths were wrapped in lights and adorned with a red and gold bow. A disco ball reflected light from above the dance floor, and a Christmas tree stood fully ornamented on the stage. Audience members were encouraged to donate at the door. Experienced members of the ballroom team were to compete in pairs, and the charity of the winning couple’s choice received the money collected at the door. There were a total of five competing pairs, and they each performed with incredible style and talent. The panel of three expert judges offered words of admiration for the dancers. One judge commented to a couple dancing for the South East Asia Coalition, “Did you have fun?” When the pair responded with a “yes,” the judge replied enthusiastically, “You looked like it!”

Dispersed throughout the competing performances were senior showcases, or dances performed by experienced senior members of the ballroom team. Each dance was skillfully choreographed, drawing the audience into the beat of the music. One pair of seniors highlighted their friendship through a heartfelt dance to the song “You’ve Got a Friend in Me.” The judges seemed immersed in the nature of this dance, and they began to clap. Smiles were contagious throughout, as audience members were captivated by the dancers’ skill and pure enjoyment throughout.

Ultimately, the judges narrowed down the competition to two finalists, resulting in a tie. The first pair, competing for the Jimmy Fund, danced a skillful rumba. The judges were impressed by their confidence and style, and one judge even remarked, “Oh man, were you cool as a cucumber out there. You were born to perform.” The second pair included in the tie was Sydney Grosskopf, co-chair of the ballroom team, dancing a cha-cha with Professor Isaacs to the song “Juice” by Lizzo. They wore sparkly blue costumes with sequins, dancing complex choreography to the rhythm of the song, as well as to the clapping and cheering of the audience. They ended the dance posing by the edge of the stage and sipping on iced drinks, a nod to the song “Juice.” Clapping by the audience members for each couple would determine the winner. It was a close call as claps roared throughout the ballroom for each pair of dancers; however, Sydney Grosskopf and Professor Isaacs were announced as the winners. The donations collected will be going to The Trevor Project, an organization that has established a suicide hotline and seeks to stop suicide, particularly among LGBTQ adolescents. For more information, or to donate, please visit: www.thetrevorproject.org/

Photo by Nicole Letendre ’23

Concluding the night, new members of the ballroom team stepped onto the dance floor. They performed an upbeat dance to the familiar Mariah Carey song “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” and some dancers even brought their holiday cheer in the form of Christmas sweaters with lights. Once the word “snowball!” was called, new ballroom dancers brought audience members onto the dance floor to join. New ballroom member, Natasha Rollo 23’, remarked, “I’m so happy to be a part of ballroom. The people are amazing. The mentors are amazing. And I can’t wait to do more!” All in all, this was a wonderful event to commence not only the holiday season, but also the season of giving at Holy Cross.

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