features

Best Foot Forward in the 22nd Annual Crusader Classic Ballroom Competition

Nicole Letendre ’23

Features Editor

In Hogan Ballroom on Saturday, February 8, the 22nd Annual Crusader Classic, a college-wide ballroom competition, commenced bright and early at 8:00 a.m. and lasted until nearly 4:00 p.m. In addition to College of the Holy Cross participants, competitors travelled far and wide, from local colleges such as Clark University and Worcester Polytechnic Institute, as well as Rhode Island College, University of Connecticut, and more. Hogan Ballroom was filled with dancing couples and supportive spectators. The energy and enthusiasm was undeniable as dancers put their best foot forward. Throughout the many rounds of dancing, individuals in the audience would supportively shout out the assigned numbers of couples, cheering them on.

Dancers competed in their respective divisions, and when it came time for newcomers to compete, their levels of style and confidence were consistently impressive. During event 17, newcomers waltzed to a version of the song “When We Were Young” by Adele. Each dance of the waltz was elegant and smooth. Newcomers were wholeheartedly invested in the technique and fun of the competition. From there, they danced the tango followed by the foxtrot. In contrast to the waltz, their movements were sharper as they danced to the strong beats associated with the tango, and the foxtrot possessed a jazzy element. Though newcomers may have been unfamiliar with formal competition, they certainly held a high level of talent and dedication to this art.

In the silver division, more experienced dancers also reached an extraordinary level of achievement. During the competition, they danced a smooth waltz, slowly and surely, while couples were dressed in a range of beautiful dance costumes—patterned, gemmed, and wonderfully unique. From there, they danced the tango, elongating their movements and creating a more upbeat atmosphere with the music and style. The foxtrot was cool, calm, and controlled. Their movements were fluid, and they were clearly focused on their technique and form. The audience was encouraging of the competitors, as well as astounded by their abilities. In addition, they performed the Viennese waltz, a style of dance that appeared fluid, yet it possessed sharper, larger movements in which the speed variated. They danced to the song “Always Remember You Young” by Thomas Rhett, and the ballroom was energized with supportive audience members. Couples performed stylistic spins and twirls, creating a moving atmosphere that captivated onlookers.

Sydney Grosskopf ‘20 and Andy Chin ‘23 won several awards in the Bronze division

Overall, the Ballroom Competition was a fantastic opportunity to watch dancers give their all on the dancefloor and for audience members to recognize their high level of talent. From newcomers to highly experienced competitors, everyone appeared to have a fun time doing what they love. Holy Cross students Sydney Grosskopf ’20 and Andrew Chin ‘23, received 1st place in the Bronze American Cha Cha, 2nd place in the Bronze American Rumba, and 2nd place in the Bronze American Swing. It was a full day of dancing for participants, but I can imagine it was worth the experience gained, friends made, and lasting memories. For more information, or to become a member of the Ballroom Dance Team, contact ballroomdance@g.holycross.edu, or attend any of their practices on Monday nights at 6:00 p.m. or Thursday nights at 6:30 p.m., which can be found at holycross.edu/holy-cross-ballroom-dance-team/lessons.

Photos by Hui Li ‘21.

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