Our scholars weigh in on the benefits of ballroom dance. Enjoy!

Some people may ask “what is ballroom?” Or “why spend the time taking ballroom?”

Ballroom is, to me, an art. The dancer is the paint brush, the stage is the canvas. Having a partner is the frame around our painting. When I first began ballroom I was nervous that I would be really, really bad. I mean to be honest I had silly nightmares! Haha. Then I began it. Ballroom had become something I love, it’s a way of expressing feelings. I have loved meeting all the new people and it’s a great way to break out of your comfort zone and talk and communicate with others. When I’m dancing I feel free in a way. Like it’s me and my partner and we are doing what we love, with nothing holding us back. Ballroom has been such a fun and amazing experience for me. If you’re even just thinking about it, even just a smidge, you should try it out. You may not love it or you could love it. Also for the guys, some girls love when a guy can dance…. Haha just saying.. Just a heads up though Ballroom isn’t just a class, it is like a whole other level of art, of passion, of FUN!


Overcoming The Barrier
The high school experience is brutal. With the intense studies, drama, and personal issues that we students deal with, it feels almost impossible to survive and thrive these four long years of education. To help counterbalance the storm, we participate in extracurricular(s) that help us develop our own identity. They allow us to grow and hone in skills that were just not possible to achieve in the classroom. While all of the programs are valuable and offer the students a chance to grow, I can’t help but think of a problem that more and more of the rising generation is dealing with: overcoming the social barriers of communicating with the opposite gender. There doesn’t seem to be a class that specifically deals with overcoming our self-conscious minds and being able to socialize or even be comfortable with our complex counterparts. This was a problem that I dealt with for a long time until I decided to try out ballroom dancing. Little did I know how much it benefited me. By being required to participate, I was given just enough push to become more comfortable with myself and my social skills. Ballroom promotes improvisation and requires the leader to be able to not only make quick decisions deciding what next step he wants to do, but also to guide and direct his partner so that it is executed properly. Practicing this over and over again aspires confidence with oneself, an confidence with social interaction. Because of dancing I learned how to communicate and not have anxiety when being placed in a brand new situation outside of my comfort zone. Developing the motor skill of quick decision making translates over into speech and allows for more fluid communication. Looking back on that decision, it was one of the best ones I have made. I would encourage anyone to come and learn the very practical and social skills of ballroom, not just because it’s fun, but also because it teaches the students to overcome their own social barriers.
-Jackson Haymond

The Last Thread of Goodness

Among ballroom dancers, there is a real sense of community that is not only fun,
but is also supportive, warm and welcoming. ~ source

There is discord in the world. There is discord in the government. There is discord in wars. There is discord in the economy. There is discord in everything! Almost.

How can people avoid such an ever present shadow of gloom? Perhaps there is something people can do to practice living alongside others. Pleasingly, ballroom dancing can give people respite from this discord. Giving many people respect for others, ballroom dancing is maintaining the friendliness and charity that the rest of the world is trying so hard to push away. When people ballroom dance, they learn how to direct others kindly and work with them happily.
In this extremely beneficial social dance, people are taught to treat others with kindness. When you ballroom dance, “you will be not only practicing new dance moves, but will also be learning how to dance with many different people” (ballroomdance.co). Dancing with different partners, one learns to respect various people in all that they are doing in their life. Secretly, while ballroom instructors are teaching their students how to dance, they are also teaching them to respect their partner. In Waltz, for instance, the leader and follower overlap their legs throughout the dance, but experienced dancers never step on each other’s feet, instead working and dancing together perfectly.

Ballroom dance, which promotes smiles and cooperation, is upholding a light of peace and social goodness. Through dance, one learns to engage in conversation, proper social etiquette, and can even help people deal with crowds. Asking someone to dance is a big first step for many people. All in all, dancing is the ultimate source for social education and eventually comfort – not only in social aspects, [but] in day-to-day life also. ~source

-Heather Vogler

Ballroom III

When I first took ballroom, it was because I had seen friends and other students who just seemed to be having the time of their lives on stage. So, I was not surprised at all when I fell in love with the class. I immediately decided that I was going to put intense amounts of effort into it because if I did the shows we would put on could totally just blow people away. Now I’m in the top ballroom class that we have, and I’m still amazed that I have come as far as I have, the thing that makes it even crazier is that there is still so much that I don’t know!

I would recommend ballroom to anyone. It doesn’t matter who you are or whether you think you can dance or not. Because the feeling of not just hearing the music but feeling it and moving to it as well is probably one of the greatest feelings ever. Ballroom has changed me, and I know I am going to continue to let it change me for the rest of my life. It makes me happy, and I believe that it could make just about anyone happy if they give it a shot.

-Donovan Blau

Ballroom Dance

When I was looking into doing ballroom, I wasn’t sure I’d like it. I would never have the courage to dance in front of people, let alone doing it with someone else. Honestly, I only tried ballroom because my older sister did it and was in love with it. She only ever told me good things about it and really wanted me to try it. Then again she is far more outgoing than I am. I couldn’t think of another elective I was dying to have, so I gave it a shot. Choosing ballroom as my third elective was an amazing decision.

Ballroom dance is not just memorizing dances to do for a performance. It’s learning to be more graceful and you practice the steps in the dances quite often, so you always know how to dance these dances that originated in places all over the world. Being in ballroom has given me new friends who I never would have dreamed of being friends with before and social skills, which is nice because I like to keep to myself a lot and don’t have much experience talking to people I don’t know.

Going on stage and dancing in front of a bunch of people I don’t know does not sound appealing to me at all. I was having so much fun in ballroom, but the showcase scared me a little. Eventually after all the rehearsals on the day of the showcase, I began to relax because I knew that all the attention wouldn’t be on me, and even if I was doing a distinction and it was only me and my partner on the stage, the attention would be on the both of us and not just me. Ballroom has changed my life. I love being able to hear a song and then know exactly which dance I could do to it. I have more friends and ballroom is just a generally fun and exciting class in which you can always improve.

Ella Merkley