By Rachel Shuster
Rehearsals are held five times a week, three hours at a time. “Rehearsals are unstructured but our more experienced team captains are there to answer technique questions. We have practices for partnering, performances, specifically for newcomers, and drills of various styles,” Fitzgerald says.
Drills include dissecting each movement to perfect it. “We break it down to understand how we’re supposed to move and what the judges want. It changes the way we dance and how we look,” Fitzgerald explains.
The team also brings in teachers from the area to teach classes or lead rehearsals. “Wednesdays, we have teachers come in to focus on the standard smooth and waltz styles. Sundays, teachers review Latin and rhythm styles. We recently booked Suzanne Hamby,” Fitzgerald says.
Reaching out to the Worcester community by holding open workshops to learn ballroom basics is a team priority, as is participating in a range of events. The team has participated in events including the “Clark’s Got Talent” talent show and a gala held by Clark U where the team represented the USA alongside other dance teams representing other countries. Attending multiple competitions is a huge goal for the team as well, and they’ve already been in competitions at Yale, UConn and Harvard.
The dancers also know that dance is a great way to stay healthy and fit. “Dance is a way to lose weight and get the abs you want, especially in drills. If you’re not sweating, you’re not doing it right. It made me healthier and think about my body differently,” Fitzgerald shares.
Want more info? Check out web.clarku.edu/students/clarkballroom/Clark_U_Ballroom_Dance/Welcome.html,
Photo captions top to bottom.
Previous Captain Shayl Griffith and Kemar Bennet
Captain Kathy Campbell (Clark University ) and partner Brian Remmers (UCONN)
Captain Kathy Campbell (Clark) and partner Brian Remmers (UCONN)