Sac State Ballroom Social club offers free lessons to students and public

Maikalina Madali

The Sacramento State Ballroom Social is a club that allows students and the public to enjoy free lessons from experienced instructors of various dance styles. 

“(Ballroom Social) is open to all majors, students and the public,” said liberal club president Laura Ward, a senior liberal studies major. “We have beginning lessons so people can get the hang of things. We’re really open to not just dancing; we’re involved in helping each other learn.”

The club has played somewhat of a disappearing and reappearing act over the years, however consistent meetings have been held since 2009.

Club treasurer Erica Ryan, a student in the special education credential program, said the purpose is to give students in ballroom dance classes an opportunity and place to practice.

“We do all American dancing: the tango, foxtrot, waltz, east coast swing, salsa, merengue… Some of everything,” Ryan said.

Members meet every Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Redwood Room of the University Union. Each week brings a new style of dance. They do an hour of basic steps then move on to advanced moves – if attendees desire to take it up a notch.

A majority of the members have not participated in competitive dance settings. Most attend simply for the fun and love of dancing.

“I’ve only danced for a few weeks,” said new member Taylor Anderson, a senior mechanical engineer major. “I figured dancing is something you’re going to have to learn eventually. I just want to feel comfortable on the dance floor, I guess I was always kind of nervous.”

Approximately ten people attend the meetings every week. Despite the small numbers, some members prefer working in minimized groups.

“I like it a lot,” Anderson said. “It’s not a huge room full of people, it’s a little more personal.” “Since it’s not very big, you have a little bit more attention from the instructors.”

In addition to giving attendees the opportunity to learn different dance styles, Ballroom Social has set the stage for members to meet new people and create friendships.

“I’ve made a couple of friends over these few shorts years,” said two-year member Edwin Yee, a senior history and social science major. “You just have fun with a friend or dance partner that you have a close connection with.”

In agreement with Yee, Ward said the club helped her feel a stronger connection to campus as she began to make friends through dance.

Although the Ballroom Social is primarily used as a fun practice time, the group is considering starting a competition team. Their outreach and network of local dance instructors puts them a step closer to creating an official team.

Recently, they’ve had Danny Lerer as a guest instructor. He has been a professional instructor since 1981, has earned 18 dance champion titles (including four national titles) and is a certified World Class Judge through the World Dance and DanceSport Council. Lerer has judged competitions around the world.

“I’ve always wanted to work with students because of my background,” Lerer said. “This is a wonderful opportunity. We have a chance to do something here and I’m more than happy to help. Maybe there will be a big project here at Sac State.”

Whether the Ballroom Social becomes a competitive team or not, attendees have deemed it a meeting place for those who have a passion for dance, and those who want to try something new.

For club information and the latest meeting schedule, search ‘CSUS Ballroom Social’ on Facebook.