By JEAN FALCONER
Dancing is a very popular activity and like all popular activities, is subject to trends. These trends take the shape of the various different styles of dance, ranging from break dancing to ballet. One of the styles is ballroom dancing, whose beginnings can be traced to the 16th century.
Although ballroom is a style of dancing on its own, there are different types of dances within in it, for example the waltz. This dance is among the most popular and easiest to learn. Ballroom dancing is most likely the style of dance to be seen in films such as, Dirty Dancing or the Disney classics.
It is a fun and relaxing way to meet new people according to Kirsty Hoggons, the public relations officer for the Ballroom and Latin American Dancing Society whose groups’ lessons take place at the campus Boma. It is growing every year and according to Kirsty the Ballroom Dancing and Latin American Dancing Society has about sixty members this year.
So far the society has hosted an informal social event to allow all members the opportunity to get to know each other. The last event on the agenda was a “booze cruise” that took place 26 May. This event was open to everybody.
There is also the intervarsity ballroom dancing competition, taking place at the University of Pretoria in August, which Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) is planning to take a team of about 24 dancers to compete.
The date of the event has yet to be established but is expected to occur on the weekend of 9 August. The competition is set to be a daylong event but due to travelling time there and back, participants will get to spend a few days in Pretoria.
The competition has three levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced for each dance type as well as open sections where all levels dance against one another.
There are also ballroom exams that one can take if one sees this as more than just a recreational activity. Kirsty says that ballroom is an excellent way to form long lasting friendships even though one might only see the other members once or twice a week.
Lessons take place on a Tuesday from 18:00 to 19:00 and from 19:00 to 20:00 at the campus Boma. The earlier slot is for beginners. The price is R450 for the year. On Thursday evenings the society holds practise for the intervarsity competition. The society also has a facebook page, NMMUBLAD.