With the Big Apple Dancesport Challenge behind them and a host of awards, including two first place finishes under their belt, the 11-members of the TNCC Ballroom Dance Team are working on some exciting new moves and techniques as they prepare
for next month’s Keystone Classic at Penn State University.
Competing on a national stage means putting in hours of rehearsal and the choreography has to be just right, with every detail commanding undivided attention. Team adviser Pamela Roberts says it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to compete at the level her students do.
“They have to juggle their school work (they must maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA to stay on the team), their jobs and just life itself. Not only do they compete but they also perform at local public events as well as perform for several school events throughout the year.”
The upcoming Penn State competition will be the team’s third in as many months. Roberts says they’ll be going up against several teams they competed against in New York City back in December because the Keystone Classic is widely viewed as a prelude for an even bigger event — the spring nationals at the University of Maryland in late April.
“We are such a small collegiate team compared to the big universities that it is amazing to be able to cover as many dances as we do,” Roberts said.
The team will compete in a variety of categories including the Newcomer (bronze and silver levels), American smooth (American style Waltz, Foxtrot, and Tango), American Rhythm (American Cha Cha, Rumba and East Coast Swing) and Latin (International Cha Cha, Rumba Samba and Jive).
“Latin and Rhythm are our strongest categories,” Roberts noted.
Before the nationals, the team will travel to Richmond for the River City Ballroom Classic in early April.
Team members: Faizon Alexander (captain), Eme Bassey-Duke, J.D. Ellis, Tiarra Johnson, Sierra Ferrell, Eddie Harden, Charis Hutton, Ryan Maloney, Valencia Remson, D’Aundre Seldon, Emily Williams
Details on the team’s performance in NYC last December can be found here.