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March 18, 2010 - Image 11

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2010-03-18

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AThe Michigan Daily michigandailycom IThursday, March 18, 2010

Mar. 18 to Mar. 21

Randy Weston's father
used to tell his young
son he was "an Afri-
can born in America."
It's an aesthetic that
figures strongly into
the grown Weston's
sound, a fusion of New
York jazz and African
music. This Saturday,
the Kerrytown Concert
House hosts his trio
in a concert spon-
sored by the Center
for Afroamerican and
African Studies at
the 'U.' Tickets $10,
show starts at 9 p.m.
Use your money for a
good cause and sup-
port a charity aiming to
stop domestic violence.
Yoni Ki Baat is present-
ing its 5th annual mul-
ticultural monologue
show, "Lips Unsealed,"
featuring original piec-
es by University stu-
dents. "Lips Unsealed"
will feature pieces that
tackle "domestic vio-
lence, sexuality, culture
and relationships."
Shows are Friday and
Saturday at 3 p.m. in
East Quad's Keene
Theatre. Tickets from
$5, available at MUTO.

How the 'U' Ballroom
Dance Team creates a
championship squad out
of students who have
never danced before.

takes a ragtag group of students with
T here's an organization on campus that
limited experience and turns them
into a team of champions. The Uni-
versity's admissions process is brutal, its athletic
teams recruit vigorously and its artists are tal-
ented, but most have been honing their craft for
years. It's only the University of Michigan Ball-
room Dance Team that turns complete novices
into world-class competitors.
On a Saturday afternoon in the CCRB, you're
likely to stumble across the usual sights and
sounds: people running on treadmills, lifting
weights, sweating it out and feeling the burn
on various complicated exercise contraptions.
In the CCRB's mirror room, however, you'll
find something unique, something that initial-
ly resembles an awkward middle school dance
but upon further observation is clearly much
It's here that the Michigan Ballroom Dance
Team hosts its weekly newcomer lessons. The
room is lined with people shedding their win-
ter boots for dance shoes, while a few brave
couples casually dance to the loud music blar-
ing through the studio. Some watch their arms
or hips in the large mirror, repeating a move
over and over until they're satisfied with how
it looks, while others are simply killing time
before class begins.
An older couple dressed in all black takes the
center of the room and begins class. The room
is almost instantly divided by gender as about
30 women line one side, and 30 men take the
other. The coaches start on the Rumba, slowly
breaking it down, explaining and demonstrat-
ing the quick Latin dance.
Each dancer watches intently, moving his
or her feet along with the instructors', trying
to match each step. That reminiscence of pre-

pubescent dances completely dissipates as the
British man in the center yells, "Men, grab a
woman!" The crowd follows his commands -
"quick, quick, slow, slow" - and the room of 60
men and women becomes a room of 30 couples
moving in unison, surprisingly seamless for a
beginner class.-
In this class, the team was working en
Rumba and Foxtrot, but there are many more
dances the teammembers mustlearn. Ballroom
competitions are divided into two categories,
Latin and Standard, and each category consists
of five dances. Rumba, Jive, Paso Doble, Samba
and Cha Cha make up the Latin dances while
Standard consists of Waltz, Foxtrot, Quick-
step, Tango and Viennese Waltz. Not only do
the dancers have to be proficient in each and
every one of these dances, they have to be able
to perform them unchoreographed, on the fly.
Though most team members have never
partner-danced before joining the team, the
Michigan Ballroom Team is one of the best in
the country, having won seven national cham-
pionships - the International Team Match in
2001, 2002, 2007 and 2008; and the American
Team Match in 2001, 2003 and 2004.
Many of the members, like Engineering
freshman Ryan Pollard, had never danced
before joining and got involved on a whim.
"I had four other friends who decided to join
at the same time, so that was pretty much all
(the persuasion) I needed," Pollard said.
Business junior Daniel Lian joined in a simi-
lar fashion. He and his partner, LSA junior Sofia
Yokosawa, have been dancingtogether for almost
three years now. They found each other using the
dance team's partner search, an event the team
hosts to help newcomers find someone they're
compatible with for ballroom competitions.

at its very roots and when
you really learn a deeper side
of ballroom, it has to be a
form of expression and it has
to be very personal.
-Alex Rowan, Ballroom
Dance Team President

This Saturday, gather
up all your droogs for
a midnight showing
of Stanley Kubrick's
1971 masterpiece "A
Clockwork Orange"
at the State Theater.
Though notorious for
its extremely graphic
depictions of sex (it's
not for the faint-heart-
ed), the film is a fasci-
nating examination of
free will and authori-
tarianism. So brush up
on your Nadsat and
get ready for a bit of
the old ultra-violence.
The Taubman College
of Architecture and
Urban Planning will
be hosting "Future of
Urbanism." It boasts
acclaimed speakers
who will discuss top-
ics like "New Public
Spaces" and "Cities as
Theaters for Conflict."
The panels and lectures
will take place at Rack-
ham Auditorium on
Friday at 4:30 p.m. and
Saturday at 9 a.m. Free.



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