The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Ballroom dancing group welcomes first-timers and experienced competitors

Photo by Provided

Texas A&M Ballroom Dance Association is a student-run organization that teaches their nearly 50 members assorted formal dance styles like salsa, polka and much more.

The Texas A&M Ballroom Dance Association is a student-run organization that teaches students a variety of dance styles and skills.
Recently celebrating its 20-year anniversary, TAMBDA continues to grow and engage students in the art of dance. There are currently about 50 members in the organization, including officers.
Civil Engineering senior Jeanette Lipton is the current performance team director, and is in her third year of active involvement. After participating in ballet growing up and in high school, Lipton said she was eager to join a new team when she came to A&M.

“It was what I was looking for,” Lipton said. “I tried out for the performance team, and it’s been a good time ever since. I’ve made a lot of friends through the organization.”

Lipton said TAMBDA is comprised of a variety of dance backgrounds and offers something for everyone. Students with no experience are welcome to join. The group is roughly separated into three different sections — lessons, performance team and competition team.

“Lessons are beginner lessons for people who are just starting to learn and find out if they like it or not,” Lipton said. “For performance team, there is an audition, and we’re auditioning people mostly based on your performance quality. Competition team is kind of in the middle. You don’t have to audition, you just have to decide you want to do it, and then we push a little harder and learn more a little faster.”

Students can join TAMBDA at any time during the semester. Lipton said walk-in lessons are available for students who want to attend and try them out before committing.

“Our semester dues are $35, but you can also just pay by the style or even by the lesson,” Lipton said. “We’re really easy and flexible about that.”

As the performance team director, Lipton said she oversees teaching and polishing the performance routines, finding and setting up performance opportunities and organizing the shoe and costume needs. One of the teams upcoming performances will be at Brazos Salsa Night at the end of October. Twenty students currently make up the performance team.

Lipton said being part of TAMBDA teaches students basic semi-formal and social dancing skills that are beneficial for everyone to know, such as posture, confidence, purpose, foot and hip action and to just have fun.

Political science senior Reagan Ashley is the standing vice president and competition coordinator for TAMBDA.

As the competition coordinator, Ashley organizes practices, makes sure everyone is registered for the competitions and maintains a website with all the competition resources. Ashley said TAMBDA’s next competition will be this weekend at Southern Methodist University, and 17 of their competitors will be attending.
Ashley said there are a variety of styles during competition, including the cha-cha, salsa, bronze rumba and country-western.  
“A lot of times, some of the biggest overall accomplishments we’ve gotten in competition, we’ll sweep the country-western category,” Ashley said.

Ashley said TAMBDA’s main goal is to provide a fun activity where students can share the joy of dancing, but also teach skills for high achievement in the sport.

“Dancing is sort of as much an art as it is a past time and lifetime hobby that we like sharing with people,” Ashley said.

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