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Magazine » DanceSport » Beyond Individuals

Beyond Individuals

Ivor Lee
Date Published:
September 10, 2011

As the couples line up in matching brilliantly styled, sequined dresses and shirts, the college-aged crowd waits expectantly. The girls all match each other - not a freak accident requiring a frantic change of wardrobe - and the guys, though differing in height, are all matching copies of each other. The music hits, and the couples move, each couple an individual thread of the fabric of the group - they move through each other, around each other, weaving in and out in complex variations. Their costumes seem to emphasize the music, the themes they are revealing in their dance. This is the National Collegiate Challenge’s Formation Dance Competition.

2011 will feature the third annual formation dance championship, an exhibition of not only individual and couple dance talent, but the talent that an entire school as a whole can show. In last year’s competition, a team from Utah Valley University claimed the Standard title, and a team from UC San Diego claimed the Latin title. The list of competing schools continues to grow. Will these two teams be able to hold onto their momentum from last year and retain their titles?

The NCC offers a chance to be in a “real-world” activity outside of the classroom or studio. The formation dance is a great opportunity for couples that are a little shy and hesitant to compete in DanceSport to show their talents in a field of the country’s best. Dancers learn that the competition is not about the individual, but the greater whole of the group. If one couple goes down, everyone else does as well.

While not as competitive as the DanceSport section of the NCC, the Formation Dance Championships allows couples to ease into competition and be a part of the team. But beyond that, it’s a simple chance to have fun dancing. How many people can brag that they were in a formation group? How many people can say they competed against their peers at a national level ballroom competition?

Regardless of whether you’re a spectator or competitor, the Formation Dance Competition will be an event you won’t want to miss.

The 2011 National Collegiate DanceSport Challenge will be held November 19-20, 2011 at the Columbus OH Convention Center.
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