Company Swings Night Away

By Danielle Mohlman

The audience filled the Cal Poly’s University Theatre for the
Ballroom Dance Company’s first concert Friday night.

The 30 members of the company practiced for six months in
preparation for the weekend’s concert. In that time, they learned
13 new dance numbers.

The dancers meet five days a week, practicing early mornings and
late evenings.

“This is the first time we have ever done a full-scale
production,” said Wesley Acker, director of the Ballroom Dance
Company, in his opening remarks. “I could not be more proud of
these performers.”

Acker choreographed all the dance numbers and designed all of
the costumes.

Acker also performed in two of the dance numbers, dedicating his
performance to the students in the company.

The dancers performed a variety of different dance styles
including waltz, foxtrot, samba, rumba, cha-cha, swing, tango and
salsa.

“It was a good show,” said Charlie Kohorst, a first-year history
student. “There is a lot of good young talent in the Cal Poly
community.”

The music the dancers performed to ranged from “Ain’t Too Proud
to Beg” to songs from the musicals “Grease” and “Phantom of the
Opera.”

“The choice of music was really good,” Kohorst said. “There was
something for everyone. It made the show overall more
appealing.”

Acker encouraged the audience to let the performers know when
they liked something. The audience responded strongly to all the
numbers, but seemed to favor the songs where the dancers showed
their comedic side.

Each performance required a new set of costumes to fit the theme
of the song. These costumes included “flapper” dresses for the
Charleston number, circle skirts and jeans for the “Grease” medley,
“zoot suits” for the swing and lindy hop number, lab coats and bow
ties for “She Blinded Me With Science,” and flowing cream dresses
and capes for the “Phantom of the Opera” medley.

The dancers value the importance of learning ballroom
dancing.

“It teaches a variety of different types of dances and the
people are very diverse,” said performer Nicole Lopez, a
second-year accounting student.

While they enjoy dancing for fun and performing for an audience,
the dancers each have a personal favorite among the numbers.

“My favorite dance is swing,” Lopez said. “Swing is so much
fun.”

The dancers involved the audience by having them clap their
hands to the beat and, during the final song in their “Dirty
Dancing” medley, went into the audience and danced with them.

The Ballroom Dance Company was joined by guest performances in
between numbers.

Joe and Sara Swallow performed two professional dance solos,
first a rumba and then a cha-cha and samba number. The Swallows
have performed and competed together for the past 15 years. They
teach dance full-time at Avant Garde Studio in Newport Beach.

Groove 57 showcased their steps as well. A hip-hop club at Cal
Poly Pomona, the group pleased the crowd and gave the ballroom
dancers a break.

The concert ended in a curtain call in which all of the
performers danced. The audience responded with applause, cheering
and a standing ovation.

The Ballroom Dance Company is a self-funded, non-profit
organization. The money raised from the ticket sales will help to
fund the company.

Danielle Mohlman can be reached by e-mail at
arts@thepolypost.com or by phone at (909) 869-3744.

Company Swings Night Away

The Cal Poly Ballroom Dance Company performed a variety of dance styles Friday night

Company Swings Night Away

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