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Ballroom dancing classes for all Islanders

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by SEAN MCCRACKEN
Staff Writer

According to Texas A&M University Corpus Christi’s website, there are over 150 organizations and clubs on campus. These organizations and clubs range in category and in interest. There are clubs dedicated to academics, clubs based on departments, sports clubs, and even clubs developed solely based on where you live.

Some organizations require a select invitation, some have an extensive interview process to be accepted and some require dues and fees be paid to the club to continue membership. Some clubs are about similar interests and common goals. Some clubs are based on culture and are built on the premise that joining these clubs brings a better culture to the university.

One such club is the Ballroom and Latin Dance Club. Dr. Amir Hormozi, professor of operations management, started the club several years ago after attending a high level dance camp at Brigham Young University in Utah.

“A lot of enthusiasts go there and learn,” he said. “All the national champions come there and bring everybody else up to speed. And so I was going there, and figured that I learn all this stuff. We don’t have any places here to practice high-level dance, why not try to spread the knowledge a little bit and create a dance culture.”

Piroska Toros, management student at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi, learned to ballroom dance in high school. “When I saw the flyer that they have the dance classes on Thursday nights for free, I was really excited about it, about dancing, so I started to go,” said Toros. She has been involved with the club for two years and is also one of the instructors for the Ballroom and Latin Dance Club.

Jason Beckett, senior at Texas A&M University Corpus Christi, said, “I had no interest in it coming till I was dragged along.”

Beckett had no prior background in dance and it was certainly not what he was looking forward to doing on a Thursday night when his friend and dance instructor, Toros, invited him to attend. “It is surprisingly fun and I enjoy it a lot,” Beckett said.

According to Dr. Hormozi, the club is open to students, facility, staff, and anyone else interested in learning dances like the waltz, tango, foxtrot, cha-cha, rumba, and so forth.  And bringing a partner is no requirement.

“They don’t need to bring a partner.  We try to switch people amongst partners because it’s kind of proven in dance that if you dance with different partners, you learn better,” Dr. Hormozi said. “If you dance with the same person, they learn to respond to you, even though you may be taking the wrong steps.”

If you do want to learn the dances with a special someone, that’s okay too. “Couples should come to the dance class because it is a great way to get to know each other and gain trust. Dancing creates harmony between couples and it is like a date,” Toros said. “My dance partner who was a professional dancer once told me when you are about to dance with your partner first close your eyes and listen to the music. When you open your eyes and look into your partner`s eyes the world stops existing around you two. The pair has their bubble around them and they cannot see or hear anything that comes from outside. As they hold each other`s hands and start to dance together, the music comes out from their moves. Those who are watching them can hear that music by watching them dancing.”

“Hopefully as time goes on, we get more and more people who are enthusiastic,” said Dr. Hormozi. Dance enthusiasts or those that just want to check out what can be learned in the Ballroom and Latin Dance Club should swing by the University Center on Thursday nights at 7:00 p.m. The exact location is subject to change based on room availability, so stop by the Information Desk and they will have the room number or contact Dr. Hormozi for a schedule.

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