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Colleges and Universities at Dance Fest

Bemidji State University

BSU's ballroom team
Bemidji State University sent a small but dedicated group of ballroom dancers to Dance Fest. Their coaches, Suzy and Hondo, are very proud of the team's performance.

Carleton College

Carleton's ballroom team
Carleton's ballroom team had a great time at Dance Fest. We had dancers competing in newcomer, bronze, and silver, and are pleased with how we did in all of those categories, with people placing into quarter, semi, and final rounds! We also had a great time meeting dancers from other teams, competing in the strictly dances, and participating in the team match. Thank you to all who helped put on this event!

Luther College

Luther's ballroom team
The Luther College Competitive Ballroom Team would like to thank Dance Fest for such an amazing competition. With several couples represented in the finals and many in semifinals, our dancers walked away with more confidence in themselves, great memories, and huge enthusiasm for what next year's Dance Fest could hold. It was amazing to be able to present a few teams in team matches and bring scholarship money back with us that will help us cover costs for next year so we can return. Our team, especially our newcomers, are now asking for lessons in strictly dances after getting a taste of what they're like this year. With two Luther people per Jack and Jill final, our team takes great pride in our dancers and their abilities to branch out and create chemistry on the dance floor with people they may never have met before. We all loved Dance Fest and cannot wait to return!

North Dakota State University

NDSU's ballroom team
North Dakota State University's ballroom team, coached by Don Miller, performed very well at Dance Fest. Student Yarong Yang earned a scholarship for her lovely performance with Don in newcomer mixed proficiency rhythm rumba.

Northwestern University

Northwestern's ballroom team
Northwestern received significant financial scholarship and did well at the event, placing fourth in the American team match and semifinaling in the international team match.

St. Mary's University of Minnesota

St. Mary's ballroom team
Saint Mary's University's Ballroom Dance Club is an established social dance club and three years ago began dancing competitively. Our competitions have included Star of the North (2011, 2012, 2013), Badger Ballroom Classic (2012, 2013), and Dance Fest (2014). Even though we are new to the competition scene, as this was only the sixth competition in our club's history, the opportunity to participate in Dance Fest has reaffirmed our passion for dance! Besides competing, we thoroughly enjoyed watching dancers of all skill levels and ages. We are graciously coached by Andrea Mirenda, studio owner and trainer for Fred Astaire Dance Studios for over twenty years.

St. Olaf College

St. Olaf's ballroom team
This was St. Olaf's first time competing, and they performed spectacularly! Team leaders Jacob Borg and Sijia Wei wowed the audience with their fantastic championship Latin round.

University of Iowa

Hawkeye's ballroom team
The University of Iowa brought thirty-seven amazing dancers to Dance Fest, and their enthusiasm was felt throughout the event. Hawkeye Ballroom had two teams final in both the international and American team matches, which truly demonstrates their dedication and skill.

University of Kansas

Kansas's ballroom team
The University of Kansas ballroom team wins the award for farthest travel to Dance Fest. Their beautiful dancing and high spirits were definitely worth the trip.

University of Minnesota - Rochester

UMR's ballroom team
The University of Minnesota - Rochester Ballroom Team dancers were honored to have been invited to be a part of Dance Fest. The UMR Ballroom dancers had a blast! Many of our members were inspired by other competitors to continue improving their dancing skills, and the event gave our team the chance to experience competing at a collegiate level. Co-chair Anjelica Montano commented, “This event gave myself, as well as our dancing members, the chance to highlight the skills we have been drilling for months. I was extremely proud of our team, how we carried ourselves, and the excitement we brought to the competition. We brought the competition and the fun!” We were also were delighted to get the chance to see our college professor Yuko Taniguchi and dance coach Jeremy Anderson go out there and light up the floor. The team had fun bonding and cheering for our members and our instructors. Overall, our impression of Dance Fest is very positive. We are grateful for the organizers' tremendous effort to deliver this opportunity for college students. The team as a whole commented on how nicely the competition was run and kept on time. The UMR Ballroom Team had so much fun. Dance Fest was a great bonding experience and gave us the chance to go out there and do our best dancing!

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

U of M - TC's ballroom team
Dance Fest was amazing! The whole team had a great time, and we loved being able to connect with so many other collegiate teams. We are really proud of how well the University of Minnesota couples placed, especially against such skilled competition. We were particularly proud to take second place in the American team match. We look forward to having this much fun at a competition again next year!

University of Northern Iowa

UNI's ballroom team
UNI Ballroom/Swing had an amazing time at Dance Fest. Since most of the group are newcomers, this exposure to competitive ballroom was both educational and exciting. They look forward to next year's Dance Fest!

University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire

Three smiling men holding the dancer from Eau Claire
Eau Claire sent a contingent of one this year, Talia Rudahl, graciously hoisted by her handsome partners in this photo. Talia enjoyed both competing and volunteering at Dance Fest.

University of Wisconsin - La Crosse

La Crosse's ballroom team
We all really enjoyed our time at Dance Fest; the atmosphere was fun and exciting. Many of our competitors are new to the competition atmosphere, so it was nice to be able to expose them to a relaxed, fun competition for their first time. One of our couples took home second place in strictly salsa and sixth in strictly hustle. One of our team members also placed fourth in the Jack and Jill waltz. The team was very proud of all the callbacks they received, and we are excited to compete again in the future!

University of Wisconsin - Madison

Madison's ballroom team
The Badger Ballroom Dance Team (UW-Madison) made its annual trip to the Twin Cities this year to attend Dance Fest. Since a number of BBDT dancers are from Minnesota, Dance Fest provided an opportunity for friends and family to see BBDT members dance when they wouldn't otherwise be able to. Badger Ballroom enjoyed the competition and was grateful for the opportunity to take the floor with other couples from throughout the Midwest.