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Back to School

By Taylor Wall

This October, I will return to the University of Minnesota campus to attend Minnesota Ballroom Blast. This will be my third time attending the event, as I've gone every year since its inception. This year, Minnesota Ballroom Blast will end with the annual Halloween Dance, and the potential of combining two of the fall semester's biggest events is overwhelming.

I spent the last four years of my life devoted to collegiate ballroom dance with the University of Minnesota Ballroom Dance Club (even more devoted, I regret to say, than I was to my studies). Critique-based events like Minnesota Ballroom Blast were always the first events of the season, and I've had the pleasure of dancing with many partners, including mixed-proficiency partners who have since been incorporated into the fold.

Since leaving the university organization, I've grown to appreciate the education I received there more and more. In my four years with the University of Minnesota Ballroom Dance Club, I progressed from zero to gold level in three styles, which I wouldn't have even dreamed of anywhere else. I had the opportunity to make amazing friends and learn how best to deal with emotional, not-so-friendly situations. I've met great competitors from across the country whom I have continued to compete against as I've graduated to the amateur competition circuit.

I'm so very grateful to all of the wonderful people who helped make all of that growth and experience possible. I'm proud to say that, during my time with the University of Minnesota Ballroom Dance Club, the club expanded from its first iteration of a competitive team structure to the fourth-ranked club in the country, closely following clubs twice and three times the size of ours with decades of experience under their belts.

I'm excited to participate in more mixed-proficiency events this year to help spread my love of ballroom dance to those still just starting out. I'd love to show them everything that the University of Minnesota Ballroom Dance Club has to offer, but I'm even more excited to see how the club has grown since I left.

I am honored to have been part of such a successful organization and look forward to seeing all that the University of Minnesota Ballroom Dance Club can achieve in the future!