A publication to engage the dance community. Learn. Discuss. Contribute. Enjoy.

Gaining Perspective

Storytelling after a Night with the Stars

By Joel Torgeson

I grabbed my cone—handmade waffle with The Flavor Formerly Known as Nicollet Avenue Pothole and Salty Caramel—and headed into the back parlor of Sebastian Joe's. It was 11:00 on a Saturday night, and the cool relief in my hand went a long way towards assuaging the soreness in my feet, tired from four straight hours of dancing. I pulled a chair up to the circle and took my seat. We had members of our club, Bemidji, and St. Olaf there, relaxing after the University of Minnesota Ballroom Dance Club's formal dance, a Night with the Stars.

We began sharing some of our favorite dance moments with each other.

“Remember when Kevin and Hannah did a tango in McDonald’s to satisfy the curiosity of some senior citizens? That was pretty funny!”

“What about the time we made Dan O'Connell laugh so hard he cried? My abs hurt after that practice!”

It was great to hear the memorable ballroom moments of others.

Tia Langhout of Bemidji told us about their Dance Follies, a production they put on each year to showcase local and student dancers. We talked about the breathless quick-changes she and her mother had to perform to get into and out of the same dress, and I talked with other Bemidji students about how moved they were by a particular number.

"He ruined that song for us. It was so awesome!"

These are some of my favorite moments in dance, when you can sit down with a fellow dancer and find out what their dance journey has been like. Sometimes people have excellent stories about what made them join in the first place; others have danced in amazing places and spaces. Everyone seems to have something they're willing to share.

We kept eating ice cream and laughing, and I couldn't have asked for anything better.

The event itself was a success, and I think everyone had a good time. We had dazzling performances from some great local amateurs, good cake, and lots of great music! It's always the people that make the dance, however, so thank you to those who came out in support of our club, especially those who traveled to make it!