The past few months at the University of Central Florida have been challenging for the social dance programs, no doubt. The beginning of the problems began when the previous Chair resigned in December 2011 and was replaced with a new Chair who had recently won a grant to do Athletics research. The Multi-Purpose Room which had served as a perfect location for both the budding Ballroom program, the Salsa Club, and the Swing Knights for over a decade, was transformed into an Athletics lab over the summer, leaving all the dance programs without a location to continue activities. Additionally, severe budget cuts that were announced at the beginning of the Fall 2012 semester forced the cancellation of classes that had been moved into a gymnasium for the Intermediate and Formation Team that were to begin in the Fall semester. The most troubling part of this is that we had spent the summer getting all the “official” paperwork nearly completed for a state-wide program for a Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced ballroom program…only to be shut down at the last minute.
But for every obstacle, there is always a loophole.
Enter a few very enthusiastic dance students who had been infected with the “ballroom bug” and a mission to make things happen despite the obstacles. UCF student Johnny Goode had started the processes of initiating a UCF ballroom dance club in the spring of 2012. Katia Kyriakoulis and Juliet Dno, both who were a part of the university’s first Intermediate-level class in the Spring semester, have taken on the task of completing the paperwork and “political” affairs of making the Ballroom Dance Club of University of Central Florida a reality. (Become a Facebook fan to get announcements) Under this club, the students will be able to continue their dance lessons, create revenue with public dances, obtain extra revenue from the campus club program, and contract instructors to teach an Intermediate and Formation team.
If there was ever a time that a university needed support from the public, it is now. The club will be hosting a dance on Saturday, December 1 between 7:30 pm and 10:00 pm, at the Ferrel Commons building on the campus of UCF. The cost is $5 at the door, and they would love to see as many dancers as possible in order to create a buzz that will “make magic happen.” Dress code is dressy-casual and holiday-themed. UCF instructor Carl Free, who is still teaching a beginner class that was left intact will teach a few beginner-level min-classes throughout the night as needed. The hope is to create a public dance schedule throughout the year that will support the formation team that has been the ultimate goal of the program. Who knows, maybe in time the club will create enough support to enable a serious look at its potential by other departments on the campus for re-entry into the for-credit system.
Please use Parking Garage B, which is located very close to the Ferrel Commons building. Parking will cost $3 and tickets can be purchased in the corner-machines that are located on in the corners of each level of the garage. Please contact Patty Holden at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.