organization spotlight: Ballroom Dance Club


The Mercer University Ballroom Dance Club hosted its first meeting on Monday in the Aerobics room of the University Center. Ballroom Club started recruiting members during last Monday’s Bear Fair.
“We got a lot of interest [at Bear Fair]. Almost 90 people signed up,” said Debbie Harris, Mercer University’s Ballroom Dance Club President and female instructor. Interest in ballroom dancing has peaked due to television shows like “So You Think You Can Dance?” and “Dancing with the Stars”.
Harris started ballroom dancing in high school after learning salsa from a Spanish teacher. The experience inspired her to seek lessons outside of school.
New members of  Ballroom Club are initially taught simple dances that fit with popular music.  These ‘party’ dances, such as swing and hustle, go with a wide range of contemporary music.
“[The hustle] is something easy you can do in a dance club besides grinding,” said Brittani Howell, “[It’s] flashy, fun and makes for a better connection between you and your partner.”
When learning a new dance, Harris teaches the women their steps and Steve Hussung, the Vice President, teaches the men theirs. After five minutes of individual practice, the two groups join together to practice with a partner.
“We’ve brought several professional dance instructors from Macon and the surrounding area to teach less common dances and to help us polish [our existing dances],” said Hussung.
Members with more dance experience are willing to help new members as much as they can.
“Many of the moves I’ve learned are from dancing with other people [rather than from an instructor],” said Hussung.
Though ballroom dances increase in difficulty and variety with each meeting,  basic dances are still revisited for new members.
“This year we are catering to veterans as well as beginners,” said Brittani Howell.
Historically, Ballroom Club has had a problem keeping their male ranks filled, sometimes reaching a ratio of one boy to every five girls.
“Regardless of the gender balance, we rotate every five to ten minutes, so everyone gets a turn to dance,” said Steve Hussung.
Ballroom club hosts several special events a semester. Ballroom Club hosted a Halloween and Valentine’s Day themed dance last year. This year, Ballroom Club is expanding their events to include Christmas and Decades dances.
“We always have a few people show up [at dances] because it’s fun and there is free food,” said Harris. Line dances, such as the Electric Slide, are fairly easy to pick up.
Ballroom Club also organizes trips to dances in downtown Macon on weekends, most notably to Middle Georgia Dance. These trips are more social, because it gives the Ballroom Dance club a chance to show off their moves and hang out.
“Ballroom is a place to meet people, learn to dance in the Ballroom style and have fun,” said Steve Hussung.
Anyone interested in joining Ballroom Club can attend meetings every Monday at 8 p.m. or join the Mercer Ballroom Club Facebook group
“I have yet to meet a person with two left feet,” said Debbie Harris.