Claremont Colleges Team Dances Away With Awards

If you thought the dancing in movies such as Grease, Dirty Dancing, or Moulin Rouge was a feast for the eyes, prepare for more sideline envy when members of the award-winning Claremont Colleges Ballroom Dance Company take the floor during a series of Alumni Weekend concerts planned May 3-5.

The 5-Colleges team burst into national consciousness last fall when it took home a first-place finish at the U.S. National Collegiate Formation Team Championships in Ohio, then recently followed up with another first-place trophy at the San Francisco Open Dancesport Championships.

The forthcoming concerts are in tandem with Alumni Weekend at The Claremont Colleges and will feature the team’s winning number: a Latin medley of samba, rumba, cha-cha, and paso doble choreographed to Jennifer Lopez songs, in addition to full-costumed performances of waltzes, salsas, tangos, Lindy Hops, and other full-production numbers. “I’m really excited to be performing now for our friends and other people in the area,” says team-member Kat Garcia ’03. “A lot of people on the campuses don’t even know we have a dance team. Hopefully when they have a chance to see how much the program has grown, and that we’ve developed the talent to bring a first-time team to nationals and win, they will start to give us more recognition.”

In the past the team has performed medleys to themes from the movies Grease and Dirty Dancing, and this year the finale number will be a four-song medley from the Oscar-nominated musical Moulin Rouge.

Now in its fourth year, The Claremont Colleges Ballroom Dance Company boasts about 60 students from the five colleges, including CMC students Tracy Wang ’04, Sandy Uyekubo ’03, Malcom Murfin ’04, Frieda Liu ’04, Jerome Hsiang ’04, Michael Pumphrey ’04, Jacqueline Demeranville ’05, Daisy Chou ’04, and Kat Garcia.

The Alumni Weekend concerts scheduled next month will be held in Bridges Auditorium, with show times at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets for students, faculty, staff, alumni, and seniors are $10; general admission is $15. Group rates also are available.

Tickets may be purchased at the Bridges Auditorium box office, 909-621-8032, or through Ticketmaster, 213-480-3232.