News Archive

MITBDT Goes to Harvard

by Peggy Zhu

On April 5th and 6th, MITBDT competed at the Harvard Invitational 2014, held at Hynes Convention Center in Boston. One of the biggest collegiate dance competitions of the year, Harvard Invitational hosted more than 600 competitors from all over the country. Despite the fierce competition, MITBDT members and alumni brought out their best performances, with more than 20 couples placing in finals across different levels and styles.

Saturday Morning & Afternoon — Syllabus Standard and Smooth

The first day of the competition started with Smooth events, followed by Standard events in the afternoon. In Newcomer Smooth, Amy Qiu won 8th place with her TBA partner, Chris Chen from Harvard. Other rookies who joined the team last fall moved up to Bronze, with two couples making Waltz and Tango finals, and four couples dancing in the Foxtrot final. Dan Chen and Casey Crownhart placed first in Overall Bronze Smooth, with Corey Cleveland and Clio Flikkema coming in second. Cleveland and Flikkema also placed first in Silver Smooth Viennese Waltz while Vitaly Abdrashitov and Amy Ishiguro claimed first place in Overall Silver Smooth.

The Gold Smooth events also saw the award-winning dancing from MIT couples. Anthony Kozloff and Julia Shen, and Dilip Thekkoodan and Amy Fan placed in all finals, and Ian Slattery and Arlene Hijara entered the final for Foxtrot/Viennese Waltz. Anthony Kozloff and Julia Shen claimed second overall.

With significantly more couples dancing in Standard, the competition became tougher as the day progressed. In Bronze events, Chen and Crownhart missed only the Waltz final, and Cleveland and Flikkema placed in all finals, winning second overall. In Silver Standard, Abdrashitov and Ishiguro placed in all finals, and Ross Finman and Ji Shiyan placed fourth in Viennese Waltz.

Saturday Evening — Open Events

Following Syllabus Standard, the exciting Open events started in the late afternoon. In Open Smooth, Matt Sorrentino and Theresa Vallese claimed second place. In Pre-champ Latin, Giorgio Gaglia and Patricia Hao placed fourth for both Rumba/Cha and Samba/Jive, and Rafael Oliveira and Essie Kalishnikova placed sixth in Samba/Jive. Even more ribbons were claimed in Pre-champ Standard, with Mark Chen and Bella Pindrus, and Alex Martinov and Julia Shen entering all finals, and Giorgia Gaglia and Leila Hofer placing seventh in Viennese Waltz.

In the last event of the day, Championship Standard, MITBDT couples claimed three places among six finalists: Arthur Lue and Sarah Wong won second place, Ben Moss and Esther Rheinbay third, and Alex Arazawa and Jing Wang fourth. The night ended with a spectacular performance from world vice champions Victor Fung and Anastasia Muravyeva.

Sunday — Syllabus Rhythm and Latin

Sunday began with Bronze Rhythm events, where the MITBDT rookies continued to excel. Dan Chen and Brittany Bautista placed fifth in American Chacha and third in Swing; and Zohaib Mahmood and Francesca Majluf got seventh in Swing. Cleveland and Flikkema placed second overall in Bronze Rhythm and managed to place fifth in Silver Bolero. Jorge Valdez and Laura Petrovich claimed first place in Silver Rumba/Cha and Mambo/Swing.

In the very competitive Latin events, Cleveland and Flikkema claimed first Overall for Bronze, and Zohaib Mahmood and Francesca Majluf entered the final for Bronze Jive. In Silver Latin, Jorge Valdez and Laura Petrovich placed fifth in Rumba/Cha and fourth in Samba/Jive; while their teammates Brian Solomon and Jessica Bernier placed third in Samba/Jive. Two MITBDT couples danced in Silver Paso Doble final, including Cleveland and Flikkema, who won third, and Abdrashitov and Hijara, who placed fifth. Furthermore, Kuang Xu and Eileen Depakibibo placed seventh in Gold Rumba/Cha final, bringing back the last ribbon for MITBDT in Harvard Invitational 2014.

MITBDT has two more weeks to prepare for the next and the biggest collegiate ballroom competition of the season, their very own MIT Open. The team looks forward to hosting another successful competition and competing at its highest level.

Photo Highlights can be found on our facebook page.

MITBDT Goes to Nationals

Congratulations to MITBDT team members and alums for their outstanding results at the USA Dance National DanceSport Championships held last weekend in Baltimore!


Team Members (indicated in bold)
Ben Moss & Esther Rheinbay – Champ Standard Semi-Finalist

Alex Arazawa & Jing Wang – PreChamp Standard 1st Place

Alex Martynov & Julia Shen – Novice Standard 2nd Place

Alums (indicated in bold)

Arthur Lue & Sarah Wong – Champ Standard Semi-Finalist
Cloud Cray & Noelle Sun – Champ Standard Quarter-Finalist

Alexander Yates & Olga Yates – PreChamp Standard Semi-Finalist


Alums (indicated in bold)
George Cometa & Bella Pindrus – Champ Smooth Semi-Finalist & PreChamp Smooth 3rd Place


Team Members (indicated in bold)
Giorgio Gaglia & Patricia Hao – Novice Latin 6th Place

For photo highlights, visit our facebook page!

MITBDT goes to Columbia; featured in The Tech

Several couples on the MITBDT traveled to Columbia last weekend to compete in the Big Apple Dance Competition. Our results are featured in the sports section of the Tech. Click here to read the article.

Tickets for MIT Open Show and Workshop are live!

Tickets to MIT Open’s Show and Workshop, presented by Michael Malitowski & Joanna Leunis, are now available via EventBrite. Click here to read more. Or click here to buy tickets to the show and here to buy tickets to the workshop, “Performance Skills.”

Tickets to the show for MIT students will be sold separately at Lobby 10 the two weeks before the event.

Announcing Michael Malitowski and Joanna Leunis as our MIT Open Showcouple

We are pleased to announce an exciting showcase featuring the wonderfully talented World Professional Latin Champions Michael Malitowski and Joanna Leunis! Going to Columbia? No problem! See them in a completely different show; also stay tuned for opportunities for workshops and lessons! Information on ticket sales will be posted shortly.

Visit our comp website for more information.

MITBDT off to a Strong Start at Holy Cross

By Peggy Zhu

Twenty-two MIT couples competed at Holy Cross Crusade Classic on February 16, many making their debut for the spring competitive season. Held by Holy Cross College Ballroom Team, the competition took place in the college campus center, hosting 390 competitors from 33 schools.

The MITBDT rookies, having begun the second half of their rookie year, continued the dominance in Newcomer Standard and Smooth events, claiming two of the top three places in Standard overall and all three in Smooth overall. The rookies that have placed out of Newcomer pulled a remarkable performance in their first Bronze competition. Although competing against couples who have danced in Bronze for a much longer time, they ended up top in nearly all Standard and Smooth finals.

In Syllabus Standard and Smooth, the two Silver couples and two Gold couples from MIT claimed eleven ribbons in eight events. The Open Standard final saw a sweeping victory of MITBDT: out of the seven finalists, all four MIT couples ended in top five, with Ben Moss and Esther Rheinbay winning the event.

The second half of the competition began with Newcomer Rhythm, in which the rookies did a good job. Six couples were placed in three finals, and one couple claiming the third in Rhythm overall. In Bronze Rhythm, one rookie couple placed third in swing and fourth in ChaCha/Rumba.

The Latin dancers drew a strong ending note for the competition. MIT claimed four places in both Newcomer Cha Cha and International Rumba, and three places in Newcomer Jive, including the first and third place in Newcomer Latin Overall. The second place in Bronze overall also went to a rookie couple. The last event of the day saw the thrilling performances from the three Open couples, including MIT couple Mark Chen and Yiqun Bai who placed the first.

With the good results from Holy Cross, MIT dancers are back to their rigorous training, confidently expecting more competitions to come.

“Mamboing at MIT.”

The MIT Ballroom Dance Team was featured inĀ Dance Studio Life in last year’s December issue. The piece highlights our team’s history, dancing, and eccentricities.

Click here for the article.

March Ballroom Social Cancelled

Hi ballroom enthusiasts! Unfortunately, due to space limitations and other conflicting events, the MIT Ballroom Dance Team will not be hosting our March ballroom social. Regardless, we hope to see you at our upcoming social next Saturday (Feb 22).

March Ballroom Social TBD

Hi ballroom enthusiasts!

Due to a competition conflict on March 8, the March ballroom social has been cancelled indefinitely. Hopefully we will be able to work out another date. Until then, happy dancing.

Spring 2014 Social Dates Announced!

The MIT Ballroom Dance Team wishes everyone a happy holiday!

We have posted our Spring 2014 social dates, and we look forward to seeing you there!

Please mark your calendars for: 2/22, 3/8, 5/10