Battle of the ballroom dancers set for Oct. 22

So you think you can dance? For more than 50 years, members of UC Ballroom Dancers have answered in the affirmative. This Saturday, Oct. 22, you can check them out yourself, as more than 70 students show off their moves in an all-day dance competition.

Recent UC Ballroom Dancers ‘Hot Latin Night’ event

Showcasing the technical prowess of beginning- and intermediate-level dancers, mostly from Berkeley, the contest will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in 237 Hearst.

First up, the rookies — dancing in pairs — will be judged for their technical mastery of four ballroom styles: waltz, quickstep, cha-cha and rumba. Former club members and other accomplished dancers will serve as judges, eliminating couples throughout the session. Expect the beginners’ contest to get sizzling around 10:30 a.m., says sophomore Lawrence Yen.

Costume-clad intermediate-level dance pairs — performing10 international styles including tango, pasodoble and samba — will compete in the afternoon. That session will heat up around 2:30 p.m., predicts Yen, for whom the form offers never-ending opportunities for improvement.

“Dance is a performance where you want to make it great,” he says, adding that ultimately there’s no iron-clad measure of success.

But there will be a bit of glory to be bestowed in Hearst Gymnasium.

UC Ballroom Dancers offers affordable dance lessons and social dance events, as well as competing in dance contests on this and other campuses. At the end of fall semester, members of the group plan to fly to New York for a competition at Columbia University.