Redlands Ballroom Club
Senior Edward Sun has been involved in the Ballroom Club since his freshman year at the University of Redlands. “I always wanted to do ballroom dance.”
Edward didn’t feel comfortable attending high school dances with the popular “bump and grind” style of dancing because “it didn’t feel classy at all.” After almost four years learning different styles of ballroom dance, he now prefers the Argentine Tango and the Slow Waltz, using “skill and technique to have a good time.”
The dances are challenging, he said, but “once you get it down, it is really a great feeling. Dancing is a lot of fun.”
From his lessons with the University of Redlands Ballroom Club, Edward now has more than just impressive moves. He believes that dance teaches important skills and values.
"Male dancers learn how to multi-task," he said, "because they are forced to listen to the music and rhythm while holding position, thinking about what to do next, and moving their bodies in conjunction. For Edward, all of these simultaneous tasks produce a “fun kind of stress where you are trying to figure out what to do next, but you are having fun while you do it.”
Women learn to trust their partners, Edward said, which helps them to “relax and focus on the current moment.” Good technique helps them to relax and they usually leave practice feeling calmer and happier, he said.
“You walk out of practice with a sense of confidence, poise, patience, and even empathy because when you are dancing with someone you become sensitive to them and their emotions.” Edward said he and other members leave practice feeling accomplished, talented and more relaxed.
“We provide a culturally enriching service to the U of R and the community. I like to think I’ve helped to make the lives of people more fulfilling.”
At the end of the fall semester, the Club hosted a Holiday Ball to raise funds to pay their professional instructor. While some of the attendees were students, many were community members and members of USA Dance, a national ballroom dancing organization which helped fund and advertise for the event. The older generation of dancers helped the younger and less experienced dancers.
“Even if we didn’t profit,” Edward said, “we made a great event, one I think people would want to come back to.” Because of the event’s success, Edward is already planning a Valentine’s Day Ball, which he hopes will get more attention from Redlands students.
Edward Sun and Addison Hummel are co-presidents of the University of Redlands Ballroom Club which meets twice weekly—3 p.m. Sundays in University Hall for practice and at 9 p.m. Mondays.
Because “lessons don’t come cheap,” the club asks members to contribute $50 per semester or $10 per professional dance lesson so the club can afford to learn ballroom. New members are always welcome and no experience is necessary. Students interested in joining the University of Redlands Ballroom Club or acquiring more information should contact firstname.lastname@example.org