ClassesPracticesCommunity • Mentorship Competitions 

We believe that all of these form a holistic approach to ballroom dance training, enabling every dancer to pick and choose what they need most at any time. Participation in each part of the program is completely voluntary – put in as much time as you wish!

 

 

Classes

We offer classes taught by world-class professionals in the three styles of dance, and we encourage you to try all three!

  • Class time is divided into 45-minute blocks for different skill levels. Newcomers are encouraged to stay for the advanced classes!

  • To attend classes, all you need are comfortable shoes and a willingness to learn! After the free trial classes, you must also have paid membership dues for that style to continue attending classes in that style. To learn more about membership dues and officially joining the club, click here.

  • Class times and locations may vary from week to week. Join our mailing list to receive our weekly announcement email with updated class times and locations each week! Also, be sure to check our events calendar!

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International Standard

 

Dances: Waltz, Tango, Quickstep, Foxtrot, Viennese Waltz

 

Schedule: Mondays

Newcomer: 10:00 - 10:45 p

Bronze: 10:45 - 11:30 p

Advanced: 11:30 p - 12:15 a

 

Location: Lerner Hall, Room C555 (5th Floor)

 

Instructors: Stanley and Jennifer McCalla

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International Latin

 

Dances: Chacha, Rumba, Jive, Samba, Paso Doble

 

Schedule: Tuesdays

Newcomer: 10:00 - 10:45 p

Bronze: 10:45 - 11:30 p

Advanced: 11:30 p - 12:15 a

 

Locations: Lerner Hall, Roone Auditorium or Columbia/Barnard Hillel, Rennert Hall (may differ each week)

 

Instructor: Andrew Phillips

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Salsa

 

Dances: Salsa

 

Schedule: Fridays

Beginner: 2:00 - 2:45 p

Intermediate: 2:45 - 3:30 p

 

Location: Wien Hall, Main Lounge (may differ)

 

Instructor: Meirra Birath

 

Instructors

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Standard Instructors: Stanley and Jennifer McCalla
Stanley and Jennifer held the U.S. Amateur Standard, Latin, and 10-Dance titles, the last couple to have been so distinguished, and represented the U.S. at four world championships. As professionals, they were Ohio Star Ball Rising Star Smooth Champions, and Fred Astaire National Smooth Champions. They currently own and operate a studio in New York called Dance Chelsea. Both act as judges at many collegiate ballroom competitions.

Latin Instructor: Andrew has just recently exited the world of professional ballroom competition. Andrew placed 4th at U.S. Open Professional Latin in 2002. He was also a U.K. Open Rising Star Finalist and Blackpool Rising Star Finalist, and has consistently placed among the top 12 professional Latin couples at major world competitions. He currently is a resident coach at Manhattan Ballroom Dance and frequently judges collegiate competitions. He also travels abroad for demonstrations and workshops.

Salsa Instructor: Meirra has been dancing since she was 3 years old. She started training in the classics, tap, ballet, jazz and continued dancing all through school. In college Meirra discovered partner dancing and started competitive ballroom and performance salsa and hasn’t stopped since. She now has a pro Latin Ballroom partner and dances Salsa with the Isa Project Pro Team. Her area of research and study is on the history and evolution of the indigenous dances that have become what we know today as Ballroom and Salsa. She brings this knowledge to all of her lessons. Understanding the context of movement is important to keep the culture alive and show respect to the heritage of these dances. Meirra’s passion is dance, because for her dance is life: dance is movement and movement is one of the best ways to express yourself, understand yourself and heal yourself.

 

 

Practices

Practices are optional, but they are a great way to review steps from classes and meet other club members in a smaller setting, so we encourage everyone to check them out! We will have a board member supervising every practice to answer your questions, whether they be about dancing, Columbia, or life in general.

  • Practices are held weekly in Dodge Fitness Center, Aerobics Room 3 (Dodge Fitness Center membership required to enter) and Columbia/Barnard Hillel, Rennert Hall (anyone can enter) on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Check the weekly announcement email sent out to our mailing list for up-to-date practice times and locations each week.

  • Practices are largely unstructured, with music and speakers provided. You don’t need a partner or experience to start practicing. If you’re not sure what to practice, reviewing figures from class is always a good place to start—these will be posted regularly on our YouTube channel!

  • One practice every week (usually Wednesday) will feature a Newcomer Workshop, where an advanced dancer will review the steps learned in that week’s newcomer classes, introduce some basic elements of technique, and answer any questions.

  • Before competitions, Thursday and Sunday practices will feature Rounds, where each of the five Standard and Latin dances are done continuously for 1.5 minutes each to mimic a final round at a competition. These are a great way to prepare for competitions and build up your stamina!

  • Occasionally, additional workshops will be hosted in practice spaces. Keep an eye out for them in our weekly announcements!

 

 

Community

CU Ballroom isn’t just a dance group—it’s a vibrant, tight-knit community of friends formed through a variety of bonding experiences. From dancing at socials downtown to post-competition dinners and performing on the CU Ballroom Formation Team, the club offers a wide range of activities that you can partake in as a member. We try to alleviate the financial costs of being a member as much as possible too! Most importantly, we warmly welcome everyone and anyone, no matter what your level of experience, because at the end of the day, it’s all about having fun with people who you can call family.

Some of the many ways our club members bond and build community within our club, within Columbia, and within the greater NYC dance world:

  • Traveling to competitions all over the Northeast with a Competition Buddy

  • Showcasing at Columbia events such as NSOP, Passport to Columbia, and Red Cross Benefit Dinner

  • Participating in the Formation Team and performing at the End-Of-Year Gala

  • Attending a Friday Night Fever dance social at a studio downtown

  • Collaborating with Bach Society to hold a Valentine’s Day Gala with live music and dancing

  • Hosting a joint dance mixer with the NYU Ballroom Dance Team

  • Mentoring a new dancer to their first final and receiving mentoring from a high-level dancer

  • Holding club study breaks and club dinners

  • And much more!