By: Sarah Paepke
The annual Gem State Classic Ballroom Competition, hosted by Idaho Ballroom Academy, was held on March 25 and 26 at Idaho Falls High School. Ballroom teams from Idaho, Utah, and the surrounding areas came to show their skills, and have a good time.
Even though it is not a school sponsored program, many students of Madison High are involved with Idaho Ballroom Academy. 110 MHS students competed in various team, and individual dance events throughout the weekend.
The Friday competition consisted primarily of team routines. Each team was categorized into divisions, according to their age and skill level. Many IBA teams received high placements.
Kenzie Jones, a dancer at IBA as well as a senior at Madison High, expressed her love of participating in team routines.
“I love team routines because everyone has to work together. No one can only focus on themselves and not only does it make us a better team, but also better friends. It’s a dance that we all share together and in doing so we all share a part of ourselves,” said Jones.
Saturday was the syllabus portion of the competition. Rather than competing as a team, individual couples, each with a number, took the floor to show their technique in basic steps of common ballroom dances such as the waltz, tango, rumba, paso doble, and swing. Judges walked around the dance floor examining each couple, and looked for things such as poise, strong dance position, correct footwork, and the couple’s ability to dance in unison.
After two long days of competition, a “team match” was held Saturday night as a closing ceremony and celebration. Each ballroom company that came to the competition dressed up in their team colors with face paint, wigs, costumes, and props. A couple from each company was chosen to take the floor and dance, after which judges gave each company a score. Idaho Ballroom Academy took third place. There was also a spirit award at the conclusion of the match, which was given to the company that dressed up the best, had the most energy during the match, and demonstrated the best sportsmanship. At the conclusion of the match, all the teams cheered with great enthusiasm, and all ran together into a huge huddle for one final hoorah. The team match is always a very passionate, heartwarming event, where teams that had competed against each other for two days, come together in friendship and unity.
For Makenna Anderson, IBA dancer and MHS Senior, this was her last competition with Idaho Ballroom Academy, and the team match meant a great deal to her.
“I enjoy the team match, because even though it is a spirit war, you are still happy for the other teams… Everyone cheers each other on. It’s a unique experience that brings different teams closer together,” said Anderson.