El Flujo
By Djinn Shockey

Cinderella Missed the Ballroom Dance, but There Will Be Another One

Envision a debonair gentleman in a suave tuxedo gently extending a hand to an elegant lady draped in a gown fit for a princess. Next, imagine them embracing in a waltz and gracefully moving effortlessly around a gleaming dance floor lit by crystal chandeliers. You are probably thinking of Cinderella, which is close but it is actually a more realistic fairy tale… and a more competitive one.

Ballroom dancing is alive and well in Louisville and anyone in the Galt House on September 29 or 30 can attest to that. Some might have thought a fairy godmother was nearby with all the regal couples about but they were just participants in the U.S. Pro/Am Ballroom Dance Championship. Dressed like royalty other than the white patches displaying double digits in black on their back, competitors ages 11 to 89 danced the night away to an assortment of Frank Sinatra and classical compositions. There might have even been a few pairs of glass slippers, but rest assured no pumpkin carriages were waiting in the parking garage.

Ballroom dancing is not just for royalty anymore, as everyone is encouraged to participate. Once you witness the fun and fantasy behind the event, you might be compelled to step on the dance floor yourself. The U.S. Pro/Am Ballroom Dance Championship has been celebrated since 1973 and takes place in over 35 states and 25 countries worldwide.

The interesting thing about Ballroom dancing is that it is NOT boring. These couples do not just two step across the floor in mundane patterns. The competition is made up of a variety of types of dance including, but not limited to the Foxtrot, Waltz, Cha Cha, Rumba and the passionate Salsa and Tango dances. Each type and style of dance is more passionate than the next. Since it is a competition, the dancers themselves vary in age, style and performance with each couple offering viewers a unique perspective of individuality.

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Ballroom dancing is a regal style of dance, but it is also filled with very formal passion. The noble roots bring an air to the dance floor that other styles of dance often lack. Modern ballroom competitions have melded a variety of cultural dances into the original programming to create a more diverse and entertaining atmosphere for dancers and viewers alike.

Ballroom dancing takes us back to a different era when glamor and elegance was at its height in the world. Those looking to step back in time might enjoy checking out the Louisville Ballroom Club for an introduction and instruction to Ballroom Dancing. They actually have monthly events at the Kosair Shrine Temple at 812 South 2nd Street. Dance enthusiasts can acquire information on the dance studios and clubs around town that provide an outlet for the ever expanding ballroom dance community.

What lady doesn't like to dress up like a princess and be twirled around the dance floor by her prince? Cinderella might have missed the ball, but thanks to the growing participants locally, there will be plenty more ballroom dances coming in the future.