If you think Dancing with the Stars or So You Think You Can Dance is exciting, check out MacKenzie LeCroy. This Tar Heel stays busy with the UNC Ballroom Dance Team and Club, competing all over the country. Keep reading for my interview with this dancer!
1.What made you decide to join the UNC Ballroom Dance Team and Club?
When I joined the Ballroom Team I had no experience in ballroom at all. I’ve been a dancer since I was three years old. I did everything from ballet and contemporary to hip hop and acrobatics. When I came to UNC, I tried a couple different dance organizations but couldn’t seem to find the right fit. During my sophomore year, however, a good friend told me we were joining the ballroom team. After the first couple of lessons I was hooked.
2.What is your favorite thing about being a part of this team?
It’s so hard to pick one thing that fuels my love for this team. I can honestly say that our team is a family. Even though we all compete against each other, we still cheer each other on and are excited to see one another do well. I not only enjoy traveling and competing with my team, but love the social side of ballroom. We host social dances and attend dances in the Triangle once a month. At these dances we all get to mix up partners and think less about the technical aspects of ballroom.
3.What does a typical practice look like for your team?
It really depends on how involved you are with the team. As the captain, I dance every day of the week between attending my own lessons, teaching newcomers, holding review sessions or just practicing on my own. Most newcomers go to the club practice which is for an hour on Tuesdays and then the team practice on Wednesday for two hours. We also highly encourage everyone to go to the professional lessons we host in Morrisville at Elite Ballroom. A typical team practice starts with the Latin dances, which is cha cha, rumba, jive and samba. We warm up by doing drills to stretch and condition our muscles and practice our basic technique. Then, our coach focuses on one particular style for most of the hour. We generally end with rounds to music before moving on to Standard which follows the same general outline.
4.Tell us about some of your team’s accomplishments.
I’m so proud of my team’s accomplishments. We are currently the number one team along the East Coast based on the amount of couples we have placing at competitions in all styles and levels. We are also the only team of our kind in North Carolina. We have couples that compete in six different levels from complete beginners to Pre-Champ.
5.What kind of teams do you play?
Ballroom competitions work a little differently from other sports competitions. We compete as couples and many of our members have multiple partners. When you compete in an event, you go through multiple rounds. A round is divided up into multiple groups so that about 10 couples are sent on the floor at a time. The judges then select half of the couples to move on to the next round until there are only six couples in the finals. A typical couple might go through four rounds for one event. We compete all along the East Coast and see many other college teams such as NC State University, George Washington University, Penn State, New York University, University of Maryland College Park, University of Pennsylvania and Charlotte University. All our members compete against other dancers between the ages of 18 and 35. The competitions are not strictly collegiate so we also see a lot of couples from professional studios around the country.
6.What is your most memorable moment as a ballroom dancer at Carolina?
There are honestly too many memorable moments to account for. I believe my first memorable moment was when I went to DC Dancesport Inferno. It was the first team competition and the first time I got to see the advanced team. Over the course of a very long weekend, in which I lost my voice from cheering my team on, I bonded with my fellow teammates, inspiring me to work even harder.
7.What else are you involved in on campus?
I’m involved with the group Carolina Dance Initiative. We hold weekly technique classes in Ballet, Contemporary/Jazz and a Conditioning/Stretch class. Outside of holding classes we are working hard to unite the dance community on campus through projects like our annual photography exhibition called Dancer Blueprint, a spring showcase that features all the dance groups on campus and working with the Carolina Dance Project to create a Dance Minor at UNC. I’m also in the Delta Delta Sigma Pre-Dental Honors Fraternity. With this group, I volunteer at the Mission of Mercy clinics around the state, the Ronald McDonald House, Habitat for Humanity and hear from local dentists. All and all, the club is meant to thoroughly prepare and expose pre-dental students to the dental field, as well as make them strong applicants.
For more information on Sport Clubs, check out their website. And to find out more about the Ballroom Team (even if you’re partner-less!), go here or contact Caroline Gott at email@example.com.