The CSUN ballroom dance club held their first masquerade ball at the Castaway restaurant Friday in Burbank.
Students spent the evening wearing masks, gowns and tuxedos. They danced the waltz, salsa, tango and rumba. One of those students was Nicole Maddocks, treasurer of the ballroom dance club.
“We wanted to throw a back to school kick off event,” said Maddocks, 20.
The club hopes to accumulate enough money to to throw the masquerade ball annually.
“We exceeded our expectations; everybody seems to be having a good time,” Maddocks said.
The music and equipment for the event was donated by the dance coach, Wiley Simpson, for the ballroom club, who is preparing the ballroom dance club for a dance competition in March at Claremont College.
“My job is to help them (students) open doors they never knew existed,” Simpson said. “It is something you can take with you for life.”
Simpson said he is delighted his students held this event and that he has seen a huge improvement in the way his students dance ballroom. Many of his students did not know how to dance when they first joined the club, and now they compete successfully in dance competitions against other colleges.
“My students are my greatest achievement,” Simpson said.
He said his students have become healthier, learned to enjoy different types of music and better at socializing since joining the ballroom dance club.
Eric Falconer, 23, geography major, a top competitor in the ballroom dance competition at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo three weeks ago, said he not only improved in ballroom dancing, but has met a lot of people since he joined the club.
Most ballroom dance competitors stick with one dance partner at competitive events. CSUN does things differently.
“At CSUN we all rotate partners, which is rare for competition,” Falconer said.
He said even though the club switched partners throughout the competition, they still were a top-placing team.
Not all students who danced the night away at the masquerade were members of the dance club.
“I am impressed with the turnout. There are a lot of people I have never seen before,” Falconer said.