The BYU-Hawaii Ballroom Dance class carried out a Semester Ball to teach students different styles of dancing as a part of their curriculum on Friday, Oct. 15.
The class takes place Monday and Wednesday mornings and is taught by Professor Oleole and his wife. Oleole said said the students learned six dances throughout the semester: the cha-cha, rumba, swing, foxtrot, waltz, and the tango.
The Semester Ball was based on formal balls that have an intermission of a dance performance or presentation for entertainment, according to Oleole.
Max Moncur, a sophomore from California majoring in business, said he thought it was funny how the dancers would show off their dance moves. “We got to watch [the class members] do all this cool professional stuff, and [then] we come in and attempt to follow. We weren’t really able to, but it was fun.”
Giulia Dos Santos, a freshman psychology major from Texas, said she was in the cha-cha dance performance and was looking forward to having fun with her date, who was not a member of the class. “It’s just a night just to dance and and have fun,” Dos Santos said.
Heidi Jacobsen, a freshman majoring in psychology from South Carolina and one of the students taking the class, said the class did a good job teaching but because there are only seven guys in the class and twenty girls, most of the girls had to dance alone. “We’re not allowed to dance with girls, so we have to dance with Casper the ghost and rotate around,” she joked.
The students “created the set-up, bought the refreshments, made the food, and they [cleaned] up after too,” Oleole said. Tables were set up in a semicircle with the dance floor at the center. Another class member, Emilee Keawe-Oldroyd, a freshman from Texas majoring biology, said, “I think the ambiance in here is amazing, and the balloons are a nice touch.”
Oleole said all the music at the dance was ballroom and swing. He said, “If you want contemporary or hip-hop, reggae stuff, you can just go to any one of the weekend dances.” Oleole said he viewed this as a special affair and a privilege to attend.
A little over forty people attended, and Hailey Jenkins, a freshman majoring in graphic design from Utah, said she enjoyed the event but wished they played more fifties music like Louis Armstrong.