Ballroom Dance Team

The Yale Ballroom Dance Team is for individuals and couples who are interested in competitive dancing. The lessons are designed for motivated people who want to move in a fast pace. You need not come with a partner, and no prior experience is required. There are lessons for all levels of dancers.

Team dues are $86 for the semester for weekly lessons, daily practice space, professional coaching, and 2 or 3 fully sponsored competitions. If you are interested in joining us, or have any further questions, please e-mail our Captain.

Beginners

For beginners, fall lessons are twice a week (usually Tuesday and Thursday, 7:30 - 9:00 pm). These lessons are taught by the Newbie Captains who are among the more advanced dancers of our team. It is also highly recommended for all beginners to attend the Sunday club lessons as well. Partners are assigned by the Newbie Captains early in the fall, so couples can also practice on their own.

In the spring, lessons are generally taught once per week by the Newbie Captains and once per week by one of our professional coaches.

Advanced / Returning Dancers

For returning dancers, there are weekly lessons taught by our professional coaches (alternating between Standard and Latin). Our current coaches are Wendi Davies (Standard) and Anita Šmite (Latin). Starting in the Fall of 2015, we will be welcoming David Wright onto our team as a new coach. Private lessons with all of our coaches are available and encouraged. In addition, there are weekly practices, led by the Advanced Dancer Seminar Directors, which focus on technique, style, and drills. If you do not have a partner, talk to our captain to be connected with someone: there are generally other dancers also looking for partners.

Competitions

The team fully sponsors 2-3 competitions per semester (registration and transportation). Other competitions will be sponsored every now and then, if there's a lot of interest from the team.

Practice

Scheduled practice space for team members is available on a regular basis. There are recurring team practices every week for all team members, both beginners and advanced dancers.

Professional Coaching

Wendi Davies Our Standard Coach is Wendi Davies. Wendi began dancing while at Princeton studying architecture. A competitive swimmer for many years, she was looking for a new competitive outlet. The daughter of dancing parents, she soon learned of the competitive and athletic nature of ballroom dancing. In her amateur career, she was ranked third in the United States. She turned professional in 1991 and went on to be ranked second at the United States Championships, and was the winner of “Championship Ballroom Dancing,” the popular show on PBS. She was the UK Rising Star Champion, Blackpool Rising Star Runner-up, US Representative to the World Championships and Blackpool Team Match, a finalist at the French Open and the US Open Championships, and was ranked 13th in the world.
Anita Smite Anita Šmite is our Latin coach and is originally from Latvia. As a competitor, she won many Latvian Championships and was ranked 24th at the World Championships. For the last 18 years, she has coached junior, youth, and amateur dancers who have finaled at the Blackpool Festival. Just recently, she moved to the United States to continue coaching in the northeast. Anita is also a WDSF and WDC world-class judge.
David and Liva Wright David and Liva Wright started dancing competitively while in college; Liva with the Yale Ballroom Dance Team, and David with the Kansai Gaidai University Ballroom Dance Team in Japan during a year abroad. They continued dancing while in medical school and graduate school, respectively. David and Liva began dancing together in 2000 and went on to win the United States National Championship, World Championship, and British Open Championship (Blackpool) in the Senior I field of international style ballroom dancing.