Glitter as Sport: An Inside Look at the Life of a Ballroom Dancer

“Oh, just like on Dancing with the Stars!”

That’s always the first reaction, when I tell someone that I do competitive ballroom dance. “Yup, just like it!” I say and wag my head up and down, but it’s not really like Dancing with the Stars at all. We don’t get new dresses made for every performance; we never get the whole floor to ourselves; we’d never get away with mixing both American and International style in the same routine; and my mom certainly can’t call in to vote for me to win. All the same, that show has done a lot to convince the public that ballroom dance is kind of cool, or at least to convince them that it exists, so when called to pass judgment on it I’ll always give it my support. Plus, I have to admit it does a pretty good



Well-Known Member
Here's some pieces of the article I absolutely love:

But for them, the feathered gowns are battle armor:

For these dancers, the 90-second Quickstep round is exactly like sprinting 500m while also trying to look pretty

Jessica Lee is team captain of Stanford Ballroom, and a PhD student in environmental microbiology in her spare time. She enjoys Foxtrot, West Coast Swing, denitrifying bacteria, the technical side of dance, and the artistic side of molecular biology.

This is just...precious...


Well-Known Member
Great article and very true to life. I also enjoyed the bit about the feathered gowns, tan, lashes, and makeup as battle armor. Not to mention I long since lost count of the number of times I have explained to my athlete friends that dancing a round of rhythm is like 5 90-second sprints in a heels and a skirt...

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