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The Hawks' Herald

The Student News Site of Roger Williams University

The Hawks' Herald

The Student News Site of Roger Williams University

The Hawks' Herald

Q&A with Ballroom Dance Club president

Ballroom Club president, Gabby Wade.

Today, I sat down with Gabby Wade, the president of Ballroom Dance Club, to discuss their involvement with the club and what students can expect when the club meets. Wade is a gleeful Junior at Roger Williams University, and an environmental science major with dance and sustainability minors. On Saturday, October 21st, Ballroom Dance Club had their Halloween Dance event, where they encouraged students to dress up and participate in a ballroom dancing lesson.


How did you first become interested in ballroom dancing?

“It was always a style of dance I wanted to do, but… it isn’t a super accessible style of dance because it is very expensive to get ballroom dance lessons, the costumes are very expensive and the competitions are very expensive, but Roger Williams gave me the opportunity at little cost. My great grandfather was a professional ballroom dancer with my great grandmother and they traveled across the United States to compete.”

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Can you tell me about the history and mission of the ballroom dance club at our university?

“The year before I came to the club, COVID happened and the club shrank, and they had to do lessons online, so people weren’t interested. My freshman year, there were only five competitors including myself. The club grew my sophomore year, when I was treasurer, to about 10-12 dedicated members. It’s been around for a long time.”


What inspired you to take on the role of president in the club?

“I’ve always wanted to be some sort of student leader on campus. I think that I enjoy teaching others as well, different dance styles, encouraging others and trying to create the most positive dance environment I can for anyone. I think also since I’m a dance teacher already, I felt like I had the skills to run this type of club.”


You said you are a dance teacher, can you elaborate?

“I teach ballet, lyrical, tap, and hip-hop for middle schoolers and high schoolers back near my hometown in Dighton, Massachusetts. I’ve been teaching for three years now and I enjoy working with creative minds that create movement and storytelling. Going into the dance program here at Roger Williams, I realized a lot of students had toxic dance environments growing up, whether that be their teachers, other students in the class, harmful practices. I want to stray away from that environment when teaching. That inspired me to not push my students in the direction of a typical studio dance teacher, but find ways that movement fits their bodies and minds while extending their dance education.”


What are the club’s future plans or upcoming events that students can look forward to?

“We have over twenty competitors that will be attending Tufts University’s competition on November 19th. For a majority of these members it is their first competition and I am so excited to see how it turns out. We are planning on performing in the Hawkettes’ benefit show in December. We will be continuing general lessons every Wednesday at 8 pm to 9:30 pm in the recreation center. These lessons are open for anybody no matter your dance level or experience.”

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Jessie Westgate
Jessie Westgate, Photography Editor
Jessie is a Junior at RWU and a Graphic Design Communications major. They enjoy wildlife photography and drawing. Their hometown is Wilton, Connecticut and they have photographed 98 species of birds so far. Their favorite bird is the Osprey, which can be found in abundance in Rhode Island.

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