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NMSU DanceSport team competes in top amateur ballroom dance competition

The New Mexico State University DanceSport Company started off 2015 with a top performance at the country?s largest all-amateur dance competition, the Manhattan Amateur Classic, Jan. 16-18 in Secaucus, New Jersey.


The NMSU DanceSport team
The New Mexico State University DanceSport Company started off 2015 with outstanding performances at the country?s largest all-amateur dance competition, the prestigious Manhattan Amateur Classic, held Jan. 16-18 in Secaucus, New Jersey.

NMSU?s official team of 17 ballroom, Latin and swing partner dancers earned five first-place awards, six second-place awards, two third-place awards and seven event Finalists. Overall, team members qualified in 27 competitive events for the 2015 National DanceSport Championships, marking the first time in DanceSport Company history that every single member earned a bid for Nationals.

?Our competitive success at the Manhattan Amateur Classic builds on the momentum gained at the USA Dance National Collegiate DanceSport Championships last fall. I am so proud that our entire team has qualified for Nationals this year,? said Hannah Cole, NMSU DanceSport Company coach and dance assistant professor. ?Going to competitions like the MAC are essential to fulfill our mission to develop highly trained collegiate DanceSport athletes and aspiring DanceSport professionals.?

Placing first were: Brandon Romero and Jade Augustain (Silver Smooth, Gold Smooth and Gold Rhythm); Robert Pena and Morgan Metcalf (Bronze Rhythm); and Brandon Romero and Valeria Zerecero (Bronze Latin).

Taking second were: Aaron Prescott and Natalie Cardenas (Gold Smooth); Zachary Pohl and Jade Augustain (Bronze Latin and Silver Rhythm); Brandon Romero and Ariel Freilich (Silver Latin); and Irvin Zavala Verdugo and Valeria Zerecero (Pre-Bronze Rhythm and Bronze Rhythm).

Finishing third were: Damon Harrison and Valeria Zerecero (Pre-Bronze Smooth); and Zachary Pohl and Natalie Cardenas (eighth Gold Rhythm).

Finalists at the MAC were: Irvin Zavala Verdugo and Ruby Marquez (fourth Pre-Bronze Smooth); Walker Fleming and Cydnee Plant (fifth Newcomer Foxtrot); Irvin Zavala Verdugo and Morgan Metcalf (fourth Bronze Smooth); Walker Fleming and Katrina Armstrong (sixth Bronze Smooth); Robert Pena & Ariel Freilich (fourth Bronze Latin); Zachary Pohl and Morgan Metcalf (fourth Bronze Standard); and Damon Harrison and Katrina Armstrong (fourth Pre-Bronze Rhythm).


Other national qualifiers at the MAC were: William Bohaty and Diana Sauls (Bronze Smooth); Robert Pena and Cydnee Plant (Bronze Smooth); Aaron Prescott and Natalie Cardenas (Novice Smooth); Zachary Pohl and Ariel Freilich (Pre-Championship Smooth); Irvin Zavala Verdugo and Natalie Cardenas (Bronze Latin); Damon Harrison and Cydnee Plant (Bronze Rhythm); and Walker Fleming and Ruby Marquez (Bronze Rhythm).

With the help of financial support from last year?s ?Look Who?s Dancing!? fundraiser, the NMSU DanceSport Company will finish its competitive season at the USA Dance National DanceSport Championships held in Baltimore, Maryland, in March 2015.

NMSU DanceSport Company is an athletic and performance competitive ballroom, Latin and swing dance company in the NMSU Department of Kinesiology and Dance in the College of Education.

The company?s mission to develop highly trained collegiate DanceSport athletes and globally competitive DanceSport alumni; to foster a thriving local and regional dance community; and to build and maintain a worldwide center of excellence in partner dance training and teacher education.

The ensemble group of dance majors and minors exists to promote DanceSport as a healthy lifestyle alternative in the community and the world through performance, competition and community service.