CSU, Chico News

Ballroom Dance Night: Bringing the Classy Back!

Date: 11-14-2008

Kathleen McPartland
Public Affairs
Patricia Smiley

Ballroom Dance Night has been a tradition at California State University, Chico for more than 50 years. This year’s dance night will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 3, 7–10 p.m. in Shurmer Gym. Although most attendees are students from CSU, Chico’s ballroom dance classes, others from the University and larger community are welcome.

Professor Patricia Smiley, director of the ballroom dance program, said that the tradition started with Willie Simmons, a football and boxing coach. In the beginning, music was supplied by records and then progressed to live music with a trio of musicians. Today a professional DJ provides the music.

More than 400 students attend the evening of dance. The event has a program for students of dance and the opportunity to book dances with a variety of people.

“This is an event that does not involve drinking,” said Smiley. “The students have attended classes, know how to dance and come dressed in their best. People from outside the classes come to the event, including university faculty and staff, and dancers from community studios and from other colleges.”

The theme of this year’s Ballroom Dance Night is “Bringing Classy Back.” The cost is $6 for students and $7 for community members, and the tickets are sold at the door. There are decorations, soft lighting and free raffle prizes, juices and snacks.

“Even if you cannot dance,” said Smiley, “come watch the dancers twirl, turn and float around the gym dance floor.

For more information call Professor Smiley at 530-898-6120 or the Department of Kinesiology at 530-898-6373.