21st Annual Berkeley Classic
The UCSD Dancesport team finished the winter quarter off strong by competing in the Berkeley Classic, which was hosted at the University of California, Berkeley. Our members competed against schools from throughout California and did exceptionally well. Matthew Panelo and Kokila Shankar swept the Standard Silver category placing 1st in the Waltz, Tango, Quickstep, Viennese Waltz, and Foxtrot. They were followed by newer members of the team Willard Ford and Blanca Martin, who placed 2nd in all five dances. Thunder Bird and Alise Bruevich placed 2nd in the Bronze Waltz and Viennese Waltz, and 3rd in Tango and Foxtrot.
As for the Latin dances, the Tritons took the competition by storm. Matthew Panelo and Lara Derderian placed 1st in the Gold Cha Cha and tied for 3rd in Jive with Willard Ford and Blanca Martin. Additionally, Willard Ford and Blanca Martin placed 1st in the Gold Paso Doble with this being their first time competing in this style. They also placed 2nd in the Silver Jive and 3rd in Cha Cha, Rumba, and Samba. Thunder Bird and Alise Bruevich placed 2nd in the Bronze Cha Cha, Rumba, Samba, and Jive. Even more exciting, our newcomers Masashi Ishikawa and Aaron Ngan placed 4th in the Bronze Jive.
Our newcomers have shown great progress with this being only their third competition for many of them. Nathan Zhao and Jamie Foo placed 3rd in Rumba and 4th Waltz, and many UCSD couples made it to the final round in Quickstep and Cha Cha. In the Rookie Leader category, Saul Duarte placed 1st in Foxtrot and 2nd in Waltz, Tango, and Quickstep with Kokila Shankar and placed 1st in Jive and 3rd in Cha Cha with Lara Derderian. Masashi Ishikawa placed 2nd in Samba, Rumba, and Jive with Kokila Shankar and Nathan Zhao placed 2nd in Jive with alumna Karen Lucknavalai. For the Rookie Follower category, Apru Pranjal placed 1st in Foxtrot and 3rd in Waltz and Quickstep with Matthew Panelo and placed 3rd in Tango and 1st in Jive with Willard Ford. Aaron Ngan placed 3rd in Jive with Matthew Panelo.
During the evening session, our team made it to the finals in Merengue, Bachata, Hustle, and more. In Argentine Tango, Matthew Panelo and Apru Pranjal came in 3rd, as did Willard Ford and Apru Pranjal in Nightclub 2-step. We ended the night on a high note by placing 2nd in the Team Match and watching the open level dancers perform their incredible routines! All in all, it was a successful competition for the Tritons, and we are excited to see what the spring quarter has in store for us!