UCSD at Mustang Ball: We're Back!
After two years away from the collegiate competition scene due to the COVID pandemic, the UCSD Dancesport Team is back, bigger and better than ever! Newcomer members and experienced dancers alike came into Mustang Ball at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo equipped with hours of practice and ready to compete against dancers from UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz, Claremont, and, of course, Cal Poly SLO.
Our couples made a showing in the International Standard and Latin categories and had some fun in the Nightclub dances. The Tritons saw great success, representing UCSD in every event’s final round. In the International Standard category, standouts include Masashi Ishikawa and Nikoletta Anagnostou, who secured 1st in Newcomer Waltz and Tango and 2nd in the Quickstep, and Saul Duarte and Blanca Martin, who placed 1st in Newcomer Quickstep. Willard Ford and Blanca Martin placed 1st in the Waltz and Quickstep and 2nd in the Tango at the Bronze level, and Thunder Bird and Alise Bruevich placed 1st in Silver Tango, 3rd in Silver Quickstep, and 3rd in Bronze Waltz, Tango, and Quickstep.
In the International Latin events, celebrated members include Newcomer Greta Davis, who placed 1st in Newcomer Rumba with Nikoletta Anagnostou and 2nd in Newcomer Cha Cha with Sirisha Munukutla, and Thunder Bird and Alise Bruevich, who claimed 1st in Bronze Samba, 2nd in Bronze Cha Cha, and 3rd in Bronze Cha Cha. Kate Luitjens placed 1st in Bronze Paso Doble with Elizabeth Peng after giving a stellar performance and also placed 1st in Bronze Jive with Shirley Lin. Silver level dancers Matthew Panelo and Vivian Chou won 1st in the Rumba and Samba, as well as 3rd in the Cha Cha and Jive.
During the evening session, UCSD won a few more victories as Matthew Panelo, Thunder Bird, Blanca Martin, and Kate Luitjens repeatedly placed top three in Salsa, Bachata, and Argentine Tango at the Beginner level. Following the nightclub dances, the team enjoyed watching the Open level competitors’ spectacular performances.
Mustang Ball was a successful start to the Dancesport competitive season for the team, and the club hopes to continue their success and grow as dancers throughout the rest of the year’s competitions.
Out of our 22 dancers who competed, this was the first competition for 15 of them, and they showed out in fantastic fashion. In the Newcomer level, UCSD took 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th in Waltz and Tango. At the next level, Bronze, Kate Luitjens and Elizabeth Peng danced Paso Doble, being the only couple from UCSD to compete in the style, and took 1st at their first competition together! In addition, we also had Willard Ford and Blanca Martin take 1st in Bronze Waltz and Tango. In the Latin styles, Matthew Panelo dominated as usual with multiple partners. Placing 1st in Silver Rumba and Samba with Vivian Chou, and placing 1st and 2nd in Rookie-Vet events with Apru Pranjal and Aaron Ngan. Another one of our veteran couples, Thunder Bird and Alise Breuvich competed at the silver level for the first time and took 1st in Tango, and 3rd in Quickstep.