Dance offers college credit, fun


Ballroom dance

Carly Van Zomeren

Daniel Barksdale took the Intro to Ballroom dance class two years ago. Since taking the introductory class, Barksdale has not only applied his ballroom skills in other dance classes, but to his life outside of class as well.

“I have taken the intro class more than once; I really like the class. Plus, I really wanted to help other people learn the steps as well,” said Barksdale, senior in psychology. “It’s all about being free to learn something new.”

The introductory class is one way for new dancers to test the waters, and it also provides students with class credits. Dancing with partners, like what ballroom dancing is dedicated to, is a little more challenging. The intro ballroom class offered at Iowa State focuses on a variety of dances, including maranga, waltz, tango and two-step.

“I am really glad Iowa State not only has these classes, but professors that love what they teach,” Barksdale said.

Barksdale is currently taking a jazz dance class with instructor Janice Baker, and Barksdale said he thinks this will be his third or fourth dance class at Iowa State.

While Barksdale enjoys the dancing aspect of the classes, he has also learned how to act in a leadership position through the classes he has taken. Barksdale is currently the president of the ISU Ballroom Dance Club on campus.

“The club has a very diverse group of members; most of the members and nonmembers attend the dance socials that we hold on Friday evenings, and I really enjoy them,” Barksdale said.

Baker said Iowa State has several dance clubs to offer to students.

“There are many, many different dance clubs on campus, and they are always doing something,” Baker said. “There is also a competing ballroom dance club that is different than the one [Daniel] is involved with.”

Out of all the dance classes on campus, Barksdale chose the ISU Ballroom Dance Club for reasons like socializing, working with other people and exercising. He also noted that the club will be looking for more board members in the near future. He said he is hoping to make the club more prominent at Iowa State and make students more aware of their presence on campus. Barksdale encouraged students to join the club if they are “looking for a fun experience.”

Lessons for the ISU Ballroom Dance Club are Tuesdays from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. in Forker 213, and dance classes are in the Iowa State course catalog.