Alumnus and current student create ballroom club


Photo by Lily Stanicek

Paige Lloyd , A&E Reporter

Now that O-Fest has finished, it is the time for freshmen and other new students to try the many clubs and organizations offered on campus. There is one club that may be of interest, but is still in the works: ballroom dancing.

Tony Sun, alumni of Marquette, brought this idea to light after many years of experience. Sun spent his time as a graduate student at Purdue University as a member of the dancing team where he fell in love with ballroom dance. After graduation he came back to Milwaukee, with the hopes of teaching ballroom dance lessons and finding a new way to practice with others.

Sun reached out to current students by posting on the Class of 2016 Facebook page. Kathryn Knight, a junior in the college of nursing, was informed of the post by a friend and immediately jumped on board.

“My friend sent me a screenshot and was like, ‘oh my god, you have to start this,” Knight said.

As a leader of the new club, Knight is the student representative for the group on campus, and takes instruction from Sun along the way. With experience in tap, ballet, jazz, ballroom dance and hip-hop, Knight brings her own set of skills to help teach incoming members.

“As cheesy as it sounds, the music takes you to a whole new place when you perform,” Knight said. “You get the overwhelming feeling of accomplishing something you have been working so hard to do.”

According to Knight, prior dance experience is not necessary. Anyone who is passionate about dance can join. The club plans to meet twice a week with hour long practices. Special guests will be welcomed as well to help students gain a better understanding of ballroom dancing. As the club becomes more experienced, Knights hopes to host a showcase with Dance Inc. or Hype, which are additional dance organizations through Marquette. In the future, she hopes to get the club involved with the competitive circle of ballroom dancing in the city.

Knight’s interest for ballroom dance began when she took lessons at a company in junior high. She didn’t have time to continue in high school, but has been looking for an opportunity to pick it up again.

Sun is hopeful for the spring semester and what the club has to offer for interested students. Based on his experience at Purdue, Sun wants to create this same feeling at Marquette and have students fall in love with ballroom dancing just as he has.

“Students will love this club,” Sun said. “This is a cost efficient way for students to learn dancing when studio prices are so expensive.”

With 21 students already signed up, Ballroom Club awaits its approval at the beginning of December. Since they were not able to attend O-Fest, Sun and Knight continue to encourage more students to join as the club takes form, and to take on larger roles.

Sun hopes to find instructors who specialize in ballroom dance to help teach students. Andrew and Michelle Tate, owners of Brew City Ballroom, have already agreed to assist the club. The couple began their teaching at the University of Illinois and love instructing young people how to ballroom dance. With the support of local dance studios and a strong student following already, Knight and Sun look forward to teaching students new skills and the growth of the Ballroom Club at Marquette.

“We plan to start off small and focus on picking up on the moves during practices,” Knight said. “Once we get the ball rolling we can show campus what we accomplished. We hope the other dance companies at Marquette will extend the invitation for us to perform with them as well”