Giving the Gift of Dance through Texas Ballroom
Shall We Dance?
Who We Are
Texas Ballroom is UT Austin's only ballroom/dancesport organization. Founded in the 1980s, it is one of the oldest student organizations on campus. Texas Ballroom teaches many styles of ballroom, social, and country dancing to UT students, staff, and faculty through weekly classes held during the school year. In addition to our regular classes, we strive to create and maintain as many opportunities as possible to meet the needs of our members, from weekly dance or socialization opportunities, to monthly variety dances, to larger events we hold, such as our annual ball and the largest collegiate level dancesport competition in the state.
The Texas Ballroom Executive Board is made up of 16 dedicated, passionate students who found their love of dance and felt compelled to inspire that love in our members and the community. As students of the university, we rely on funding from Recreational Sports, donations, club revenue and fundraising events such as this to provide the monetary resources necessary to support our club's function. We strive to keep our high-caliber dance education as affordable as possible on our own, but with all of the projects that we carry out throughout the year, breaking even monetarily can often be a challenge.
The Great Waltz
In 1980, a local community organization held the inaugural Great Waltz, a grand Viennese Waltz ball complete with catered food, masqueraded attendees, and live music. For many years, the same group held the spectacular event; but eventually, for various reasons, they were unable to continue the tradition. It was at this point that the Texas Ballroom executive board decided to assume the responsibility of hosting the Great Waltz every year.
Now in its 35th year, the Great Waltz is larger and better than ever before. With a silent auction, professional catering, upscale decor, and the Austin Civic Orchestra providing the live dance music, we have no doubt that the event will be a huge success. Through continuing to host this event, we bring together the university and the dance community of Austin, Texas, and even the nation.
Our Competition Teams
The most recent project Texas Ballroom has begun is the revival of our old competition team. Previously put on hiatus due to inadequate funding, our competitive ballroom team once produced some of the best dancers in the nation. In the Fall of 2013, the Executive Board revived the team, recruiting a handful of the most dedicated and hardworking members of the club to compete at events at a state-wide and nation-wide level to measure their continual growth as dancers as official members of the new inaugural Texas Ballroom Competition Team.
From our humble start of a little under a dozen dancers, the team has now grown immensely, even splitting off into a second team in 2014. The Texas Ballroom Country Competition Team presently competes in the Country-Western circuit on an equally national basis as the still flourishing Ballroom Competition Team, with many of our dancers receiving high recognition at their competitions.
While we're so incredibly excited to see this amount of enthusiasm in ballroom and country competitions, rising to meet the challenge of funding our dancers is often difficult. Because dancing is often seen as a minor sport, monetary support is often harder for us to obtain on behalf of our competing members. This means that quite a few of our student dancers, though they have all of the talent, perseverance, work ethic, and ambition to be quite competitive at a national level, lack the financial resources necessary to compete at these larger, out-of-state events. We hate to see our members limited by something so fundamental as personal finances, and we work so hard to procure any funding for them so that the financial strain can be absorbed as much as possible. After all, we believe it should be a right to dance - and subsequently the opportunity to test your skills against other collegiate dancers on a national level is one that we regard as an utmost privilege.
The Austin Open
Austin Open is our annual ballroom competition. This event is the largest of its kind across all of Texas, drawing competitors from across the state and staffed by highly qualified judges. From its humble beginnings in the side room of a gym, Austin Open has grown immensely through the course of the years, eventually turning into a two day event in the Texas Union Ballroom. Of course as the scale and grandeur of the event grows, so too regrettably does the price tag. We make every effort possible to ensure high quality at this competition, from the music playing to the judges selected. A contribution toward Austin Open will not only continue to guarantee that we are able to afford the same quality our competition has come to be recognized for, but also ensure that we can keep the entry fee low and continue to make this event an easily accessible venue for all competitors. Any monetary contribution toward Austin Open goes straight towards bringing the thrill and joy of dance to everyone, without sacrificing our top tier quality.
Where You Come In
As you can see, Texas Ballroom is a multi-faceted organization. Dancing for us is a passion, and we do everything we can to share this passion with anyone who is willing to learn, no matter their background or particular interests/goals. While we do everything we can to support our members, sometimes we just don't have enough funding to provide everything we need; subsequently our less affluent members are not able to afford the more costly aspects of dance. It is our sincere belief that everyone deserves a chance to experience dance in all of its manifestations, and so any monetary contributions we receive will go toward helping these members fulfill their dance dreams, and with our many community projects, go even further, helping to spread a passion for ballroom dance. Any donation received will well and truly be giving the gift of dance. Thank you so much for your consideration, and we sincerely hope you will help us continue to fulfill our mission.