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Competitors Flock to LA for Ballroom Dancing Championships


Dancers took to the floor at LA Live over the weekend. Wes Rapaport was there where competitors from all over the country moved to the beat on a quest to become best in the nation.

Hairspray, Makeup, Glitter, and flashy clothes are the outfits of choice for the USA DanceSport National Championships in the JW Marriott at LA Live… the competition showcases some of the best ballroom dancers in the country, all vying to compete for the top spot. The winners at this level move on to compete for the world title. While the dancers all want to win the event, it does bring out the inner athlete in everybody.

Ken Richards, Vice President of DanceSport: “We have many efforts and initiatives that we’ve put out across the country, as far as improving the quality and quantity of dancing, and bringing more people into dancing at all ages for the physical benefits, for the joy of it, for the fun of dance…”

USA Dance runs the nationwide event. The 48 year old non-profit organization promotes social activity and athletic opportunity through dance.

For 13 year olds Aaron Altman and Rashell Kahlfin of Encino, dancing has been part of their lives well, since they could dance… And their parents have been supportive through the entire process… “What inspires us most is our families, always there to support us, make us smile and laugh when we’re at competitions… Our moms always drive us around, they really were the main people that got us into this sport.”

With parents at the ready, to cheer their kids on, or perform a quick fix in between dances, the kids appreciate the support they get from their families…

“They put their heart in it, and they clap for us”
“My family is pretty supportive”

From 7 to 70, age is just a number when the dancers hit the floor for competition… many of the younger competitors have aspirations to continue performing for many years to come.

After an entire weekend of dancing- a lot of waltzes, foxtrots, tangos… and a lot of fun.

Screen Shot 2013-04-08 at 12.28.12 AM

Photo: Wes Rapaport/Chapman News

By Wes Rapaport, Multimedia Producer




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