The time came once again for the annual Dancing with the SBU Stars event. This year’s dancers made their mark on Wednesday, April 15 on the Staller Steps, where over 70 students gathered to watch the stars and their partner’s dance for the audience’s votes.
Wolfie opened the show with his partner, a Stony Brook Ballroom Dance Team alumna, and the pair captured the crowd’s attention with their performance.
The stars of the event were members of the faculty at SBU. Each was paired with a student. They performed one dance number and then received comments from the three judges—Catherine-Mary Rivera, associate director for university apartments; Emily Beattie, professional choreographer and dance artist and Vicki Velez, residential hall director of Dreiser College.
The teams decide both the dance and the song they performed to. According to Alexandra Wolf, the co-dance captain of the Stony Brook Ballroom Dance Team, there are no auditions for the event.
The first team was Chris D’Orso, assistant director of admissions, and Diana Santos. They danced to the song “You Belong with Me” by Taylor Swift. D’Orso said that the experience was like nothing he has ever done before.
Next came Shoshana Hershkowitz, conductor of the Stony Brook Chorale and her partner Napat O-Charoenrat, president of the Ballroom Dance Team. The duo captured the audience with their Cha Cha routine.
Chris Tanaka, coordinator of Campus LGBTQ services, and Jennifer Luk, current treasurer of the Ballroom Dance Team, were the last team to perform. They danced swing to the song “Sugar Pie Honey Bunch.”
“What was most challenging is the feeling like I have two left feet,” Tanaka said. “I am not used to being choreographed.”
After the final team performed and received its comments from the judges, the Ballroom Dance Team performed and entertained the crowd when two members of the dance team danced to the hit song “Happy.”
The audience chose who won the contest—whichever dance team had the loudest applause came in first. After two rounds of applause for each team, Tanaka and Luk won with the loudest and longest applause.
After the contest concluded, the students on the Staller Steps lingered around. Some danced to the music that was replaying from the show.
With all three of the dance teams practicing for two-to-three weeks, they shined bright for the students and faculty with their hard work and unique style choice and they had fun doing it.
“The purpose [of the event] was to have fun and to get the staff involved with the students,” Wolf said.