Students, faculty dance for those who can’t

By on April 14, 2015
dancing - John Hassett

The Burt Kahn Basketball Court became the Burt Kahn Ballroom for one night. The Quinnipiac Ballroom Society (QBS) held its fourth annual “Dancing with the QU Stars” last Friday. This competition had pairs of QBS members and Quinnipiac professors dancing with each other, in front of a panel of judges. The evening wasn’t all about winning though; the fancy footwork was for a good cause.

This year’s promoted charity was The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF). The purpose of the CFF is to raise funds for Cystic Fibrosis research. “QU Stars” raised $2,622 this year for CFF.

Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disease that causes the body to produce an unusual kind of mucus. This mucus affects both the respiratory and digestive systems, with the potential of causing issues including poor growth in childhood and lung infections. As well, those diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis are required to have daily treatments for maintaining health.

Roslyn Gilhuly, developmental director of the Connecticut chapter of the CFF, was impressed with the event, but there’s also another reason why she likes this event.

“I am personally excited to see people dance because I’m not a good dancer,” she said.

One of the competitors at “QU Stars”, Professor Julie Russitano, did not do any ballroom dancing before getting involved with this event. She was notified that there was a vacancy by a friend of hers and was thinking of taking up the challenge. However, upon learning that it was a fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis research, she said that was “the clencher” in making her decision.

Russitano and the other dancers had three weeks to train for this event. She appreciated the help of her dance partner, sophomore Ethan Pandolfi.

“Ethan was a great instructor. What I learned was let him lead and just go with the music, don’t think too much. That’s why it ended up being so much fun,” she said.

Fun or not, there is a lot of work involved with dancing.

“Dancing is very intricate. You have posture, technique, footwork, expression. There are so many components to a dancer. It takes immense amounts of practice. It’s amazing what [the dancers] did in such a short amount of time,” said Professor Stanley Rothman, a judge for the evening’s competition and co-advisor for QBS, along with his wife Tara.

There is also a lot of work involved in putting on this event.

“The [QBS Members] organize the whole thing; they put many hours in. Any fundraising event takes hours and what happens is that they work like thieves; they form little groups, each one doing a particular function. … And they get it done,” said Rothman

Sophomore Nicole Antaya enjoyed the event. She used to be a dancer herself. However, she was born with cystic fibrosis and she eventually stopped dancing due to the disease. She spoke to the audience during the event about life with Cystic Fibrosis, to which she received a standing ovation.

“Hopefully, one day CF will stand for ‘Cure Found,’” she said.

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About Matt Grahn

Staff Writer, Journalism Major, Political Science Minor