Major: Criminology, Law and Society
Hometown: Ashburn, Virginia
Taking the lead: Catherine Rochon took over as president of Mason’s Ballroom Dance Club a year ago. As president, she handles the behind-the-scenes stuff required to keep the club a registered student organization, makes sure the roster is updated, and ensures practice space is reserved for use. Occasionally she even steps in as a dance instructor.
Why ballroom dance? “I did something called Summer in the Arts in eighth grade,” Rochon says. “One of the classes they offered was ballroom. I found it interesting and fun, but didn’t do it again until I found we had a club here on campus three years ago. I’ve been going ever since.”
Dancing around: What Rochon likes about dancing is that it allows you to “focus on something that’s not academically oriented. You’re not graded. There are no papers. You’re just there to have fun, relax, and meet people.”
Best advice for a successful lesson? “Wear comfortable shoes.”
Dance Club vs. Nightclub: Rochon prefers dancing at Mason rather than out in a club, because it’s more structured. “You learn a certain set of moves, and the creativity of the lead you’re working with is interesting,” she says. “Also I like the music more. It can range from 1940s or 1960s Sinatra to pop music. You’ll find you can dance ballroom to a lot of modern music. You’re also working on floor craft, trying not to run into other couples, so it’s a lot more skill-oriented.”
Stepping forward: Rochon and her board members have been exploring the idea of creating a competitive dance team ever since they attended a competition at the University of Maryland last spring. “We really enjoyed ourselves,” she says. “We want to give people the opportunity, if they’re already at a higher skill level, to go out and compete for Mason.” Until then, dancers can attend one of the club’s holiday balls. “Halloween, winter holiday, Valentine’s day,” Rochon says. “We’ll take any excuse to dance!”