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Campus Currents May 2007: Volume 4, Number 2

Dancing with the Stars

They performed live for an audience of more than 20 million TV viewers, rubbed elbows with Olympic figure skating champion Evan Lysacek and earned praise from the Los Angeles Times. UC San Diego’s Dancesport team had quite a week after they performed May 11 on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars,” one of network TV’s most-watched shows.

 The Tritons went head-to-head with Purdue University’s Boilermakers dance squad in the show’s first-ever collegiate “dance off.” Ten students from UCSD’s team performed the samba, competing against eight students from Purdue, who performed the mambo.

The judges were gracious to the UCSD dancers. “The way you changed patterns during that samba was fantastic,” judge Len Goodman said. Added judge Carrie Ann Inaba: “I love the staging and the transitions between the formations were amazing.”

UCSD bested Purdue by receiving more points from the competition’s judges (UCSD received a total of 24 to Purdue’s 22), but Purdue went on to the finals by earning more audience support through online and phone voting.

However, it was a win-win opportunity for the Tritons. “One of my proudest moments was at the end of our dance when we were waiting for the judge’s comments, and our team yelled out our cheer,” says Brodie Kaster, Warren ’10, UCSD Dancesport team captain. “I had a smile from ear to ear.”

—Christine Clark, ’06