Waltzing through MIT
Boris Berdnikov ‘98, SM ‘00 and his partner, computer science doctoral candidate Sofya Raskhodnikova ‘97, took top spots for MIT’s ballroom dance team at the annual competition of the United States Amateur Ballroom Dance Association last August. This year five couples from MIT placed in nine categories.
Berdnikov and Raskhodnikova waltzed their way to the semifinals and competed against 12 other couples in the novice and prechampionship categories in the standard dances, which include fox trot, tango, and waltz. This was their fourth visit to the national competition since 1998, when they first dropped in on an MIT Ballroom Dance Club workshop.
Since then they have developed a repertoire of dance steps. At nationals, where contestants don’t know what music the judges will choose, dancers must think quickly and make their moves look effortless. The two hope to compete next year in the competition’s highest championship category. “We’re always practicing, always working toward some goal,” says Berdnikov. “I get a kick out of moving to music. There is satisfaction from performing and competing. It’s fun.”