The Fairmont State Dancing Falcons ballroom dancing team competed in the D.C. Dancesport Competition held Nov. 6-7 at the University of Maryland College Park campus.
The annual event sponsored by Washington, D.C., area universities is the premier ballroom dancing competition in the mid-Atlantic area. More than 400 students from 27 prestigious universities competed in 76 events
Competing in the event were a squad of nine FS dancers consisting of seniors Jason Raimey and Ryoko Noro (co-captains) and Upendra Singh; juniors Kenny Stone, Candace Brathwaite-Markle and Alisha Barron; sophomores Piyate (King) Adjanasuppat and Johnna Ellington; freshman Mariko Tsuruta. The team is instructed and coached by John Dryden, whose studio is in the Pittsburgh area.
"The surprise and upset for the FS team was provided by our rookies Alisha Barron and Mariko Tsuruta, who both joined the program and dancesport team this semester," said Dr. Michael Fulda.
"Paired with senior partners Jason Raimey and Upendra Singh, they competed at the bronze medal level, instead of at the beginner level, which is two ability steps below bronze. In a field of 57 couples, Upendra and Alisha finished seventh in the cha cha. In a field of 55, they finished first in the rumba. Dancing against 48 couples, Jason and Mariko finished first in the foxtrot."
Barron, daughter of Margie Daniels Barron and Mark Barron, is a native of Fairmont. She graduated in 2002 from North Marion High School, attended West Virginia Wesleyan College where she majored in biology and is now a junior at FS majoring in business management. She plans to pursue a law degree at West Virginia University. She has 10 years of dance experience in ballet, tap and jazz. She looks forward to complete the FSC&TC ballroom dance skill-set certificate and to pass the examination of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance, which should certify her as a junior level ballroom dance instructor. She is on the staff of the Joe Manchin campaign where she assists her uncle, Skip Tarasuk, the campaign treasurer.
Tsuruta is a Japanese student from Toyota City. She finished high school in her hometown and enlisted in the Japanese Navy for a tour of three years. Her last assignment was as electronic repair specialist for the experimental P3-C aircraft. She was an avid gunman and competitor with WW II Japanese infantry small arms. For the next six years she was an aerobic instructor, a good preparation for ballroom dancing. She is now a second semester freshman at FS enrolled in the pre-nursing program.
For more information on the FS team's competition results, visit http://ballroomatmaryland.com/DCDI/results.