Senior Ron Garber and his partner, Ashley Golman, both 17 years old, have recently placed first in the National Dance Competition Association’s (NDCA) National Championship in Provo, Utah. Participating in one of the most prestigious ballroom dancing events in the country, Garber and Golman competed against forty other couples in their under-eighteen category.
Senior Ron Garber and his partner, Ashley Golman, both 17 years old, have recently placed first in the National Dance Competition Association’s (NDCA) National Championship in Provo, Utah. Participating in one of the most prestigious ballroom dancing events in the country, Garber and Golman competed against forty other couples in their under-eighteen category.After dancing for nine years and training with his partner for four, Garber finally began to see his work pay off, “I felt accomplished. Finally all my work paid off. For the last year we were always so close to being first. We were always second or third but never first,” he said. Before dancing with Garber, Golman was exclusively doing ballet. When she did, however, transition to ballroom, Garber noted that “she wasn’t that advance, but picked it up really fast.” Along with their coach Jean-Philippe Milot, a Canadian professional ballroom dancer, Garber and Golman did intense training to prepare for the event. Contending in Utah would have its physical difficulties. The higher elevation in Provo would result in difficulty in breathing. In the NDCA championship, Garber and Golman danced in an elimination style. After each of the four rounds, couples were eliminated till only six were remaining. Those six then danced once more for a chance to be crowned champion.In their first dance, Golman slipped during the routine. “She was really nervous and wiped out.” Garber recalled. “But after that we calmed down and got better.” The two dancers got a boost of confidence with each subsequent round and performed increasingly better. The NDCA used the Brigham Young University court for the competition. “The audiences were on the bleachers that went [sky high]. You count pick out anyone. Nonetheless, everyone was cheering and really excited. It motivated you to do better because not all competitions are that big,” Garber said. While the usual and known competitors were present and performing at BYU, a lot of the couples dancing were from the West coast. “It was a differentexperience competing against the West Coast. They were all unknown and had their own [flare],” Garber said. “But our biggest accomplishment [that night] I think was defeating our long-time rival from New York.”
Phil Kudryavtsev, another South student who attended the NDCA competition and placed fourth overall, said, “[Garber and Golman] presented themselves well and they danced well as a couple. They give great motivation for others to perform better.”
Alair Nahebedian, another ballroom dancer from South, reciprocates Kudryavtsev’s sentiment, “I’m really happy for Garber. He’s an amazing dancer and worked really hard to get what he achieved.”
Garber and Golman danced in the youth category and after placing first with the youth, participated in the under 21 category. They placed second in the under 21 category. “I am even more proud of placing in the under 21 category. Its incredible that that happened,” Garber noted.
Next year, both dancers will be eighteen years old, and therefore they must compete in the amateur (older than 18) category of competitions. Naturally, the competition level for the amateur category is higher than the youth category.
Garber’s ultimate goal is to be an internationally ranked dancer. To stride towards his goal, Garber and Golman will be competing in another national competition in a couple months. If they place first or second in that, then the couple will be invited to the Czech Republic to compete in a global event. This would make Garber one of the youngest at that competition and one step closer to his dream.
Both of dancers also plan on attending the Black Pool International Dance Festival in May. Hundreds of couples will be attending the competition, and this is the first major competition Golman and Garber will attend together in the amateur category.]]>