Showcase performances include lots of Hilton Head Ballroom Dance Studio students and their instructors. COURTESY HILTON HEAD BALLROOM DANCE STUDIO

Once a year we do a ballroom dance showcase and people often ask why we do it. To raise money? To advertise? 

Although those might be good reasons, it is really more about the people involved. For some it may be the only opportunity to take center stage at this point in their life.  

Some of our students danced – perhaps professionally – 20 and 30 years ago, took a very long break and then came back to dancing. For them to be on stage again brings back those feelings of their long-ago years when they were under the professional spotlight. It is their opportunity to shine again.  

For many it is the journey that creates the memories.

Showcase also allows time for students to work together and bond more closely, because everyone has the same goal – which is to produce the best show possible. This is a time when everyone really pulls together. 

Some of our people end up sometimes staying after rehearsals to brainstorm with others about hair, makeup, costumes and dance steps. They end up forming close friendships with people they previously knew only in passing at the studio. 

This kind of teamwork is important because it promotes a positive atmosphere. Newer students can overcome obstacles by learning from more experienced dancers who may have different backgrounds and dance history. Some of the more experienced dancers can offer valuable insight to newer students.

Toni Wald has been dancing for more than 15 years. She makes an effort to help newcomers by lending them a costume or ball gown for their first performance, as someone did the same for her when she started. 

Monica Bohrer will often invite others to come and join her in between rehearsals if they would like some extra practice time. 

This kind of teamwork allows students to create something they could not do alone and also presents an opportunity for celebration once the show is complete. 

On the day of the showcase, observers will see the dressing room buzzing with everyone helping one another. There is constant lending and borrowing of curling irons, bobby pins, hair spray, makeup – you name it.  

Even during the show, if someone has a very quick costume change, others jump to the call to make sure that person is ready to go.  

Would you like to see the end result of all this preparation? Then don’t miss our showcase April 8! Titled “Broadway My Way,” the production will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at Seahawk Cultural Center, 70 Wilborn Road on Hilton Head Island. For more information visit

Sandro Virag is a partner and instructor at Hilton Head Ballroom Dance Studio of Hilton Head, located in Bluffton at Seaquins Ballroom.