In a whirl of color, a couple spins past with their heads tilted, arms locked at 90-degree angles. Another couple appears, all elegance and grace despite their speed and the close quarters they must share with their competitors.
This is the 24th annual Harvard Invitational ballroom competition, organized by the University’s ballroom team, a completely student-run organization.
The invitational — held this year at the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center in downtown Boston April 11 and 12 — was a two-day, all-day event that convened some of the best dancing talent in the Northeast. The competition attracts hundreds of competitors each year; in 2013, 84 percent of the dancers were college students, and 66 different organizations were represented.
Dancers compete in International Standard, American Rhythm, American Smooth, and International Latin styles for designated skill levels that range from newcomers to seasoned competitors. The winners receive a monetary prize.
Harvard’s team brought home 56 awards this year, including three championship and 11 prechampionship awards.