Leaders

Meet the team's coaches and executive board!

Executive Board

Erin Soares

President

Erin Soares is a senior and this is her fourth year on the team. She was brand new to ballroom dancing when she joined her freshman year and the rest is history. Erin is now the president of the team and oversees basically everything that happens, she spends far more time working with the team than she does on anything else, and she wouldn't have it any other way. If you need anything at all you should always feel free to talk to her! When Erin isn't doing ballroom things (which, let's be real, is almost never) she is working on her double major in Theatre and Italian. If you ever need to bribe her, a good place to start is with pigs and gummy bears.

Katy Maina

Treasurer

Katy is a Junior neuroscience major and loves all things brain related. She started dancing when she was three years old doing ballet and contemporary but switched to ballroom dance when she entered college. She has now been on the team for a year and a half and manages the team's finances as well as organizes Glamour Smackdown, the team's competition (ask her about it). She mostly dances American smooth with her partner but will dance Rhythm any chance she can get. Her favorite style is tango and also enjoys going out social swing dancing.

Mark Gauderman

Competition Coordinator

Mark is a senior in Computer Science Games with a minor in Jazz Studies for piano, and he joined the team in Fall 2015. He loves to dance Rhythm dances like Mambo and Bolero with his partner, and also enjoys Viennese Waltz and Foxtrot when dancing smooth. You might see him doing tricks on his longboard around campus, or playing clarinet on the field with the marching band. He organizes our team's attendance at competitions and helps our members find dance partners.

Sara Kwan

Social Chair

Sara is an applied math major from Los Angeles. She joined ballroom in Fall 2016 and is always eager to learn a new dance. Despite her interests in any form of sport, anyone who knows her will tell you that Sara is actually quite clumsy! Her other hobbies include playing board games, reading, writing, and binge-watching anything from American Ninja Warrior to Sherlock.

Dana Dinh

Photographer / Videographer & Publicity Co-Chair

Dana is a sophomore and NorCal girl who joined the team in fall 2016. She designs the team's promo material, captures the team's best moments on camera, and works with Alison to spread BDT's name. Although her family worries that she eats, sleeps, and breathes ballroom (she kind of does, considering her roommates are all fellow board members), Dana is proud to be an Annenberg student and Communication major. When she's not in class or dancing, Dana spends her free time binge-reading, cooking, and obsessively scrolling through Pinterest.

Alison Eling

Publicity Co-Chair

Alison is a Public Relations major from Indianapolis! She is a junior and joined SC Ballroom Dance Team in Spring 2016. Her favorite dances are waltz, tango, and east coast swing, but she can't resist foxtrotting to any and all Michael Bublé songs. In addition to BDT, Alison adores shoes, sparkles, popcorn, and books. She is in charge of maintaining the team's social media accounts and promoting team events online.

Sanika Bhargaw

Fundraising Co-Chair

Sanika Bhargaw is a senior and she has been on the team for nearly three years, after basically running into their involvement fair table. She helps raise money to fund competitions and other team bonding and social events. With her partner, she competes in American Rhythm and also loves going salsa and bachata dancing out in LA (ask her for recommendations if you're interested!). When she's not dancing, she studies Broadcast Journalism and works as a reporter and executive producer for USC's TV station, where you can usually find her working at all hours.

Sarah Berry

Fundraising Co-Chair

Sarah is a junior double majoring in Cinema and Media Studies and Narrative Studies. She joined the team her freshman year and now helps fundraise for all their various activities. In her free time, she enjoys movie marathons and spending excessive amounts of time at Disneyland.

Ashley Grist

Secretary

Ashley is a junior and a Biological Sciences major who is gearing up to be an optometrist. She joined the team in Fall 2015 and is in charge of sending the weekly newsletter and monitoring the club email account. Her favorite style of dance is Rhythm and her favorite dances are Mambo and Viennese Waltz. She’s also a squad leader and a clarinet player in the Trojan Marching Band.

Coaches

Lorena Bravo

Ballroom & Smooth Coach

Lorena is our Smooth coach. She got her start in the USC Ballroom Dance Team, and now she competes nationally and has many years of professional dance experience. See her website here.

Jonathan Atkinson

Latin & Rhythm Coach

Jonathan is our Rhythm coach. He also competes nationally and has many years of experience in professional dancing and dance instruction. See his website here.