Arts dance review

Falling in love with ballroom dancing

Nino Langella and Andra Vaidilaite wow MIT audience with their stunning dance performance at MIT Open.

8139 mit open web
Nino Langella and Andra Vaidilaite perform the Paso Doble in Rockwell Cage at the Saturday evening gala of the MIT Open ballroom dancing competition.
Áron Ricardo Perez-Lopez–The Tech
8155 arpl mit open 1
8156 arpl mit open 2
8157 arpl mit open 3
8158 arpl mit open 4

MIT Open Evening Gala

Featuring Dancers Nino Langella and Andra Vaidilaite

Rockwell Cage

Apr. 29, 2017


MIT hosted one of the largest collegiate ballroom dance competitions in the nation, MIT Open, with over 1000 competitors over two days. At their evening gala, MIT was graced with performances by Nino Langella and Andra Vaidilaite, two super-talents in the international ballroom dancing world.

It began with an exciting Cha Cha. Vaidilaite’s agile movements seemed to beckon the audience, a seductive introduction to what was to come. Langella and Vaidilaite’s chemistry were clear in the following Paso Doble and Samba dances, both explorations of the human body as a form of art. Accompanied by riveting, catchy numbers and the clapping audience members, their dances were deliberately choreographed to tell a story of romantic courtship. The performance was an exquisite coquetry, sensual and flirtatious.

Their fast-paced footwork and movements were impeccable; I could not look away. Immersed in their performance as they circled each other, I slowly appreciated the art of ballroom dancing, from the slower Samba to the upbeat Jive. After the long-standing ovation, they agreed to perform an encore Rumba, to the audience’s delight. The allure of their dances was the highlight of the evening.

With such elegance, Langella and Vaidilaite were a wondrous sight to behold. I was in awe of their stunning movements that seemed almost mechanical in their precision and smooth execution. Despite this, their dances together were tantalizing, choreographed expressions of mutual love. Their facial expressions said it all, with their passionate smiles and evident love of their art and each other. It was no surprise when the emcee informed us of Langella and Vaidilaite’s recent engagement and wished them well in the Blackpool Dance Festival in May, an annual ballroom dance tournament of international prestige. Their performance was a true tour de force, and they are both remarkable dancers but humble people.

After Langella and Vaidilaite’s stunning performance, we were greeted with further dance by the finalists of the MIT Open Championship in the categories of Rhythm, Standard Ballroom, Smooth Ballroom, and Latin Dance. The six couples in each category simultaneously dance on the floor in a series of four to five different types of dances. Dances such as the Tango, the Foxtrot, the American Waltz, and the Viennese Waltz made up the Smooth category while the Samba, the Cha Cha, the Rumba, the Paso Doble, and the Jive made up the Latin category. Congratulations to MIT’s Anna Gavrilman and Giorgio Gaglia for placing fourth in the Championship Latin category.

It truly was a weekend for the cultural arts of MIT. I walked out of Zesiger, past the crowd of audience members and competitive dancers, past the One World tent parties happening outside, still reeling from the elegance and intensity of competitive ballroom dancing. The passion and joy of dancing was evident from all the dancing couples that evening. Love can be infectious, and I think, by the end, I too fell in love with ballroom dancing.