Arts Society & Culture

Ballroom Magic event to showcase UGA student, guest and alumni performances

UGA Ballroom Performance Group Vlad Hriscan and Ana
UGA seniors Vlad Hriscan and Ana Drobeniuc will perform as part of the UGA Ballroom Performance Group on Jan. 22-24. (Credit: Blane Marable Photography)

Athens, Ga. – Ballroom Magic, the annual showcase performance by the UGA Ballroom Performance Group, will be held Jan. 22-24 in the New Dance Theatre in the UGA dance building. The event will feature choreographed pieces in smooth and Latin ballroom dance styles, with appearances by guest artists and alumni.

This year’s performance, themed “Lights, Camera, Magic,” will feature 45 UGA students performing classic ballroom styles such as the waltz, foxtrot, American tango, Argentine tango, quickstep, Viennese waltz, paso, cha-cha, salsa, rumba and swing. Co-directors Natalie Grier Cox and Mike Fulford, both UGA and Ballroom Performance Group alumni, helped orchestrate this year’s performance.

“This isn’t your typical dance performance,” Cox said. “Everything is a wow factor when it comes to planning and executing this show-from routines to costumes to music, lighting and effects. We expect you to leave thinking magic is the only word to describe it. You will be entertained.”

Special guests include the CONTACT dance company from Dancefx, professional Atlanta-based ballroom coach Christjohn Batters and his amateur partner, the UGA Tango Club, Swung and a Romanian folk dance performance. The show also features a unique theatre-in-the-round setup that gives some audience members a view just a few feet away from the twirling action.

“This show inspires a lot of people to start dancing,” Cox said. “Many of my students tell me they first attended a performance to support a friend or family member and then realized they wanted to learn too. New people attend this event every year, and they always promise they will never miss another performance. They come back year-to-year and become part of our larger Ballroom Performance Group family.”

The Ballroom Performance Group was founded in 1991 by UGA dance professor Mark Wheeler. Each year, this performance showcase brings back many alumni who previously performed with the group. Ballroom Magic is the biggest showcase performance for the group each year. The group also performs throughout the year and hosts Friday night dances-each first and third Friday-for the community in the New Dance Theatre.

“My favorite part of being in BPG is the special connection we have with our community,” organization President Ana-Maria Drobeniuc said. “We have a strong alumni base that brings alumni from all different corners of the country to support our show each year, reliving their Ballroom Magic days and cheering us on. Locally, our monthly Friday night dance parties allow us to forge a really fun relationship with our patrons. We dance together, socialize and get to know our community members on a very personal level. We are lucky to have a large support base that looks forward to Ballroom Magic each year as much as we do.”

Drobeniuc, a senior health promotion major in the UGA College of Public Health, looks forward to showing friends and family just what she’s been up to over the course of the last year.

“Ballroom Magic is the culmination of so much hard work that we put in during the months leading up to the show,” she said. “For us, it’s an opportunity to explain to our friends and family where we have disappeared to for the last few months.”

Performances will be held Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. with an additional matinee performance on Saturday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $16 for adults and $10 for children, students and seniors. Tickets can be purchased at, the Tate Center box office and via phone at 706-542-4400. Special discounted rates, $5 off each ticket, are available for groups of eight or more for the Thursday evening and Saturday matinee performances.

For more information on the UGA Ballroom Performance Group, see For questions about dances, performances or auditions, email