Chico State students boogie at PETE prom night

A break dancer backflips to victory at PETE's annual prom night while the audience watches. Photo credit: Veronica Hodur

Many college students may wish that they could relive the glitz and glam of high school prom. Thanks to Chico State’s Physical Education Teaching Education program, that wish has been granted. PETE threw its annual prom night Thursday in Yolo Hall, and the dancing was so much more elegant than traditional high school twerking.

PETE throws an end of the year cumulative dance to show off the ballroom dance moves students have learned throughout the semester.

“Dance is one of the best things you can do for your health,” said Cathrine Himberg, professor of kinesiology and a teacher of ballroom dance classes. “It’s not just good for your body but it’s also good for your brain.”

Himberg is preparing to take the lead of the ballroom programs at Chico State now that kinesiology professor Patricia Smiley is retiring.

“Professors in the department have been really instrumental in keeping ballroom alive at Chico State,” Himberg said.

The PETE program’s students are the developers of the prom, which is an opportunity to teach newcomers how to dance on the fly.

Dance class students were marked with a glow-in-the-dark bracelet during the event so others knew they were willing to teach dances and partner with anyone.

Dance styles ranged from traditional West Coast swing and Lindy Hop to salsa and waltz. There were hip-hop and break dance performances, ranging from group routines to an intense break dance battle to Kesha and Pitbull’s hit “Timber” while the audience cheered and clapped along.

All in attendance were dressed in swirling gowns or dapper suits and a few even dressed to impress in tuxedos. All were ready to jump and jive.

Veronica Hodur can be reached at [email protected] or @VeronicaHodur on Twitter.