Gala Ball History

The tradition of the Annual UBC Gala Ball grew out of the enthusiasm and energy of student dancers in the early 1960s. Gala Balls of the 1960s and 70s featured twenty to thirty competitors and demonstrations by UBC Dance Club Formation Team and local dance professionals. The event was held in the UBC SUB Ballroom. By the 10th year, Gala featured the BC Open Amateur Championships.

In the 1980s, Gala began to invite world class couples as featured demonstrations including World professional Standard Champions, Marcus and Karen Hilton, and world professional 10-dance champions Kim and Cecilie Rygel. The event was also moved out of the SUB Ballroom into its first external venue, the Greek Hellenic Centre. These days, the Gala Ball visits even larger and more spectacular venues such as the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre and the Enterprise Hall at the Plaza of Nations. In 1998, Gala Ball not only included the BC Open Amateur Championships, but also held an IDSF open to the world competition.

Gala Ball, formerly a Saturday only event, was extended to one and a half days to accommodate the various competitions and numerous competitors. While continuing the traditions of Gala Ball through club closed and open amateur events, a new page was added to its history two years ago. A new category of Fun Events was introduced into the competition, as well as spectacular prize purse for both competitors and spectators to win.

Every year, the Dance Club executives work hard to make Gala Ball a memorable event, both for our members and the rest of the dance community.