Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal
“Five, six, seven, eight. Run it again. Point your toes,” are words Maggie Marshall often hears while training as a competitive ballroom dancer.
Originally from Fulton, Mississippi, Marshall is a senior integrated marketing communications major at the University of Mississippi who has competed as a ballroom dancer in many different places, including Birmingham, Alabama, and in Tupelo at the “Dancing with the King” open competition.
Marshall started ballroom dancing when she was in eighth grade in 2008. She has been dancing since she was 5, taking ballet, tap and jazz.
After taking a break from dance classes for a number of years, in 2008 she took ballroom dancing for the first time. She wanted to get back into dance, so she started taking classes locally and met her dance partner, Robbie Greenwood, who she still dances with today.
Marshall said she loves dancing because, “It’s very smooth, elegant, versatile, sassy and fun with a small community all centered around the influence of music.”
One of the things that keeps Marshall in the ballroom, besides her passion for dance, is watching “Dancing With the Stars” and seeing professional dancers. Choreographers Derek Hough and Mark Ballas are some her her favorites.
Marshall is a member of Sigma Phi Lambda, the Christian sorority with a chapter at the University of Mississippi campus, where she is an active member.
She is also an intern at a residential community for high-functioning special needs adults. This community provides a safe place for individuals with traumatic brain injuries, autism, Down’s syndrome, and many other things to live and enjoy themselves. Activities range from pottery and gardening to animal interactions.
Mary Chandler Izard, one of Marshall’s closest friends since they were in diapers, said Marshall has various interests including reading, listening to music, sleeping, watching television and Netflix, cleaning her kitchen, and crafting. Izard said Marshall’s artistic talents are phenomenal.
“We’ve been friends since we were in diapers, and she has always done everything wholeheartedly,” she said. “And she’s always been super creative. I love seeing all the cool things she does and makes.”
Izard attended a dance class with Marshall.
“It was interesting for me to see them doing all those complicated dances,” she said. “I always watch videos of her dances, and they blow me away.”
Marshall will continue competing after she graduates, and she hopes she will be able to compete more frequently. She also hopes to gain certification to teach dance and help others. She plans to later move to Waco, Texas.
Marshall cannot wait to compete again. She competed the weekend of Oct. 7-9, where she won first in the Rhythm Scholarship Division, second in the Smooth and Rhythm Championship, and third in the Smooth Scholarship.