“Welcome to the Ballroom” brings ballroom dance to life on paper

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Glydelle Espano

The manga, “Welcome to the Ballroom,” has mesmerizing art that captures the emotions of the scene and is topped off with an amazing plot.

It’s never too late to start ballroom dancing!

The manga “Welcome to the Ballroom” or “Ballroom e Youkoso” utilizes impressive art and an engaging storyline to capture the reader into the world of ballroom dance. Readers follow the main character, Tatara Fujita, in his journey of falling in love with ballroom dancing.

Tomo Takeuchi’s manga currently has 10 volumes, with an 11th on the way! And if you’re not into reading manga, there’s an anime with 24 episodes that came out in 2017. The manga scored an 8.40 on MyAnimeList from about 9,000 users.

The story starts with middle schooler Tatara, who has no ambitions about his future—until he meets his savior, Kaname Sengoku (who Tatara calls Sengoku-san). After Sengoku-san saves Tatara from his class bullies, Tatara is dragged to a dance studio and receives a free lesson. Tatara is conflicted about joining, but after getting saved from bullies by Sengoku-san once again, he decides to take classes to improve himself. As Tatara launches himself into ballroom dancing, he enters the vast, new world full of competition!

I really enjoyed reading this manga— I finished all 10 volumes in one sitting! The art and story are extremely engaging, so you won’t be able to stop reading. Not only will your interest increase, but your knowledge of ballroom dancing will also increase as the story progresses.

“Welcome to the Ballroom” has highly detailed, exquisite art during the dance scenes. The character designs look pretty simple, but once those characters set foot on the dance floor, Takeuchi takes them to a whole other level.

When the characters are on the dance floor, the page just leaks a captivating, thrilling vibe. The characters perform different ballroom dances throughout the story, so the intensity varies with each dance, and Takeuchi captures that exceptionally well. When the characters are dancing the waltz, there’s a more graceful, elegant energy in the art versus when they dance the tango, sweating buckets after the performance because of the rapid moves. Readers can really see how passionate the characters are about their craft and the difficulties they face as they dance.

The storyline is just as good as the art. While initially it may seem like it has the generic “weak character becomes stronger through training” trope, it makes it even better. Watching Tatara grow from the clueless, weak middle schooler into a ballroom dancing champion makes it well worth the read. Readers not only get to watch his body improve from dancing, but his self-confidence increasing after each performance.

One of the only things the felt weird in this manga was Tatara’s extreme development in ballroom dancing. After about a year of training, he can dance better than many who have trained since they were toddlers. However, Tatara’s probably just that talented. His fast growth helps the story progress steadily, where it doesn’t feel dragged, so I think it’s for the best.

If you enjoy sports-type stories, like “Haikyuu!!” or “Yuri on Ice!!!,” then you should undoubtedly check out “Welcome to the Ballroom” since they’re all sports-related with lovable characters and intense action scenes.

All in all, “Welcome to the Ballroom” is a 5 out of 5 in my book. The art is captivating, and the storyline will make you grow even more interested in ballroom dancing as the story goes on.

Maybe you’ll find yourself at the dance studio after reading this.

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