The highlight of this past week for the Ballroom Dance Company was their experience in Hamm, Germany, just northeast of the city of Dortmund. There the group’s sponsor – a combined effort by a local business, two noteworthy charities, and the Dortmund LDS Stake – provided an unforgettable evening. Over 1,800 people came to the Maxipark Arena to enjoy the presentation of Capture the Magic. Filled to near-capacity, with professional staging, lighting, and sound, the performance had the added benefit of a major donation to the charities (Christliches Hospiz Hamm & Deutschen Kinderhospizverein) of 75,000 Euros! These funds were raised through ticket sales for the performance and significant business and community donations. Two costumed dancers participated in the presentation of the checks, and the mayor of Hamm City also presented a “thank you” expression and gift to the sponsorin! g groups and BYU. It was a huge success in every way.
Other performances this week on tour were given in Nürnberg (Fürth City), Germany and in two cities of Switzerland – Basel and Zürich. The final presentation, given in the Schinzenhof Kongress Salle in Horgen (in the Zürich area) had an excited, enthusiastic crowd who gave a standing ovation as well as gifts to Directors Lee and Linda Wakefield and to members of the team.
This week began with departure from Stuttgart, and thereafter the group traveled approximately 1,250 miles by bus, visiting along the way the famous Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, the Dachau Concentration Camp of World War II near Munich, Braunfels Castle in northern Germany, the Kaiserdom of Frankfurt, the Black Forest area near Karlsruhe, the ancient Roman ruins in Augst, near Basel, Switzerland, and the Grossmünster Cathedral near beautiful Lake Zürich, Switzerland. The final educational activity was a visit to a serene Swiss mountain valley and the Abbey Church there in Einsiedeln, Switzerland. The visit was a beautiful ending to a learning experience of the history, culture, and traditions of the three countries visited on this tour: England, Germany, and Switzerland.
The Ballroom Dance Company returns home on Monday, June 17th from this European tour. Having won the British Formation Dance Championships in Blackpool, given performances in 9 other cities, firesides in 2 cities, and visited numerous historical and educational sites along the way, the students and leaders return home pleased with the opportunity and privilege of representing BYU, the Dance Department, and the College of Fine Arts and Communications in this marvelous touring experience.