My name is Mackenzie Caitlin Ballard. I am from a small town known as Globe, Arizona and this is my third year attending Brigham Young University. I am 20 years old and I have been dancing since the age of four. I am studying Dance Education and this is my first year on BYU’s Contemporary Dance Theatre. My absolute passion in life is dance and I am so thankful for the many wonderful opportunities my education at BYU provides me.
What an experience this has been! Earlier this year, I spent six weeks studying abroad in Chengdu, Xi’an, and Beijing with Brigham Young University. This trip to perform in the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) with Contemporary Dance Theatre was my second time to China this year. Needless to say, I have grown to love, admire and appreciate the people of China and their culture. Never have I felt so much love for complete strangers as I did when I was performing on the stage of the NCPA. I hope to never forget the love and the joy that I felt.
It is so surreal to me that the performance came and went so quickly, but it turned out so much better than I ever could have imagined. I feel so blessed to be on Brigham Young University’s Contemporary Dance Theatre company with so many talented, wonderful people that I consider my friends. It has been amazing to be a part of this tour and see it all come together. Although we may not know the impact we have had, I hope that our audience felt something special as we were performing. I am so thankful for the incredible opportunity that I had to tour Beijing and share my love and joy with the audience members who attended our performance. This truly was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I feel so honored to have been a part of it!