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Dance News Archive

Ballroom Dance Company crowned champions in two categories at competition in Blackpool, England

The BYU Ballroom Dance Company competed in the British Ballroom Dance Championships in Blackpool, England June 1 and 2, and brought back first place prizes for both the Latin and Ballroom Formation Dance categories.

BYU competed against seven other international Latin formation teams including the Beijing Dance Academy, longtime friends of BYU. Other Latin teams included groups from Cambridge and Preston England, and from Ystrad Fawr, Wales.

Part of the annual Blackpool Dance festival, the event is a highlight of the BYU ballroom program. It becomes the focal point of intense preparation during that time, and represents the culmination of much hard work for the students and group leaders.

Curt and Sharon Holman, directors of the Ballroom Dance Company, began directing the group last year after the retirement of Lee and Linda Wakefield. The wins continue a long standing pattern of wins for BYU in its history of participation in this competition.

“The team did an unbelievable and amazing job,” said Holman. “Their presentation matched the elegance and grandeur of the ballroom.  I will tell you that the crowd was glued to their seats as we presented Ode to Joy.”

Upon the announcement of the BYU dancers as winners, Holman said that the event announcer Marcus Hilton sprang to the mic and said, “Now that is what formation dancing is all about!”

The dancers have now embarked on a performance tour of several cities in England, Scotland, and Wales, and will return home June 20.

Every three years, the company competes at the British Open Ballroom Dance Championships in Blackpool, England. At the end of spring semester, the team began to prepare both the Latin and Ballroom medleys for Blackpool, meeting from 7:00am to 2:00pm six days a week.

Other highlights from the tour:

  • Visited several early Church History sites where the first LDS missionaries arrived to preach the gospel, including the River Ribble (site of the first English baptisms), Downham, and Chatburn.
  • Presented two devotionals (Manchester, England YSA Ward; York, England Stake).
  • Several members of the group were able to compete against hundreds of the world’s best dance couples in both Ballroom and Latin individual competitions (amateur division).