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Dance News Archive

Share Your Story: Mckenzie Rucker

Dance student McKenzie Rucker shares how an experiential learning opportunity has enhanced her time at BYU

Last spring, I had the opportunity to travel to Blackpool, England with the BYU Ballroom Dance Touring Company to compete in the British Open Championships. This is something that I have dreamed about my whole life. When I was only five years old, my mom put me in a ballroom, and there was no turning back. Since that day, I have spent hours in the studio training to be the best ballroom dancer I could be. I dreamed that one day I could dance on the best team — in my opinion — the BYU Ballroom Dance Company. Last spring, I lived out that dream. 

Competing at the British Championships was the most magical thing I have ever experienced. I originally thought that this win would be the best gift ballroom dancing could give me. But as I contemplated it more, I came to realize that ballroom has given me so much more than just a win. It has given me everything.

BYU Ballroom Dancers

BYU Ballroom dancers celebrate their first place win at Blackpool. (Courtesy of Mckenzie Rucker)

To some, ballroom is fun, entertaining, sparkly and even excessive. But to me, ballroom is so much more. Ballroom dance has given me the ability to communicate. It has helped me  to communicate my emotions, to communicate with my friends and family, and to communicate with God. Ballroom has given me the ability to work with a team, to give and take, to be patient with others, and to find the good in everyone. 

Ballroom has shown me humility. I understand when to effectively lead, and when to humbly follow. Ballroom has taught me to dream big, and to never give up on those dreams. Failing is inevitable. But it is crucial to get back up and try again even harder. Ballroom has given me self-worth. I have confidence in the fact that I am a daughter of God who always has Jesus Christ by my side. Dance has taught me that my body is the most beautiful gift God could have ever given me — a gift worth celebrating.  Most importantly, ballroom dance has taught me that I can be a part of something bigger than myself. It’s not about me. It’s not about you. It’s about Him.

The publication of student articles allows the College of Fine Arts and Communications to highlight the experiential learning opportunities and behind-the-scenes experiences of students and faculty and tell stories with a unique voice and point of view. Submit your story at