Headline: Dance class turns into life-passion
Subhead: Professor Todd Wakefield took a dance class his freshman year in college that led him to performing all over the world and later a career in teaching
Cutline: Professor Todd Wakefield has been teaching American Social Dance and Ballroom at UVU for 12 years.
Pull Quote: “Dance builds confidence. No one leaves my classes with less confidence than when they walked in and it’s good for college students to gain that confidence before going out in the world.” Todd Wakefield
Byline: Cheyenn Clayburn, Assistant Life Editor, [email protected]
Professor Todd Wakefield has been teaching dance at UVU for 12 years. Before UVU, he taught at BYU and Timpanogos High School. He also performed on the UVU ballroom tour team for a year and a half, the BYU ballroom tour team for four years and BYU’s company for 5 years; Wakefield had the opportunity to travel and perform all over the world. At UVU he currently teaches intermediate ballroom and beginning social dance.
Through dance, Wakefield met his wife, Alison, and together they have four children, who are also involved in dance.
Wakefield’s passion for dance began his freshman year in college when he took a beginning social dance class.
“I was addicted,” Wakefield said. “I wanted to continue taking classes. I realized that I had a bit of a talent for it, which led to realizing that I could teach it.”
After just a year at BYU, Wakefield was given a job teaching dance technique while going to school. After he graduated from BYU, the dance director at UVU called and offered him a job teaching ballroom and American social dance.
For Wakefield, the best part about teaching is helping students learn new skills and seeing their confidence in what they’re doing.
“I love teaching beginning American social dance. It’s new for everybody, and when they leave they’ll have a skill that they’ll use throughout life,” Wakefield said. “Dance builds confidence. No one leaves my classes with less confidence than when they walked in, and it’s good for college students to gain that confidence before going out in the world.”
Not only does Wakefield teach dance, he also helps with UVU’s DanceSport Festival every February. This year’s DanceSport Festival will be Feb. 22-23 in the PE building gym. The event is a competition for dancers from five years old to college age. Each year the DanceSport Festival has more than 600 competitors.
This year, Wakefield is helping out with the DanceSport Festival as a scrucineer. A scrucineer collects the results from the judges and tallies the scores.
“I love helping out with this event. It’s more like a sport,” Wakefield said. “The crowds are yelling and very energetic. Plus it’s great to come out and watch all of the local kids perform.”