Ryan Muir | Staff Writer
Photos courtesy of UVU Marketing & Communications
UVU’s Ballroom Dance Tour Team went to Blackpool, England to compete in the international Blackpool Dance Festival held May 21-29. The team won the British Ballroom Formation Championship, and took third place in the Latin Formation Dancing Championship during the festival.
The festival was held in the Empress Ballroom at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool and attracted a crowd of nearly 20,000 people.
This year’s win in Blackpool marks the fifth time the team has won the event.
“Words cannot express how proud I am of the company. They have worked hard for months preparing for this event, which is the Olympics of ballroom dancing,” said Paul Winkelman, director of the Ballroom Tour Team, in a press release.
Elna West, team captain, said that the preparation began at the beginning of spring semester. However, when the semester ended the team began practicing nearly nine hours per day.
“I think the most challenging thing about our routines was just the amount of stamina required to execute them the way they were meant to be. There were quite a few of us who experienced sicknesses or injuries leading up to the competition, so being able to be physically prepared was, at times, a bit of a challenge,” West said.
The significance of this competition was not lost on the dancers. The UVU ballroom dancers put in a lot of hard work. Formation dancing is an especially difficult style of ballroom dance because each team member must be synchronized.
“The most difficult part of competition routines is making everyone look the same in movement. Everyone has their own opinion and style, so making 16 individuals all dance and look exactly the same was very challenging.” said team captain Jose Esquivel.
“When I was little I always dreamed of going to the Olympics whether in soccer, volleyball, gymnastics or something else. I competed worldwide, and fulfilled a lifelong dream,” said Spencer Muir, a tour team member.
The author of this article is related to Spencer Muir, who is quoted in the story.