When Lane Swenson was young, he was always drawn to music. He grew up doing theater and choir and was aware of dance, but never considered doing it until his late teens. At 16, he saw an ad for a salsa class and that’s where it all started.
That was 10 years ago. Since then, Swenson has created a ballroom-themed fitness program, studied for two dance degrees and has big plans for the future – including starting an adult dance company, presenting the first UVU dance concert that is entirely student-made and (he hopes) a professional career in the dancing field.
One of the achievements Swenson is most proud of is forming the first ballroom-themed fitness program at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas. St. Mary’s University was where Swenson obtained his bachelor’s degree in business.
“It started out as a fitness class and skyrocketed into a program,” Swenson said “I was the founder and artistic director for the program for 3 years during my undergraduate.”
Swenson now studies at UVU, looking to obtain his second degree in ballroom dance, and has since joined the UVU Ballroom Dance Company, which is divided up into 4 different teams.
“I started on the Beginning Back-Up Team and I remember having so much fun on that team,” Swenson said. “It was very stress-free and easy going. It was a perfect fit for me because I was brand new to Utah.”
It didn’t take long for his coach at the time to take notice of his creative music choices and unorthodox choreography. She eventually asked him to collaborate with her during his second semester.
Swenson danced for the Beginning Back-Up Team until the Spring of 2017, when he was promoted to the Advanced Back-Up Team. One semester later, he joined the Back-Up Tour Team.
Progressing in the dance program wasn’t without its challenges. Swenson said all dancers are filled with concerns like, “Did I practice enough?” “Am I ready?” “Do I look good?” However, he also said you have a built-in support system around you – your fellow performers.
The team on which he grew as an educator, however, is the Back-Up Tour Team, which helped him understand how formations are run. This was thanks to the coach, Chris Witt, a traditionalist in regards to formations and choreography. Swenson credits the foundation he built there with his continued success in choreography.
Swenson’s major influences include Lindsey Stirling, Derek Hough, Misty Copeland, George Balanchine, Bob Fosse, Janet Jackson, and many others who have taken traditional art forms and, through innovation, transformed their field in a positive way. He also feels inspired by those who come to witness his choreography, ultimately creating it for them.
Swenson is currently working on UVU’s first student-produced and directed ballroom dance concert, which he hopes to present in the Spring of 2020 for his senior capstone project. Upon graduation, he also wishes to be the first UVU ballroom student to create and direct a successful, professional adult ballroom dance company.