Jewels, legends and a touch of swing

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Rehearsals, routines and rondejons, these three words essentially define the life and rhythm of any dancer.

[/media-credit] BYU’s ballroom program is one of the largest in the nation
Months of preparation,weeks of rehearsal, and hours spent in the RB culminate as BYU’s Dance Department brings to life the old Steve Miller song “Dance, Dance, Dance,” in their production for Tuesday’s Assembly.

The assembly will feature four of BYU’s first tier performance groups including the International Dance Ensemble, Living Legends, Theatre Ballet, the Ballroom Dance Company and Contemporary Dance Theatre.

Edwin Austin, an associate professor, in the dance department and producer for the event, hopes each number will be uplifting and bring joy into everyone’s day.

“The numbers will allow each group to really represent who they are,” Austin said.  “The variety will be plentiful. Folk Dance will do a gypsy number, Living Legends will do two numbers indicative of the American Indian and Samoa. There will be a dance from a classical ballet and ballroom will even feature a swing number.”

Tuesday will mark the first time that Living Legends will perform with the Dance Department. In a recent change of colleges, the Dance Department joined the College of Fine Arts, bringing together all the dance groups on campus.

[/media-credit] Living Legends captures spirit of tradition and honor
BYU’s ballroom program enrolls over 4,000 students each year making it the largest known university ballroom program  in the United States. For 42 years the ballet program has also focused on fostering love and appreciation for ballet as a form of artistic expression.

Shani Robinson, the Artistic Director of Ballet Theater, noted that the assembly will be a kick-off for the Sleeping Beauty Production the ballet company will do with in February.

“We have four talented dancers who are freshmen through seniors and they will represent the four fairies in the number,” Robinson said. “Our number is called ‘Jewels’ because the fairies represent the gold, silver, sapphire and diamond jewels.”

The assembly offers a unique opportunity to highlight the dance department, which remains relatively unknown to many students. Allie Limas, a senior and dance major from Salt Lake City, understands that most students  do not know how hard dance majors work.

“A lot of our days on campus start at 8 a.m. and can end around 11 p.m.,” Limas said. “We have rehearsals all the time and we are one of the very few programs in the country that also requires its majors to take a lot of anatomy and kinesiology classes. It’s just a real go, go, go environment.”

Go, go, go seems to go hand in hand with the show’s theme as BYU students go out and “dance, dance, dance, all night long.”