BYU Ballroom Dance Company presents ‘Light Up The Night’

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As part of their show, members of the BYU Ballroom Dance Company perform the waltz entitled “A Daisy in December.” Their precision has earned them the U.S. National Formation Championship for the past 27 years. (Photo courtesy of BYU Performing Arts Management.)
As part of one of their shows, members of the BYU Ballroom Dance Company perform the waltz entitled “A Daisy in December.” The company’s precision has earned it the U.S. National Formation Championship for the past 27 years. (Photo courtesy of BYU Performing Arts Management)

A cast of five teams including 160 dancers will perform in BYU Ballroom Dance Company’s 2014 concert, “Light Up The Night,” April 11–12 at the Marriott Center.

BYU’s Ballroom Dance Company is known for its precise timing, flawless technique, expressive choreography and vibrant costumes. This year’s concert holds strong to that reputation with costumes that actually light up and others that glow in the dark.

“The opening number is our competition number from the British championships,” said ballroom director Lee Wakefield. “These dresses are amazing. They have lights that flow in sync with each other and with the music, so literally we will be ‘lighting up’ the Marriott Center.”

Wakefield said the concert is exciting and usually leaves audiences surprised, and attendees don’t have to be extremely artistic to understand and enjoy this concert to a full extent.

“It’s a form of entertainment that has proven to be very appealing to a general audience,” Wakefield said. “I don’t think people always assume they will be entertained by a dance concert, but this concert is fun and energetic and meant to entertain everyone, artistic or not.”

The BYU Ballroom Dance Company has captivated audiences worldwide. The company has won the U.S. National Formation Dance Champion Team title consecutively since 1982 and, since 1971, has received 23 first-place awards at the British Open Ballroom Dance Competition.

This year will be the concert premiere of the competition medleys that won the 2013 British Formation Championships in both Latin and Ballroom. The Latin medley is “Fire and Ice,” and the ballroom medley is “Disney upon a Star.” The concert will include dances that are returning favorites as well as some new pieces; one is the samba number choreographed by Eugene Katesvman, and another is the West Coast Swing number choreographed by world renowned swing specialist, Buddy Schwimmer. The show will end with a black light dance, performed by the full cast of 160 dancers, all full-time students of BYU.

Emanating from the largest collegiate ballroom dance program in the world, the group’s dedicated students come from all majors and backgrounds.

“I’m sure it is stressful at this time of year for these students,” said Betsy Denney, team coach and BYU alumna. “With finals, and a concert, the dancers have to have a good sense of time management.”

Ballroom dancers have daily rehearsals and add dress and stage rehearsals as the show nears.

“The students are so dedicated and driven and willing to learn,” Denney said. “These ordinary college students transform into a stunning performance ensemble onstage. It is incredible, and everyone should see it.”

“Light Up The Night” will be performed at the BYU Marriott Center, April 11 and 12. Shows are at 7:30 p.m., and there will be a matinee on Saturday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $16. For more information call 801-422-2981.

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