The BYU Ballroom Dance Company won two first place prizes at the British Ballroom Dance Championships in Blackpool, England June 1 and 2. They were crowned victors in both the Ballroom and Latin Formation Dance categories.
The annual Blackpool Dance Festival is the culmination of months of hard work and preparation for many international dance teams. This year BYU competed against teams from China, England, Wales and countless other nations.
“The dancers’ performances were amazing and matched the grandeur and elegance of the ballroom,” said Ballroom Dance Company director Curt Holman in a press release.
According to Holman, as soon as the BYU team was declared the winner, the event announcer Marcus Hilton sprang from his seat and said, “Now that is what formation dancing is all about.”
The dance company wasted no time after their victory and embarked on a string of performances in England, Scotland and Wales.
“We have one more week to go; we’ll end in London on June 18th. The trip has been an amazing experience both culturally and spiritually,” Holman said.
They also had the chance to present two devotionals and visit several early LDS Church history sites in England, including the Preston Temple and the River Ribble, the site of the first English baptisms.
“Last night we also performed in Durham England. The stake presidency thanked us profusely for helping them build ties with the community,” Holman said.
Secretary for the Ballroom Dance Area Eleanor Wiblin interacts with members of the team on a daily basis. She live streamed the competition so she could cheer on the BYU team from her home in Utah.
“They were truly inspiring,” Wiblin said. “They represented the church and BYU so magnificently. I was just grateful that they performed so well.”