The Dancesport Championships brought together hundreds of the region’s dancers to kick off competition season in the Wilkinson Center Ballroom this weekend.
The two-day competition here at BYU moves just about as quickly as the dancers on the floor.
Every five minutes or so, a new heat is called to the floor, where they compete in different styles of dance. Ballroom, Latin, country, American — it’s all here, and the dancers can change on a dime.
Getting to this level is no easy task, according to competitor Jenessa Depew.
“A lot of practicing … we practice about, in total, 20 hours a week,” she said.
The competition can be intense, with “a lot of sweat” and “a lot of tears sometimes”, Depew said, but the community surrounding the sport makes up for it.
“The atmosphere, it’s, like, kind of scary but it’s something that I feel like it, like, unites us, although it doesn’t at the same time,” Depew said.
Dancers of all levels were there, from kids to adults and beginners to seasoned competitors.
“I love this sport because it like connects people,” Dancesport competitor Andre Takada said. “The whole community like inspires everyone and I just love that.”
It’s a long day and a long season, but that’s life for the dancers.
“Getting on the dance floor is something that calms me and brings me the most amount of peace I’ve ever known,” Depew said of the sport she loves.
While competitions run all year round, this, for many, is the start of the big competition season leading up to nationals in March of 2023.