Southern Utah University’s Ballroom Dance Company is performing their spring showcase “Rhythm of the Night” on April 1 and 2 at 7 p.m. in the Heritage Center Theater. Tickets can be purchased from a company member for $5 or at the door on the night of the performances for $7.
The company is made up of 50 students that perform in three ensembles. They each focus on and perform different dance styles such as the waltz, American swing and the samba.
“While preparing for this showcase, I have learned new styles such as the nightclub two step and refined my skills in other styles like the Viennese waltz and tango,” said Lydia Butler, a theater arts education major. “My favorite part about working on this production has been the people I work with. I love going to ballroom practice every morning and getting to work hard with the people I care about in an art form I’m passionate about.”
Annual events for SUU’s Ballroom Dance Company include their fall and spring showcases and “Dancing with the Stars.” Company members also reach out to the community to perform and hold classes for local organizations.
Since their founding in 1995, SUU’s Ballroom Company has grown to become a premier performing group on campus with continued interest from student dancers and audiences alike.
Butler also said being on the ballroom team has shaped her experience at SUU in the best way possible with chances to perform during and after the school year in various destinations including New York, Mexico and Canada.
“One thing I’ve learned from ballroom dancing is to focus because it is important to concentrate so a routine and technique can be learned quickly and efficiently,” said Lawrence Mbaki, a theatre arts and music education major. “Dancing is fun but it requires the dancer to be sharp and portray the mood of each genre when performing.”
The concert will feature suave and upbeat music, flashy costumes and polished formation ballroom dancing.
“[Ballroom Company Director] Chandler Guzzle does such a splendid job coaching us and giving us a platform to express ourselves,” said Mbaki. “It will be nice to see all of that hard work and time invested pay off.”
Story by: Addie Horsley
Photo courtesy of SUU Ballroom Dance Company