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UVU ballroom team takes home two gold medals from international festival

By Ashtyn Asay - | Jul 9, 2022

Courtesy Utah Valley University

An undated photo of the UVU Ballroom Dancing Company.

The Utah Valley University Ballroom Dance Company took two gold medals home from across the pond last month.

The dance company won first place in both the Latin Formation and Ballroom Formation competitions in the Blackpool Dance Festival, one of the oldest and most famous ballroom dancing competitions in the world, held in Blackpool England. This is the dance company’s first time winning both titles in the same year.

The Wolverines beat out teams from all over the world with Latin medley choreography by Rick Robinson, Kayci and Casey Treu, and Standard medley choreography by Andres and Veronika End.

Tara Boyd, artist in residence in ballroom dance at UVU, has been teaching at UVU since 2005 and coaching the tour team since 2015. She was happy to see her students take home two wins within one festival.

“I am so excited,” Boyd said in a press release. “It’s a dream come true to be able to take first at such a prestigious competition in both events.”

According to Boyd, the dancers were judged based on the quality and technique of their dancing, as well as team unity, music choice and costuming.

The Blackpool Dance Festival has been held in the Empress Ballroom at the Winter Gardens since its inception in 1920. For Collin Williams, who just finished his final year on the dance company, walking into the Winter Gardens is always a magical experience.

“​​When we first walked into the ballroom, everybody was in awe and you could just feel the excitement that everybody had,” he said in a press release. “The Winter Gardens is outstanding and it’s just beautiful. So walking back in, it takes your breath away.”

After arriving in Blackpool at the end of May, members of the dance company worked tirelessly to perfect their routines before the competition. For Grace Knox, dance captain of the Standard medley and a recent UVU graduate, taking home two wins was an emotional victory.

“Winning was an experience that’s hard to describe,” Knox said in a press release. “It’s a moment when you realize all the hard work, blood, sweat, and tears that you’ve put in for the last year has finally paid off. There is a massive sense of accomplishment that accompanies the championship title, as well as a special bond that is shared with my fellow teammates. We all worked so hard, and put in countless hours to reach that win. Needless to say, there were many happy tears that evening.”


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