Category:Ballroom Dance Company

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Blackpool, 2007



The BYU Ballroom Dance Company originates in the Department of Dance of the College of Fine Arts and Communications at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. It has been a part of Brigham Young University for 50 years and competes and performs throughout the world.


For years, BYU offered dance classes that included several genres, but with a specific focus on social dance. BYU's dance company didn't exist until 1953 when Alma Heaton joined the faculty as a recreation professor. Heaton came to BYU having taught social dance for a nationally recognized dance studio, and it seemed logical to continue that instruction at the university level. Heaton's work set the stage for BYU to become a leader in ballroom dance. The Ballroom Dance program has been growing ever since and is now the largest collegiate dance program in the world.

In 1960 Benjamin de Hoyos founded the Ballroom Dance Team and was the director for 10 years. Following de Hoyos, Roy and June Mavor directed the company from 1970 to 1975 when Emerson Lyman and his wife LeGene took the reins. In 1980 Lee Wakefield and his wife Linda began directing the company, and continue to do so today.

"BYU was the first university to introduce dance into its curriculum; the school's involvement in the sport stretches back for a long time," observes Brian McDonald, president of the National Dance Council of America, which governs dance competitions in the United States. "And now BYU is, without question, the most influential school in the nation in terms of identifying dance as both a sport and a respected curriculum."

BallroomDance lighteddresses.jpg
In late May of 2013 The Ballroom Dance Team dazzled opponents, judges and spectators alike at the Blackpool International Competition in England. Not only was the choreography and execution excellent, but the costumes were revolutionary. The costumes were designed by BYU engineering students Franklin Morley and husband and wife Stephen and Ali Wood. The costumes consisted of simple elegant tuxedos of black and flowing dresses of white organza. The truly spectacular elements were the hundreds of special LED lights carefully crafted into the dresses. With the lights dimmed and the team in perfect synchronization, the effect was breathtaking. The team received the first standing ovation in the history of the British Championships. Needless to say, the BYU Ballroom Dance Company placed first at this extremely prestigious competition.


The BYU Ballroom Dance Company has 160 members and is currently composed of five teams. It is directed by Lee and Linda Wakefield who have done so since 1980. The five teams include: The Touring Team, directed by Lee and Linda Wakefield; The Back-Up Touring Team, directed by Curt and Sharon Holman; The 1:00 Team (intermediate), directed by Marci Edgington; and The 9:00 and 10:00 Teams (beginning), directed by Staff Members. In addition to the team directors, Eleanor Wiblin plays an important role as the Ballroom Secretary.


The BYU Dance Company currently competes on both the National and International Level. The most recognized competitions that BYU participates in are: The United States National Formation Championships, The World Formation Championships, and The British Formation Championships. Though all three competitions are highly competitive, The British Formation Championship is the most prestigious event in the competitive dance arena. All three competitions comprise a variety of events in both the International Standard and Latin categories but the BYU Ballroom Dance Company only competes in the team formation events.


The BYU Ballroom Dance Company has consistently won numerous prestigious awards in the competitive arena. Since 1982, the team has won the title of United States National Formation Dance Champions. The team now holds 29 National Formation Dance Championship Awards.

Since 1971, the company has won first place in Latin or Standard formation competitions at the highly esteemed British Open Ballroom Competitions. In May 2004, they won first place in both categories.

The BYU Ballroom Dance Company is the first Americans to win the highly-esteemed British Formation Championships, and they have done so ten times.

The BYU Ballroom Dance Company took first place in both the British Modern Formation and the Latin Formation Dance Championships at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool, England. They competed against dance companies from China, Germany, Great Britain and the U.S.



The BYU Ballroom Dance Company touring team has been touring since 1971; visiting many countries and cities throughout the world.

  • 2011-12 1. Nauvoo, IL
  • 2010-11 1. Thailand and Vietnam
  • 2008-09 1. Idaho, Oregon, Washington 2. Mid-West and Eastern United States
  • 2007-08 1. Arizona, Utah 2. Hong Kong, China
  • 2006-07 1. New Mexico, Texas 2. England, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Italy, France, Spain
  • 2005-06 1. Colorado, Wyoming 2. Ukraine, Nauvoo, IL
  • 2004-05 1. Northern Nevada and California 2. Hawaii, New Zealand, Australia, French Polynesia, Nauvoo, IL
  • 2003-04 1. Southern Utah, Nevada, California 2. England, Belgium, France, Spain, Nauvoo, IL
  • 2002-03 1. Washington
  • 2001-02 1. Wyoming 2. Mid-West and Eastern United States
  • 2000-01 1. New Mexico, Texas 2. England, Norway, Sweden, Denmark
  • 1999-00 1. Arizona 2. Hong Kong, People’s Republic of China, Far East Russia, South Korea, Mongolia
  • 1998-99 1. Northern Nevada, California 2. South Africa
  • 1997-98 1. Oregon, Washington, Idaho 2. England, Scotland
  • 1996-97 1. Southern Nevada, California 2. Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Russia, Finland 3. Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines
  • 1995-96 1. Arizona 2. Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia 3. Taiwan, Malaysia
  • 1994-95 1. New Mexico, Texas 2. England, Scotland, Belgium, Germany
  • 1993-94 1. Northern Nevada, California 2. Russia, Ukraine, Hungary
  • 1992-93 1. Washington, Oregon, Idaho 2. Utah, California, People’s Republic of China, Republic of China, Thailand
  • 1991-92 1. Utah, Nevada, Southern California 2. England, Belgium, Netherlands
  • 1990-91 1. Northern California 2. California, Illinois, Michigan, Canada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, Washington D.C.
  • 1989-90 1. Miami, Florida (United States Ballroom Championships) 2. Stuttgart, Germany (World Ballroom Championships) 3. Arizona 4. Tahiti, New Zealand, Australia, Hawaii
  • 1988-89 1. Miami, Florida (United States Ballroom Championships) 2. New Mexico 3. England, Belgium, West Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, Michigan
  • 1987-88 1. Miami, Florida (United States Ballroom Championships) 2. Southern California 3. Tennessee, Arkansas, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana
  • 1986-87 1. Miami, Florida (United States Ballroom Championships) 2. Bremen, Germany (World Ballroom Championships) 3. Northern *1985-86 1. Miami, Florida (United States Ballroom Championships) 2. Washington, Oregon, Idaho 3. England, New York
  • 1984-85 1. New York (United States Ballroom Championships) 2. Southern Utah, Nevada, California 3. Jordan (Jerash Festival)
  • 1983-84 1. New York (United States Ballroom Championships) 2. Northern California 3. People’s Republic of China, Republic of China, Thailand, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Hawaii
  • 1982-83 1. Southern Nevada, California, Arizona, New Mexico 2. England, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Austria
  • 1981-82 1. Northwest U.S.
  • 1980-81 1. Southern California 2. England
  • 1978-79 1. Northern California 2. England, Belgium, Netherlands
  • 1977-78 1. Oregon, Washington, Alberta 2. Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma
  • 1976-77 1. Idaho, Oregon, Washington 2. England, Scotland
  • 1974-75 1. England
  • 1972-73 1. New York
  • 1971-72 1. Idaho, Oregon, Washington 2. New Mexico, Texas
  • 2013 1. England


The BYU Ballroom Dance Company annually presents Ballroom Dance in Concert and has done so for twenty-seven years. The concerts are currently performed in the Marriott Center at BYU, but prior to 1987 the concerts were performed in the Smith Field House at BYU. The pieces are the creative works of Ballroom Dance Company directors Lee and Linda Wakefield, as well as guest choreographers and professional champion dancers from across the United States and Canada. The concerts first received individual names in 2003; prior concerts were simply titled "Ballroom Dance in Concert." The company also performs annually at the BYU Winterfest shown at the LDS Conference Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.

  • 2013: Jump and Jive
  • 2011: Imagine
  • 2010: Encore
  • 2009: Viva Espana
  • 2008: Seize The Beat
  • 2007: Zoot Suit Sizzle
  • 2006: Capture The Magic
  • 2005: Cinemagic
  • 2004: Rhythms of Rio
  • 2003: Light Up The Night
  • 2002-1982: Ballroom Dance in Concert

In 2012 the team was featured at the annual BYU Homecoming Spectacular.

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