Utah Valley University offers a BS Degree in Dance with a Ballroom Dance emphasis.
Students in the B.S. in Dance with a Ballroom Dance Emphasis will:
Paul Winkelman, Assistant Professor of Dance in the School of the Arts and the Program Coordinator and Artistic Director of the UVU Ballroom Dance Company. He graduated from Brigham Young University with a B.S. in Education and a minor in dance and a Master’s degree in Theatre and Film. He trained with National Champions such as Lee & Linda Wakefield, Ron Montez, Liz Curtiz, Roy Mavor, Vernon Brock, Brian & Susan Puttock, and Shirley Ballis. He is a five-time member of the United States Formation Championship Ballroom Team, a two-time United States National American Style Ballroom Dance Champion and United States Theatre Arts Champion. He danced with the BYU Ballroom Dance Company, winning two-time Blackpool Formation Championships. He has performed throughout the United States and competed in 15 countries, including England, Germany, Austria, Hungary, China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, and Thailand.
Paul has many distinguished accomplishments, including Assistant Choreographer for the Emmy Award winning 2002 Salt Lake City Opening and Closing Olympic Ceremonies and the 2004 Athens Greece Opening and Closing Olympic Ceremonies; Assistant Choreographer for a Major League All Star Baseball Preshow; Segment Choreographer for Stadium of Fire in Provo, Utah; Assistant Choreographer for High School Musical 3 the Movie; Field Director for the 2009 Super Bowl XLIII Preshow and Halftime with Faith Hill, Jennifer Hudson, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band; Producer/Director of the Power In You program for Utah’s First Lady, Mary Kay Huntsman; Field Coordinator for the dedication of the Real Stadium/David Archuleta Concert; Consultant Segment Choreographer on the Elvis Cirque production in Las Vegas; and Choreographer for the Utah professional premiere of the Broadway Musical 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. He has also been a producer, director, and choreographer for numerous musical and dinner theatres.
He has been a director/choreographer for the United States National Pre-teen, Junior and Youth Ballroom Formation Teams and choreographed for a dance team that represented the United States at the British Formation Championships, placing first at the event. He does choreography for numerous schools and private studios throughout the United States. He has volunteered his time as the producer/director and choreographer for Celebrating Children and Youth: U.S. & China in a special production in three venues in China in 2011 and directed the UVU Ballroom Dance Company in 2013 when they represented the United States at the China Ninth International Folk Art Festival in Yichang and Beijing, China. In 2014, he again directed the UVU Ballroom Dance Team’s tour to China to represent the United States at a dance festival in Beijing.
Paul was named the Utah Dance Educator of the Year in 2001, Southwest United States Dance Educator of the Year in 2001, and runner up to the United States Dance Educator of the Year in 2001. He received Utah’s Best In State for Education Administration and was the recipient of the 2014 Star Award for his contribution to the Arts in Utah in the category of Dance. He has served on the Executive Board of AAU Dance, as well as a judge for AAU events.
Chris Witt, Assistant Professor of Dance in the School of the Arts, studied ballroom dance at Brigham Young University where he received his MA in Dance. He trained with National Champions such as Lee and Linda Wakefield, Victor Veyrasset and Heather Smith, and World Champions Marcus and Karen Hilton.
At Brigham Young University, he competed and performed with the Ballroom Dance Company both nationally and internationally. Chris is a member of the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing. Prior to joining the faculty at UVU, Chris directed the ballroom dance program at the Claremont Colleges in Southern California, directing their formation team to three undefeated collegiate national titles.
Chris teaches and choreographs at UVU, as well as other local schools and studios. He especially enjoys working with young people in grades K-12. He often judges at ballroom dance competitions across Utah. In 2010, Chris led the UVU Ballroom Dance Backup Tour Team to its first National Collegiate title.
Adjunct Professor Tara Boyd began dancing at the age of 3 in creative dance movement and quickly added all other forms of dancing. By high school, she was a member of her local Dance Company, Drill Team, BYU Youth A Ballroom Team, and a competitor on a national level with her ballroom partner. Together, they won Youth Latin, Standard, and 10-Dance awards around the nation.
At the age of 16, after winning the Youth Standard National Title and placing 3rd in Youth Latin, they became the U.S. National representatives at the World Ballroom Championships for Youth Standard in Slovenia, and shortly after competed in the prestigious Blackpool competition on the coast of England. She continued her dance career by going to BYU as a member/choreographer of the 8-time NCAA National Champion Cougarettes. Later, as a member of the National Champion BYU Ballroom Dance Tour Team, she performed in China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Mongolia, Eastern Russia, and South Africa.
Tara graduated from BYU earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Ballroom Dance. She then moved to the New York area to enjoy a professional career as a competitor and finalist in Pro Rising-Star Latin and to teach at Battista Dance Studio in Hackensack, NJ. Upon returning to Utah she met her husband Brian Boyd and began instructing at UVU. There she taught many classes including Jazz 1, Hip Hop 1, Latin and Standard Ballroom and American Style Technique classes. Tara is the director of the Advanced Back-up Ballroom Team.
Tara choreographs performance pieces for the UVU Tour Team. She choreographed and helped train the team for their winning performance on ABC’s Dancing With the Stars, earning them the Dancing With The Stars Collegiate Championship Title and the prestigious Mirror Ball Trophy. She also has choreographed and coached their Latin Medley when they competed in Blackpool, England. Tara does choreography for many of the local high schools, studios, beauty pageants, and So You Think You Can Dance competitors.
Tara judges at many of the local Ballroom Dance Competitions and has earned her Licentiate Degree in both International Latin and Standard with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance based in London, England.
Adjunct Professor Ashleigh Di Lello is best known for being a finalist on FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance. Shortly after, Ashleigh and her husband/professional partner became the star couple of the Broadway Show, Burn the Floor on the West End in London. Later they were the show’s headliners for the U.S. Broadway tour. She is also known for her guest performances on ABC's Dancing with the Stars, The Ellen Degeneres Show, and FOX’s BONES.
As a Dancesport competitor, Ashleigh has trained extensively with top coaches from all over the world and has won many titles including being a three-time Amateur Latin Champion and a United States Amateur Latin Finalist. These titles were achieved while studying political science and history at Brigham Young University, from which she graduated with her bachelor’s degree cum laude.
In addition to her awards and titles, Ashleigh has choreographed extensively for the past ten years. Her work has been used by FOX's Bones and So You Think You Can Dance, ABC's Dancing with the Stars, and the hit movie What to Expect When You're Expecting, She has also worked with competitive dance teams, professional dance/theater companies, and Royal Caribbean International. Ashleigh has taught and performed ballroom dancing in over 40 countries.
Adjunct Professor Ryan Di Lello is a Season 6 finalist and Season 9 All-Star from the hit FOX television show, So You Think You Can Dance. He and his wife Ashleigh are known for being the first and only married couple to both be voted all the way to the finale. They soon after became the star couple of the Broadway show Burn the Floor. Ryan is known for his guest appearances on many popular programs including ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, Drop Dead Diva, The Ellen Degeneres Show and Bones.
He choreographed and appeared in the Hollywood movie, What To Expect When You're Expecting with Cameron Diaz and is a Season 3 champion of the Spanish TV version of Dancing with the Stars. As a DanceSport competitor, Ryan has been trained by the top Latin and ballroom coaches in the world and has won local, national, and international titles including the World Latin Formation Championships as a member of the Brigham Young University Ballroom Dance Tour Team. At BYU, Ryan studied business and public relations and graduated with his bachelor's degree in 2007.
Ryan also has extensive experience as a choreographer. His work has been used by Hollywood films, ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance, EstrellaTV's Mi Sueno Es Bailar, Royal Caribbean International, competitive dance teams and professional theater companies. His work has taken him to over 40 countries around the world.
Adjunct Professor Kristen Hawkins started taking Ballroom dance lessons to avoid high school PE classes, and she was hooked. She went on to be a member the Ricks College Ballroom Dance Touring Team, and a featured dancer on the BYU Ballroom Dance Touring Team. Kristen was on the Latin Team that won first place at the British Formation National Championships in Blackpool, England, and placed in the World National Latin Championships in Belgium. She enjoyed traveling through Europe and Asia while on the team, but came back to Utah to get married and raise a family.
Kristen has four advanced certifications in Ballroom and Latin from the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing. She has been a two-time Senior I USA Dance National Latin Championships Finalist and a 2nd place USA Dance National Ten-Dance Finalist. She was also a recipient of the UVU Faculty Senate Excellence Award for Adjunct Faculty for 2012.
Kristen has been working at UVU since 1996, teaching ballroom classes in Latin, American, and Ballroom styling at the Bronze, Silver, and Gold levels. She also enjoyed teaching the Social Dance Teaching Methods class for several years. Kristen started and was the Director of an Elementary and Junior High Ballroom program at a Renaissance Academy from 2006-2014. She has judged and scrutineered at Ballroom competitions in the area. Her ballroom team from the charter school has auditioned and subsequently performed at Disneyland three times.
Adjunct Professor Shayla Kennington participated on many of BYU’s dance teams, including two years with the world-renowned Ballroom Tour Team. During those two years, she was able to participate in three National Formation Championships, as well as tour around the United States, Hong Kong, and China.
Since graduating, Shayla has continued her education and received her Licentiate certification with the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance in both the Latin American and Ballroom styles. She has also been the ballroom director at Timpanogos High School for the last five years, where her team has won five national titles. She has worked as an adjunct faculty member at Utah Valley University for the last two years.
Adjunct Professor Lori Hicks is a long-time ballroom instructor and coach. She recently joined the Ballroom Dance Faculty at UVU. She has 20 plus years of experience in the ballroom field, including owning and operating Regency Ballroom Studio in Lomita, California and The Golden State Challenge Dance Championships in Costa Mesa, California.
Lori is a former US Professional Latin Finalist, US Professional Rising Star Latin Champion, and US Amateur Latin Champion. She started dancing as a youth in ballet and Jazz styles, and won the title of Miss Pacific Northwest in individual competition. While at Brigham Young University she danced two years as a Cougarette, and then was introduced to Ballroom dancing… and she was hooked!
Lori toured with the BYU Ballroom Dance Company for three years, traveling to the South Pacific, the Eastern United States, and Blackpool, England. She graduated from BYU with a degree in Professional Dance and then moved to Los Angeles to pursue her professional dance career. She represented the United States at the World Amateur Championships in Oslo, Norway; Santiago, Chile; and Moscow, Russia.
As a professional competitor, she trained extensively in England with Collin James, Jason Gilkison, Peta Roby, Mic Styllianos, and Lorna Lee. She has competed professionally all over the United States and throughout the world with great success. She has done demonstrations and workshop seminars in the United States, Australia, and England.
Her philosophy is that dance should be expressive and make the audience feel something. She also believes that ballroom dancing is for anyone!
Adjunct Professor, Todd has been an adjunct member of the Ballroom faculty since 2000. Prior to being at UVU he taught ballroom classes at BYU for 5 years. He graduated with a Bachelors degree in Statistical Sciences from BYU and currently works full-time as the Manager of Global Marketing Research at Nu Skin Enterprises in Provo, Utah.While getting his degree, he was a member of the Utah Valley State College Ballroom Company and also the BYU Ballroom Dance Company where he was a member of the 1998 Blackpool Championship formation team and 4-time US Formation Championships.
He had trained with National Champions such as Lee and Linda Wakefield, Victor Veyrasset and Heather Smith. Todd has also been a team director at the High School and College level Directing the team at Timpanogos High School and also backup teams at UVU and BYU. He has choreographed ballroom medleys and other routines for several high schools and studios. He and his wife Alison competed in both Amateur Ballroom and Latin divisions with a particular enjoyment for the Ballroom style.
He is a member of the Imperial Society of Teacher of Dancing. Todd has remained active in the world of Dancesport, primarily as a scrutineer at local competitions. He has also served as competition organizer, music director, emcee and judge at many events both locally and across the US and Mexico and at all levels from Elementary school events to the US Dancesport Championships.
Adjunct Professor Chris Williams began ballroom dancing in high school in California. Upon graduating high school, he began his studies at BYU. He participated in the classes and teams there until he was placed on the BYU Ballroom Dance Tour Team in 1991. During his years on the tour team, he traveled to Europe and Asia, representing the United States as a member of the Latin Formation Team. He was a member of the U.S. National Latin Formation Championship team three times and the British Open Latin Formation Championships once. Individually, he is a two-time United States Amateur Latin finalist and United States Amateur Smooth runner up.
He has studied with amazing coaches and teachers such as Corky and Shirley Ballas, Louis Van Amstel, Victor Verraset, Heather Smith, Darius Michalski, JT Thomas, Jonathan Roberts, Marzena Stachura, Tomas & Isabela Lewandawski, Nadia Eftedal, Ron Montez, Tony Meredith, Melanie LaPatin, Debbie Avalos, and Brian & Susan Puttock, to name a few.
He is a member of the USISTD: Associate in Latin, Licentiate in Ballroom. He has choreographed many award-winning competition medleys, including "Black Pearl Standard Medley" for UVU that won the coveted British Open Standard Formation Championships. His passion is in American style and developing great, technically sound students.