Nationally ranked ballroom dancer preps for UVU show

UVU Ballroom Dance Company in Concert will bring a number of their award-winning dance numbers to the Ragan Theatre stage, celebrating the hard work and sparkly glamour of the ballroom dance students.

Collin Williams, a member of the Ballroom touring company and nationally ranked in American Smooth style dancing, talked to us about the concert, and his history with ballroom dance.

“It’s definitely been a big part of my life,” Williams said. “It was something that seemed fun at the time, and then became more and more fun as I stuck with it.”

He’s been dancing for seventeen years, starting at age eight after encouragement from his parents, who both danced at BYU. He has perfected waltz, tango, foxtrot, and viennese waltz, the “American Smooth” variation giving him a bit more expression than traditional ballroom. Williams even tried out for a televised youth ballroom competition, which he said was a different atmosphere than regular competitions.

“It’s more showy, and a little less about technique,” Williams explained. “But a lot of TV ballroom is similar - they have to know the same steps.”

The biggest in-person competition is in Blackpool, England, at the Winter Gardens ballroom. Teams from all over the world go every three years with a new medley that showcases the five dances in each style - ballroom and Latin. This year, UVU placed second and third in competitions.

“It’s something ballroom dancers grow up hearing about, and wanting to go to the huge, beautiful three-story ballroom to dance with their teams,” Williams said.

The dances that were entered into the Blackpool competition will be a part of the concert in the Ragan Theatre. Till then, students will be working on tech and lighting cues with the stage crew every night from 5-10 pm until opening night. Prepping for the UVU concert also means Williams has to hit the spray-tanning salon.

“It’s not only the visual aesthetic with the dancing, but we have to look the part,” Williams said, laughing. “One week I’m fine, the next week I’m orange. I get a lot of Oompa-Loompa jokes.”

 

UVU Ballroom Dance in Concert

Ragan Theatre

November 16 7:30p - November 17 2:30p and 7:30p

Tickets here