Specializing in Latin and other international types of dance, the 45-member Brigham Young University (BYU) Ballroom Dance Company will provide a variety of entertainment and performances at the Beasley Coliseum Saturday at 7:30 p.m.
Cindy Barnhart, executive director of the Festival Dance and Performing Arts Association, said the association has been trying to find a touring dance company to perform in the Palouse.
“We have been looking into bringing in a ballroom dance company for a while because we know that people in this area would really love that and it's gotten so hot and so popular,” Barnhart said. “The Brigham Young Ballroom Dance Company kept popping up as one of the best companies in the country.”
Barnhart also said in order to do the performance justice, the perfect venue had to be chosen. Beasley was selected to have room for technical equipment and costumes as well as the set in order to display all of the dancers.
“They're world class — they're high quality, they would be perfect for our season, so we settled on them after looking at all of the awards that they have won,"Barnhart said."They're the 25-year reigning dance team national champions.”
This is the first time the dance company will be in the Palouse area. The BYU Ballroom Dance Company has toured across the nation doing more than just performances. Rex Barrington, assistant director of performing arts management at BYU, said the group also participates in competitions in the U.S as well as in Great Britain.
“The group is the current United States national formation dance champion,” Barrington said. “We compete for the British formation dance championships. We've almost always won first place in the two competitions over there.”
Barrington has worked with the dance company for 32 years. Before that, he worked in the company's office as an accountant while attending BYU. As assistant director, he oversees the management arrangements of the company including housing, travel and meals.
Barnhart said there is something for everyone at the show. Because ballroom dance has become popular on T.V., more people are demanding to see it. Festival Dance and Performing Arts took this opportunity to give people what they want, she said.
“I've been amazed how many times I've heard some wife has dragged her husband to the performance because she wanted to go...but it's the husband afterward who's talking to me or one of the other leaders of the group saying'this was fantastic! I loved it!',” Barrington said. “If we get people to see this group once, we never have a problem getting them to come back again.”
The company has had opportunities to travel to exotic places such as Thailand and Vietnam for performances. During the school year, they do shows about two or three times a month in states like California, Wyoming and within their home state of Utah. However, once summer break begins, they go on longer tours farther away from home.
Barnhart stressed that this event is a one-of-a-kind opportunity.
“(This event) is not going to happen again for a long time,” she said.