Brigham Young University
Member Since 1985
It all began in the fall of 1960 with Ben Dehoyos and a team of four couples. Today, almost 30 years later, Lee & Linda Wakefield direct six teams and 80 couples. Despite many challenges and obstacles that have arisen over the years, the thrilling art of ballroom dancing is alive and thriving as never before at Brigham Young University. From it's meager beginnings, social dance, as a partial class offering with folk and square dance, has at last emerged as a matriculated major course of study. The team has toured world wide, and all who have participated have reaped the blessings of the unique ambassadorship only ballroom dancing can offer. Where did this all begin?
In September 1953, Alma Heaton joined BYU faculty, and taught the first social dance class. The fall of 1967, Roy & June Mavor were appointed to be directors of Ballroom Dance Teams. Roy introduced the Medalist System and firmly established International Style into the curriculum. In May of 1971, Roy Mavor took the first BYU team to compete in the British Ballroom Dancing Championships, held in Blackpool, England. This team became the first American team ever to win the British formation championship. In 1973, after Roy and June Mavor left BYU to establish their own business, Emerson & LeGene Lyman were appointed directors of the Ballroom Dance Teams. Emerson expanded the programs to include International Style, Latin dances, International Balls and enlarged the Medalist Program. January 1977, a new social dance team, specializing in American Style, was formed on campus and coached by Lee Wakefield. In 1980, Lee became the artistic director of the Ballroom Dance Company.
For 18 years, Lee and Linda have directed the Ballroom Dance Program at Brigham Young University. Under their jurisdiction the program has grown quickly and has become the largest Ballroom Dance Program in a university in the world. In 1994, Curt & Sharon Holman joined the faculty at the University and now work with Lee and Linda in building and improving the program.
For the last 17 years, the Brigham Young University Ballroom and Latin formation teams have won the US title and numerous times have won the British formation title. The formation team members are also part of a Ballroom Performing Company that tours nationally and internationally, presenting a 90-minute production of ballroom dancing. The company is sought after around the world and is known for the high quality and professional production.
In 1993, BYU was selected to host the World Amateur Standard Championships, and is currently, along with American Ballroom Company, the host of the United States Professional Standard Ballroom Championships.