Every Monday and Tuesday night here on ABC4 we all gather to watch ABC's Dancing With The Stars, there is no question ballroom's popularity is growing, today we had the new Director of UVU's Ballroom Dance Company Paul Winkelman and he tells us, "What makes the buzz so vibrant right now, especially in Utah, Utah is a dance mecca of the United States. Its a great thing that a guy and girl can do together. because of that, it just has gone crazy, people getting involved and we have great performing high school groups and of course the Utah Valley University Ballroom Dance Company is incredible."
Competing on Dancing With The Stars was an amazing experience for this company, let alone bringing home the mirror ball trophy, says dancer Nick, "It was a crazy time. ABC wanted us on the show and we were getting ready to go to England for the International Championship. We were getting ready for that, England and Dancing With The Stars. We as dancers pulled together and made it work."
Gretchen also wanted to know, from girl to girl, what their thoughts were about the costumes they get to wear, and was told, "I love the costumes. it's lot of fun. it's, yay, I get to put on a new dress and it's so pretty and sparkly."
Ballroom dancing is considered a sport here and as Paul explains, he runs them like a team, "130 members and you break them up into different teams. There is the tour team, backup tour team, then two backup teams that are preparatory teams that hopefully those students will continue dancing and eventually get on to the tour team. It's a building program in which people can come in and then they move up. then, of course, with a lot of the high schools, students are coming to UVU also to be part of the program and they are auditioning for the teams and for scholarships to be involved in the community and share."
And just like all sports, ballroom dancing is becoming extremely competitive and so Paul is always looking for the strongest dancers, he says, "With the preparatory work going into dancers at a young age, it's making it always more competitive for anybody that's coming into the University setting because we are always looking for the top dancers to represent the University and to grow and develop their skill."
We were then treated to a performance from the UVU Ballroom Dance Company.