Ballroom Dance Company

Enchanting Ending in Southern Africa

The BYU Ballroom Dance Company visits Mosi-oa-Tunya (“The Smoke That Thunders,” also known as Victoria Falls) in Zimbabwe.

For the BYU Ballroom Dance Company, Monday, May 13, began with majestic Victoria Falls and Mosi-oa-Tunya National Park. They enjoyed a serene river cruise and the tranquil beauty of the Zambezi River. The awe-inspiring views helped the dancers rejuvenate their spirits for the adventures ahead. 

The following day, the company ran into delays getting their equipment out of customs. This made for a quick change in the itinerary as they began their long journey to Harare, Zimbabwe. In Harare, the dancers took to the stage at the 7 Arts Theatre and delivered to a full house a performance that showcased the beauty and art of ballroom dance. 

The BYU Ballroom Dance Company poses for a picture with women and girls from the Boane Women’s Center after an outreach in Mozambique.

The company continued their journey with another long travel day as they flew to Maputo, Mozambique. Their first morning in Maputo was a day of service at the Boane Women’s Center, which is sponsored by the No Poor Among Us project. The organization began as a project to help the people of Mozambique learn self-sufficiency through growing food and has now expanded to promote education and job training for girls and women in the region. 

The Ballroom Dance Company also had meaningful experiences in a Maputo suburb at the Zimpeto Children’s Centre. The BYU students toured the facility, donated school supplies and hygiene products, performed for the staff and residents, and embodied the spirit of compassion and unity that lives in and around Maputo. BYU Ballroom Dancer Jaxon Phillips says, “I felt an overwhelming amount of love at the children’s center in Mozambique. The pure joy radiated by the kids was astounding. It was inspiring to see the difference the leaders of the center made in the children’s lives, showing me that God truly looks after His children.” 

BYU Ballroom Dancers (clockwise from left) Jack Leonard, Kendall Christensen, and Ashton Cole visit with audience members after a performance in Harare, Zimbabwe.

The Ballroom Dance Company made history by being the first BYU performing ensemble to visit the country of Mozambique. The dancers graced the stage at the Centro Cultural da Universidade Eduardo Mondlane and enchanted the audience with their infectious energy. The dancers showcased two captivating performances that celebrated the universal language of dance and embraced the diversity of Mozambique’s rich heritage. 

As the week drew to a close, the company attended church in Africa for one last time and connected through shared faith with the local congregation. A devotional followed later in the day for Church members in and around Maputo before the Ballroom Dance Company began the long journey back home. 

BYU Ballroom Dancers (from left) Jacob Benson, Wyatt Jennings, Serena Keck, and Ashton Cole practice English with native Portuguese speakers learning English through classes at the Boane Women’s Center in Mozambique.

The final week of tour in southern Africa was a testament to the power of dance, service, and love as the BYU Ballroom Dance Company strove to fulfill their desire to learn, to share, and to serve all of God’s children. Shaped in many ways during their time in Africa, company members will carry with them memories that will last a lifetime and an even deeper commitment to continue sharing their passion for dance with the world. 

In Mozambique, members of the Ballroom Dance Company play with children at the Zimpeto Children’s Centre.

BYU Ballroom Dancer Katey Stolle (left) talks with children at the Zimpeto Children’s Centre after an outreach in Mozambique.