Encore Spring 2020

Ballroom Dance Company

Hope in Disappointment

BYU ballroom dancers Misha Duncan and Landon Anderson perform in the Marriott Center during the company's annual concert at BYU.

At the end of 2019, the BYU Ballroom Dance Company met excited audiences as they toured Wyoming, South Dakota, and Montana. The three-state tour included five performances and time to sightsee at Mount Rushmore. 

The company started 2020 by performing with seven-year-old YouTube sensation Claire Crosby in her newest music video. In the video, the Ballroom Dance Company waltzes seamlessly through the Utah State Capitol rotunda as Crosby sings “Once Upon a December.” 

Claire Crosby sings for a music video in the Utah State Capitol rotunda as the BYU Ballroom Dance Company waltzes nearby.

January also brought a performance in Roosevelt, Utah, for the city’s Parks and Recreation winter activity program. 

In February the company performed for three sold-out crowds at their Winterfest concert in the Conference Center Theater in Salt Lake City. The audiences seemed just as excited to watch the Ballroom Dance Company as the company was to perform the newest routine in their repertoire, a jive. After their performance, the company had a special visit with President Dallin H. Oaks of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

In addition, the Ballroom Dance Company worked hard to prepare for the United States National Amateur Dancesport Championship, for BYU Ballroom’s 60th anniversary concert and alumni reunion, and for their spring tour to South Africa and Botswana; however, partway through the Dancesport Championship in March, dramatic cancellations due to COVID-19 were announced. 

“When I woke up Thursday morning I had no idea that I would be performing for the last time in my college career,” says Ballroom Dance Company member and graduating senior Autumn Hawkes. “So abruptly and prematurely my time dancing ballroom at BYU was coming to a close.” 

Company members love to dance and love the light they share when they dance. Hawkes reflects on the song for her final dance, “I Bet You Don’t Curse God,” that has brought comfort through these disappointments. “I stand by the personal testimony I expressed through this final dance,” says Hawkes, quoting the lyrics: “‘There’s pain. Life hurts. There’s a thousand things you think you don’t deserve. When all hope is lost, when you spend it all and you just can’t beat the odds, I bet you don’t curse God.’” 

The company has postponed current performances and looks forward to going on tour to South Africa and Botswana in spring 2021.