Students, professors will showcase dancing skills at Winter Ball

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Dixie State University students will get the chance to school their professors in ballroom dance at this year’s Winter Ball. 

Members of DSU’s Ballroom Team is working with faculty members to create Dancing With the Faculty Stars, which will be featured as the final event of the Ballroom Club’s annual Winter Ball.

John Wuehler, dance adjunct instructor and adviser of the Ballroom Club, said having two separate events would have been an elaborate undertaking, so the Winter Ball, and Dancing With the Faculty Stars, became one. It will be a competition and a place for ballroom students to show off what they’ve learned in class, he said. The event will be held Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Gardner Center Ballroom. 

“It’s all about ballroom dance and trying to bring that old, ballroom style feel back,” Wuehler said.

Faculty were invited to participate on a volunteer basis. Wuehler said eight or nine people originally expressed interest, and there is going to be at least six couples competing. Each faculty member is paired with a member of the Ballroom Team, and the judges will base their critiques on the faculty member, rather than the Ballroom Team member.

Scott Denison, the president of the Ballroom Club and a junior computer science major from West Valley, said organizing the event has been a challenge because working with everyone’s practicing schedules has been difficult. Each team has been practicing on their own. 

“My partner and I have been meeting every week, and things have been going well,” Denison said.

Wuehler said the participants are dancing the same routine, and there will be two rounds in the competition and this year’s participants range from moderately experienced to no experience at all. This will help provide variety to the show.

One faculty member has never danced, but she decided to participate in the competition because she wanted to try something she’s never done before, and she’s picking it up very quickly, Wuehler said.

Denison said being involved in the ball was exciting and rewarding.

“Ballroom has given me a great sense of accomplishment and challenge, as well as introduced me to a lot of great people and helped me establish great friendships,” Denison said. 

In addition to the Dancing With the Faculty Stars competition, Wuehler said The Ballroom Club reached out to the community and invited high school and elementary school students to compete and will also be performing a couple numbers for the show. 

Wuehler said a ballroom dance is really special to him because it’s not an individual endeavor. 

“When you’re dancing with a ballroom partner, when it works, it’s really fun because you’re working together as a team,” he said. “It’s about the enjoyment of dancing.”