BYU-Idaho weekly dance workshops and on-campus social dance classes give students opportunities to socialize and have fun.
These workshops include the dance styles of ballroom, swing, country and Latin.
Troy Norton, a senior studying history, is the ballroom dance workshop manager.
He said he got interested in dance after he transitioned from choir in junior high school to show choir in high school, which incorporated singing and dancing.
Norton said he enjoys ballroom dancing because he feels accomplished when doing it.
He said students will gain social confidence from learning ballroom because male dancers practice asking girls to dance.
“There is no better feeling than when your muscles start to develop muscle memory, so you’re able to grab a girl and go to the dance floor and talk while you’re doing some fun moves,” Norton said.
He said the workshop teaches basic-level ballroom dance styles and includes high bronze and silver level difficulty techniques for intermediate dancers.
Norton said the ballroom workshop demonstrates forms of tango and swing, such as the Lindy Hop.
Rehtaeh Beckwith, a freshman studying political science, said she attends the swing workshop.
Beckwith said her favorite dance style the swing workshop instructs is the blues.
“You’re really close, but that also gives you a lot of fluidity, so just do whatever feels right,” she said. “Also, it’s one of the main dances where girls ‘back lead,’ so that’s where the girls actually lead the dance.”
She said she likes dancing because it shows emotion and alleviates stress.
Since she was 7 years old, she has learned the styles of ballet, jazz, clogging, tap dance, hip-hop and some Irish dancing.
She said even though she has a collection of dance style knowledge, she had never danced with partners until she attended the social dances in a past semester.
Beckwith said she also attended the class Social Dance 180 during spring semester, where she has learned the ballroom styles of foxtrot, cha-cha, waltz and swing.
Beckwith said going to the swing dance workshops helps students to meet new people and going to the social dances helps students find dates.
“Just come and have fun,” said Andrew Smith, a freshman studying child development. “For people who aren’t necessarily into dancing, it helps you break out of your comfort zone. Ballroom dancing is very intimate.”
Smith said he was inspired to dance ballroom when he saw the 2006 film “Take The Lead,” but never had the chance to act on that desire.
He said he started ballroom dancing after a friend of his offered him private lessons.
Smith said he later applied for the BYU-I ballroom dance team Blazen Ballroom.
Smith said one of the challenges of learning ballroom was being the male lead directing both dancers. He said he also had trouble with posture.
He said his favorite ballroom style of dance is the Argentine tango because of the flow and the emotions that go into the form of the dance.
He said he will continue to be a member of Blazen Ballroom with his minor in dance.
“You are essentially telling a story,” Smith said. “The routine you do will be telling a story of love, of hate, of passion and intimacy. You are just able to show so much when you dance.”