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Sandy Journal

Jordan High’s new ballroom company gives students chance to perfect their passion

Mar 07, 2018 05:00PM ● By Julie Slama

Jordan High School recently offered a new ballroom company so students can perform and compete. (Julie Slama/City Journals)

After interest surged recently at Jordan High School, a new ballroom company was formed this year.

“The ballroom company gives our students more incentive, a big goal, rather than just learn their dances,” ballroom company coach Adrienne Dunkley said. “They jumped right in their year to work together to get their dances clean for performances as well as to compete.”

The 18-member team, which is made up of mostly juniors and seniors who have already taken ballroom and social dance classes, has performed at basketball halftimes and assemblies in preparation for their upcoming performance and competition tour.

On Saturday, Feb. 24, nine pairs were slated to compete at Westlake High School’s ballroom competition. They were preparing to dance the cha-cha, fox trot and waltz, choreographed by assistant coach Ryley Connelley.

While nearby Alta and Bingham high schools have ballroom teams, Dunkley said “there’s a lot of Utah County schools that have ballroom, so we’re dancing some of our stronger and more familiar dances.”

To prepare for the competition and to perfect their dance steps, Jordan’s ballroom company took workshops late January at The Edge Performing Arts Center as well as at Disneyland in California.

“I want the team to learn how to be expressive with their faces and body language as well as learn new steps,” she said before the trip. “I want them to do their best when they perform so when they walk off the floor, they feel good.”

Dancing as a team isn’t just perfecting the steps, but it also means bonding with partners and the team as a whole, Dunkley said.

“We have five ballroom officers who plan an activity each month, whether it’s a hike or going to dinner. We participated on UVU day where we could take dance classes and see their company perform. It’s important that they have fun together outside of class so they know they can count on one another,” she said.

The competition, as well as their performance on Monday, March 5 at Elk Ridge Middle School’s annual dance concert, will allow the team to see what others are doing in the ballroom dance world, Dunkley said.

Their final performance will be at their own dance concert, Wednesday, May 23 and Thursday, May 24 at Jordan High School, 95 E. Beetdigger Blvd. (9880 South).

Auditions for next year’s team will be held in May. Dunkley said they will evaluate students’ grades, citizenship, teacher recommendation as well as their audition.