UVU ballroom team wins Dancing with the Stars College Championship
May 25, 2010
For immediate Release
For an interview: Scott Asbell, (801) 368-2233
University Marketing & Communications: Chris Taylor, (801) 472-8588
Written by: Chris Taylor
For the second time in as many weeks, the UVU ballroom dance team took the floor on America’s most watched program Dancing with the Stars and once again raised the judges’ eyebrows en route to capturing the program’s first ever College Dance Championship. The competition aired live Tuesday night on the program’s season finale, during which Utah native Derek Hough and Pussycat Doll partner Nicole Scherzinger were also crowned season 10 champions.
In addition to his growingly decorated career as an accomplished dancer, Hough might also have a career in fortune telling.
“Before they even started, I knew it was going to be good just by the way the team was carrying itself. I’ve seen all of the teams dance, and I think they were by far the best all around, not just as a team, but individually. There weren’t any weak links, and I think that was a really strong team, and I think they’re definitely going to take it,” Hough said following UVU’s performance last Tuesday.
The UVU team used a samba routine this week to defeat Purdue University. “Our winners are Utah Valley!” stated judge Len Goodman after the two teams performed.
“It was pretty intense,” said UVU ballroom dancer Hope Jackson. “We felt a lot of pressure. We didn’t want to disappoint after last week because we knew that we nailed it. We had just a few days to put it all together (for the final round), but I think we came through and hit everything.”
“In the 20 years I have taught at UVU, this win on Dancing with the Stars brings me some of the greatest satisfaction because it’s representative of years of hard work from hundreds of dancers at our university,” said UVU ballroom program director Scott Asbell. “These dancers didn’t just represent themselves tonight; they represented an entire program that has been built over time, and they did it on a national stage and performed very, very well.”
The UVU team competed against Rutgers University Tuesday, May 18 in the preliminary round of the competition, earning a 29 score (out of 30) with a cha cha routine. As the team was returning to campus the following day, Asbell received a call from ABC informing him the team had advanced to the final round. Leading up to Tuesday’s performance, the team put in two-a-day rehearsals in preparation for the final round.
The team will return to Orem Wednesday afternoon, perform at a concert on campus that night, and then turn right around Friday and travel to England to compete in the world-renowned Blackpool Championship, a competition the team has already won four times.
The Utah Valley University ballroom team is directed by Scott Asbell. The team’s head choreographer is Tara Boyd. The dancers who competed on Dancing with the Stars included: Erica Armstrong, Leigh Asay, Nick Bloxsom-Carter, Hope Jackson, Trey Jackson, David Moon, Josh Murillo, McCall Tycksen, Trevor Vance, and Alayne Wadsworth. The UVU ballroom team is currently the No. 2 team in the nation based on National Dance Council of America rankings.
“I can’t tell you how proud we are of our ballroom team,” said UVU President Matthew S. Holland. “To perform in front of a live, nationwide television audience of 20 million plus, and to execute with such precision and artistry back to back, says so much about these dancers and this program. This was one of those once in a lifetime hands-on learning experiences and performances that we’ll never forget as an institution.”
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NOTE: Photo assets of the competition will be made available through ABC effective midnight mountain time at abcmedianet.com free of charge. ABC does not allow third party distribution.