The Ballroom Dance Company at the University of Idaho might not have the star power of “Dancing with the Stars” but the same moves will take center stage Saturday night.
Andrea Zundel Johnson, director of the company, grew up ballroom dancing and competing in college. She also later directed an award-winning dance company at Southern Utah University in Cedar City, and another at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.
“With the club, we’re trying to transition it from social dancing to
a performance club, ” Zundel Johnson said about ballroom dance at UI where she also teaches in the Department of Movement Sciences.
Twenty dancers will perform a variety of ballroom styles Saturday, from classics, like the waltz and foxtrot, to Latin American influences in the cha-cha and Zumba. Audio clips between dances will delve into dance history.
Having a group performance allows the group to do more with their dances, Zundel Johnson said. “We do some really creative lifts and jumps and some ‘wow’ moves that you just can’t get as a soloist.”
One challenge for the company is finding a venue with enough space for all their dancers, she said. Another is that the performers are college students from all different majors.
“Time is hard for a college student’s schedule, but it’s a way to escape from academics and get some energy from performing,” Zundel Johnson said. “They really have risen to the challenge. It’s not a club; it’s like a professional competing team.”
Zundel Johnson said shows like “Dancing with the Stars” have made ballroom dancing more popular. The performance has a mix of traditional and pop styles so there is something for everyone of all ages, she added.
“The community doesn’t really have something like this,” Zundel Johnson said.
If You Go
WHAT: “An Evening of Dance” presented by the University of Idaho Ballroom Dance Company
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11; doors open at 7 p.m.
WHERE: Pullman High School auditorium
COST: $10 general admission, $8 students, free children age 3 and younger, at the door or by calling (435) 238-6157 or emailing email@example.com