BYU dancers spin their way into Craig |

BYU dancers spin their way into Craig

Michelle Balleck

Thirty-six Utah dancers brought a little piece of the big city to Craig Saturday night.

The Brigham Young Univ–ersity Ballroom Dance Com–pany dazzled with sequined costumes and dramatic dance routines at Moffat County High School.

“The talent you see in this show, you won’t be able to have that talent come to Craig very often,” said Neal Fenton. “It’s in New York or Chicago.”

Fenton and his wife, Coleen, are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which was instrumental in booking the troupe. Craig was the group’s last stop on its fall tour through Wyoming and Colorado.

“They just barely slid us in,” Coleen said. “They were going to go home.”

Heidi Bohne of the Mormon church saw the company perform a year ago in Nauvoo, Ill., and knew she wanted them to come to Craig. So she made a call to get the dancers here.

“You can count on it as being quality, wholesome entertainment,” Bohne said.

Saturday night’s performance was the first one in Craig for more than a decade, Bohne said. About 200 people attended the show, which included comic skits, energetic dances to songs such as “Footloose” and plot lines that followed the action of movies such as “Pirates of the Caribbean.”

The show here is one of about 35 performances the group does each academic year, said artistic director Lee Wakefield.

The company tours the Wes–tern United States in the fall and then goes overseas in the spring. This year, the dancers will perform throughout Ukraine for three weeks.

And after being on the road, it seems the dancers are ready for some rest.

“It’s definitely nice to get back to school and calm down,” said three-year company member Emron Grover.

But the extracurricular keeps them busy all the time. With eight hours of practice a week, plus three to six hours of technical work and additional rehearsals as needed, the students stay busy.

“It’s exhausting, but it’s well worth it,” said dancer Shantelle Ericson of Sandy, Utah. “And they give us plenty of time to keep healthy and eat well.”

Plus, Wakefield said, the dancers must maintain a particular grade point average to remain in the company.

“Typically, your better dancers are your better students anyway, because they are so focused,” Wakefield said.

Grover is the only Colorado dancer on the troupe and was excited to have an opportunity to dance for his friends and family in Colorado Springs earlier on the tour.

“Then I got to stay with my family for a day,” Grover said.

In other cities, dancers stay with host families. The Fentons opened their home to four dancers Saturday. Coleen used to be a touring singer and often stayed with host families.

“It’s kind of fun because now, I get to see the other side of it,” she said.

Plus, just having the show come to her town was a blessing, she said. It seemed the audience enjoyed the show, as well, as the crowd laughed at the glow-in-the-dark number and gazed with awe at the romantic exchanges. The dance company received a standing ovation at the finale. Coleen was impressed.

“It’s better quality than a lot of things we get in Craig.”

Michelle Perry can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 209, or

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