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BYUH Ballroom Dance Club members say they are eager to take part in club activities despite challenging times

Graphic of a silhouette man wearing a black tux and red bowtie dancing with a woman wearing a long flowing red dress with the words "Dancing stress away."

The BYU–Hawaii Ballroom Club presidency and members said they are doing their best to unite their club virtually. They said they are continuing to motivate and serve each other during unprecedented times and called on students to join and participate.

Club President Abby Boswell, a junior from Canada majoring in physics and math education, said, “Students are still striving to be a part of the university and its mission statement in learning secular things like dancing, but also sharing scriptures and testimonies.

“They are eager to be part of something even when times are challenging and are not normal,” she added.

Dancing virtually

Boswell said the club has some exciting activities planned, including events with guests outside of BYUH, she said, which will be announced on the club’s social media pages.

She explained the club stays active through weekly Zoom meetings where they host dance classes and tutorials and make music videos. They also share insights and scriptures to motivate and build the members’ testimonies, she said.

“As of right now, as a club, we have dance classes and tutorials and are making a dance music video together, which will premier in the next few weeks,” she added.

“I love to dance,” Gorham said. “I’m not good at it, but it’s something I’m passionate about. During this pandemic, I’ve grown to appreciate the times I can do stuff that I’m passionate about.”

Gorham continued, “We record ourselves dancing and then send it to our president, who edits them and puts them all together. It creates [togetherness] within the group.

“These activities helped us feel welcomed, united, uplifted and strengthened,” he stressed.

Mission and purpose

Makaiah Gorham, a freshman from Canada majoring in business marketing, stated, “From what I understand about the mission of BYUH, this club is in total correlation. It unites nationalities of all sorts. It helps us come out of our comfort zones and do something better, and it prepares us for when we’re married and need to know how to dance.”

Boswell explained, “The motto, ‘Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve’ applies to your experience here on campus. Joining or being part of chapters like this one allows you to do just that.”

Speaking about the club’s leadership, Gorham said, “This club is amazing. I’m not part of the presidency myself, but our presidency is awesome. I have never felt so welcomed at being so awkward at dancing.”

Boswell said, “This is a dance chapter students can join to learn dances like jiving, cha-cha, waltz and more. It is designed so students from any dance background, from no dance experience to very experienced, can join and have fun.

“However, it is more than a club. It’s a community students can join and be part of and learn from each other. It is where we strive to be like the Savior and serve those we meet, love those around us and offer a hand of help when needed,” added Boswell.

Club member Gina Antonella Escalante Delgato, a freshman from Peru majoring in psychology, said, “I love how welcoming everyone is, and to me, that is related to the purpose of BYUH.

“In our diversity, we find unity through dance. I would say we can contemplate the majesty of the creation of God through diversity,” Delgato expressed.

Motivated to participate 

Boswell said she understands the complexity of the current unprecedented times and added, “I think in some way everyone feels the struggle of being disconnected in many obvious ways. This chapter is a good vehicle to keep us all socially connected.

“For me, being part of this club means being a part of a community within BYUH, which means it’s an opportunity to serve those I meet through this path and meet new people and create new connections.”

Delgato added, “I promise, participating in these dance tutorials and activities in the club, you will feel the good energy and strength from others, and it can help you to overcome the challenges and perhaps stress you might have.”

Boswell said, “The advice I would give anyone considering joining, creating, or starting up a club is the same as Nike’s company statement, ‘Just do it.’

“I was hesitant at first about how this semester would unfold if we did ballroom [virtually], but the presidency members were so supportive and excited to take on the challenge and to provide this service [and] opportunities for new and current students. And so far, it has been awesome,” she added.

Gorham attested to Boswell’s advice and said the presidency is doing a great job. He also encouraged students looking for a great group of friends to join.

Boswell stated, “Check us out and feel free to contact us if you have any questions, event ideas, or would like to join. We are always looking for suggestions, guest speakers, and involvement from the BYUH community.”

Students can find the BYUH Ballroom Dance Chapter on Facebook at BYUH Ballroom Dance Chapter and Instagram @byuh_ballrom. To sign up, go to byuh.campuslabs.com/engage/.