University News

SUU's Ballroom Students Dance to Victory 'By the Shores'

Published: March 20, 2013 | Category: Arts

SUU's Ballroom Dance Company performed in formation to Latin rhythms, and the judges took notice in the "Dance by the Shores" collegiate ballroom dance competition hosted by the University of California—San Diego, in La Jolla, Calif., where the Thunderbird team took third place in the Latin team formation competition. In addition to the team success, members of the company garnered many awards through individual competition events.

Included among the individual award recipients are Chase Ellet and Gianna Loprest, who placed second in the open hustle; Matthew Whitchurch and Annekke Walker, who won fifth place in the newcomer cha cha; Hadley Gasser and Yolimar Lara, who took third place in the bronze-level Viennese waltz and fourth place in the bronze-level American tango; and Dustin Liechty and Chandler Hall, who earned sixth place in the gold-level American foxtrot.

Additionally, the SUU team nearly swept the open lindy hop competition, where Kipp Lewis and Tori Trent won second place, Ammon Garcia and Alex Shaner won third, and Jake Ross and Brielle Francom placed fourth.

Andrea Johnson, director of SUU's Ballroom Dance Company, traveled with the team and coached them during the competition. Of this year's team, she said, “Our dancers performed superbly, and I was proud of how our students represented the University."

The By the Shores Competition is a precursor to the ballroom dance company’s annual upcoming event, Dancing with the Stars, which will be held in the Centrum Arena on Wednesday, March 27. This event is ideal for anyone interested in seeing the ballroom dance company perform locally and is one of the ballroom company’s most popular events of the year, pairing beloved University professors and administrators with members of the company. For more information, visit

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