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Local ballroom dance team makes history at national championship

The youth team won first place in all categories. | Video courtesy of Staci Huston.
IDAHO FALLS – A local ballroom dance team made history with their big win at the United States National Championships this month.
The Extreme Ballroom Company youth team from Idaho Falls traveled to the Marriott Center in Provo, Utah, on March 12 for the U.S. National Amateur DanceSport Championships.
The team won first place in both categories – an achievement that hasn’t been done since 1996.
“There are two categories: one is the ballroom category, and one is the Latin category. We won both, which has not happened with any other team since 1996,” says Staci Huston, owner and director of Extreme Ballroom Company. “We won in 2021 with one of our medleys, and another team won back in 2014 with one of their medleys, but nobody has done it with two against one of the reigning teams since 1996, so it’s crazy.”
Huston, who has owned the company for 19 years, says there were 16 dancers on the floor, making eight couples. The team performed two medleys — one called “Rock of Ages” to 80s music and the other a Mary Poppins medley. Watch the performance in the video player above.

The team dressed for the Rock of Ages medley. | Courtesy of Staci Huston.
Huston says the moment their big win was announced was surreal, remembering each of her dancers, ages 15-18, collapsing to the floor with victorious screams.
“You go out on the floor with all of the teams from your division, and they announce from last place all the way up to first place,” says Huston. “As soon as they announced second place and it wasn’t our number, we just started screaming and going crazy. It was super fun.”
Even more impressive, the team won nearly unanimously out of all 11 judges present at the competition.
“There were 11 judges, and we got nine firsts out of 11 judges, which is incredible,” says Huston. “That doesn’t happen. It was almost a unanimous first place straight across the board.”
The trip was especially emotional for Huston, whose stepmother passed away the morning of the Latin medley performance.
“It was emotional for me, because my mom passed away during this week. She passed away the day of our Latin medley,” says Huston. “My stepmom actually, but she was really close to me.”
Huston says her parents were always present at every nationals championship, and she believes they were present for their historic win too.

The team dressed for the Mary Poppins medley. | Photo Courtesy of Staci Huston.
“My mom and dad were always at every nationals we had. They were always there watching,” says Huston. “My dad passed away in the summer, so it was cool because I knew they were there again together watching the last night.”
Huston says watching the dancers achieve their goals was a highlight, noting the hard work and determination they’ve shown during rehearsals.
“The kids were so emotional, some of them just fell on the floor. They couldn’t believe it. We had been working toward this goal. We knew we had a shot this year to win, because we had two really fantastic medleys and really good dancers,” says Huston. “These kids are just, they’re amazing, they’re extraordinary – they’re not really normal. They are really well-bonded together, and they’re kind to other people.”
Ballroom dance is important to the kids because of the advancement it gives them in cultivating social skills, according to Huston.
“It’s so important, especially with phones and everything these days, the kids don’t know how to communicate with each other. Especially with the opposite sex. These kids, they have so many good social skills because they’re interacting all the time in the way that they are with dance,” says Huston. “Two people have to dance together as one.”
It’s hard not to notice how proud Huston is of the team, as she describes their motivation, sportsmanship and dedication to each other.
“The cool thing about the kids is they have good sportsmanship,” says Huston. “They were the ones that even said at our last practice, ‘No matter what happens, we’re going to be kind to the other teams, and we recognize and respect them for how good they are.’
Check out Extreme Ballroom Company on their Facebook Page and website.
The post Local ballroom dance team makes history at national championship appeared first on East Idaho News.

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