The BYU Ballroom Dance Company, the United States champion team, was honored here when seven U.S. senators hosted a luncheon for the company.
Senators participating represent the home states of dancers on the team. They included Senators Jake Garn and Orrin Hatch, both R-Utah; Senators Steve Symms and Larry Craig, both R-Idaho; Sen. Pete Domenici, R-New Mexico; Sen. Alan Simpson, R-Wyoming; and Sen. Brock Adams, D-Washington.Also attending the luncheon, held in the Capitol on May 29, were Washington business leaders, educators and dance and arts enthusiasts.
The BYU dance company has been named the U.S. Formation Team Champion nine consecutive times and has won the British National Championship eight different times.
Gregory J. Newell, a member of the Church and former U.S. ambassador to Sweden, was guest speaker at the luncheon. Lee Wakefield, artistic director of the dance company, and Clayne Jensen, associate vice president at BYU, also made remarks at the luncheon.
Later that evening, the team gave a special performance at George Washington University featuring traditional, Latin and modern ballroom dance styles.
More than 15 countries were represented at a diplomatic reception held prior to the evening performance. Those attending included ambassadors from Botswana and Nigeria; the cultural attache from the Soviet Union; and deputy ambassadors representing such countries as Australia, Sweden, Chile, Thailand, India, Malaysia and the Philippines.
More than 25 Congressional offices were also represented at the reception.
While in Washington, the dance company was given a tour of the Capitol and the White House, participated in the wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery and visited the Lincoln Memorial.