Keeping Up with the Winners

As you know, being a dancer, there is always something new you can do and it can be a busy life.  If you are a ballroom dancer and keep up with the “dancesport life,” you know there is always something new to learn, a new comp to be part of, and, of course, people you interact with on many levels.

The Fordney Foundation is glad to be a conduit to your dancing career.  We get involved in all aspects of dance and are happy to be an organization you can turn to for lots of ballroom and dancesport tips, articles and dance news, scholarship opportunities and much more. We bring you dance news as the ballroom dancing world evolves both nationally and internationally. Some of our happiest moments are when we get to see the people that started out as amateur dancers go on to become good, great, and professional dancers. 

Here is an update of some of the ballroom dancers that have crossed our paths and have been a part of the Fordney Foundation:

Travis and Jaimee Tuft:

Travis Tuft is a professional dancer, who dances with his wife, Jaimee, also a professional dancer.  Travis was a past recipient of the Brigham Young University scholarship annually funded by the Fordney Foundation for the last 12 years.  They are U.S. champions in Theater Arts and Cabaret. Recently, they placed second in Blackpool, England in the Exhibition category. Travis and Jaimee came in third at the Ohio Smooth 2018 Ohio Star Ball.  In 2017, they were the champions in this category. Travis and Jaimee have gained international success performing and teaching across the United States as well as Italy, England, Switzerland, Spain, France, Hong Kong, mainland China, Ecuador, and Peru.  They are show stoppers and favorites to watch; as they always put on a great show.  They are known to be consistent and committed dancers.

Travis Tuft was seen recently at the Holiday Classic in December 2018, dancing with his student, Selene Steelman (Pro-AM). The judges were raving about Selene who was receiving many of the first place marks and was a particular stand-out in the Viennese Waltz.

Shane and Shannon Jensen:

Now living in Connecticut, Shannon and her husband Shane are current professional competitors in the American Rhythm category where they are current U.S. finalists. Shannon was a past recipient of a BYU scholarship funded by the Fordney Foundation. They are also U.S. Theater Arts and Cabaret champions. They have won the World Cabaret Championships and are regularly invited to dance at the British Championships in Blackpool, England.

Both Shane and Shannon performed together at the Ohio Star Ball 2018 Open Professional Rhythm and came in fourth.  Here’s what the critics have to say, “they are always a favorite to watch.” Shane and Shannon always have a great look on the floor.  They are classy and tasteful.  They have a clear understanding of movement and techniques that are specific to American Rhythm.  When they dance the Rumba and Bolero, they are strong and at their best. They have the ability to create beautiful lines with complete ease.

Lynn Magnesen:

Lynn is one of the ladies that will be on ‘The Ladies of Ballroom’ CD project.  The originator of this project is Brent Thomas Mills.  As you recall, Brent Thomas Mills, has this wonderful plan to bring exciting, romantic songs to the public via the ballroom/dancesport circa.  This project is one that has never been done before and it is moving forward in a big way.  The Fordney Foundation is both honored and excited to be part of this project. A percentage of the proceeds from the CDs sold will be awarded to the Fordney Foundation.  Through this inspiring project, we will be able to help more young dancers fulfill their dreams.

We first met Lynn Magnesen at the Emerald Ball in 2016.  This stunning, energetic lady, won first place in every comp she entered.  Wow, we were impressed!  At the Ohio Star Ball in 2018, in the World Dancesport Series Open Pro-Am Rhythm C category, with her partner, Tykhon Zhyvnov, Lynn won the category with a full majority of firsts in all dances.  She also enjoys dancing with her husband, Scott.  Only a handful of judges awarded Lynn second or less.  Lynn’s work is clean with good musicality, with little fault.

Eugene Katsevman and Maria Manusova:

Marilyn Fordney and Alex Havasi attended the New York Dance Festival taking place February 21 – 24, 2019, and awarded many awards to the Junior and Youth International Ballroom Championship winners on behalf of the Fordney Foundation.

Both Eugene and Maria have an award winning dance background.  They became dance instructors, coaches and adjudicators.  They are also owners of the prestigious Brooklyn Dancesport Club in New York.  They are the organizers of the New York Dance Festival.  Recently, Eugene and Maria danced at the Holiday Classic Pro Smooth Show and wowed the audience, as they usually do!

What all of these dancers have in common is their love of dance.  We hope their journey inspires you to continue with your dancing with the same desire and passion as these wonderful dancers.  One day, it could be you, we’re talking about!

**We have received contributions from individuals who would like to have a dear relative or friend who passed on remembered that loved to dance or was a dance aficionado.  We call these memorial contributions.  Perhaps you would like to have someone memorialized in this manner.  Make a donation and give us their name.  We will soon put on our website a yellow brick road to add their name to a brick as a memorial to that person.  This contribution will assist future generations of dancers and help keep young people more positive and healthy.

Thought Of The Week:

Risks, Failure, Doubts, Criticism, Discipline, Sacrifices, Reflections, Late Nights, Persistence, Hard Work, Success



Shane Meuwissen is the Media Specialist for Fordney Foundation.  He is a former dance instructor who know works with his company Slow Motion Dance Videos capture the beauty of dancing. If you would like to learn more about Shane and his video work, visit his website