Heaton was born on June 18, 1914 to Israel and Charlotte Heaton in Kanab, Utah, the youngest of five. He gained his love of dancing from his mother and sisters. He graduated from High School in 1932 and had numerous working experiences before going to college fourteen years later.
After serving in the army, he attended Weber State College and Utah State Agricultural College and received his Bachelor and Master's Degrees in Recreation.
He began teaching at BYU in 1953 and directed the social dance program. He also taught the social and family recreation classes. While at BYU, Heaton served on the LDS Church MIA Board for 15 years, directing youth conferences, workshops, and festivals. During his years at the University, he authored 27 books, 27 instructional dance records, 9 films, and 2 filmstrips.
Heaton's career has bee written about in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and newspapers in the inter-mountain areas. His famous backyard has been the subject of three television shows.
Heaton retired from BYU in 1979 and the next year, he and his wife, Marie, were called on a mission to Goa, India. He passed away on October 20, 2002 at the age of 88.
- Deseret News - Obituary, Alma Heaton (Nov 2002)
- Griend, Ward V. Alma Heaton: The Professor of Fun. Provo, 1981. Print. Dissertation.
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