Benjamin de Hoyos
Benjamin de Hoyos graduated from Brigham Young University in with a bachelor's degree 1956 He then went to Michigan State University, where he received a master's degree. Along with his wife, Josephine, he is considered to be the founder of the BYU Ballroom Dance Company.
Bringing Ballroom to BYU
In 1960 a recent graduate of Michigan State University, de Hoyos, came to BYU and brought with him a passion for ballroom dance. He initially taught social and Latin dance classes. He taught in the well established social dance program under the direction of Alma Heaton. de Hoyos remembers teaching class in the old “social dance hall.” After observing the Folk Dance Team Mary Bee Jensen worked with, de Hoyos approached some students about forming a Ballroom Dance Team. With just a few eager couples and a $5 student fee the first BYU Ballroom Dance Team was formed.
The beginnings were modest; team members were asked to make their own costumes and find their own performances. The energy and enthusiasm of this new group quickly gained the attention of the student body and administrators. They were asked to perform for numerous athletic and on-campus events. The Ballroom Dance Team was also invited to participate with the Student Program Bureau. The team soon had opportunities to tour throughout the United States, Canada, North Africa, Europe and the Far East.
de Hoyos lives in Provo, Utah with his wife Josephine, where they have remained active in the LDS Church. They are the parents of 12 children and have 36 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren. They have taught at the MTC in Provo, Utah and served missions in Mexico City and Santiago Chile. In 2010, they returned to BYU for the BYU Ballroom Dance Company's golden anniversary concert, "Encore."