Megan was born in Colorado to a military family, and felt lucky to spend a good deal of her youth traveling. A tomboy growing up, with a natural inclination to catch bugs and play in the mud, dancing wasn’t anywhere on Megan’s radar. In college she took a leap, breaking out of her comfort zone, and enrolled in jazz and modern dance classes. Though Megan enjoyed these styles, it wasn’t until she took her first ballroom dance class, with BDCF”S very own Rulon Jenson, that she found a style of dance she couldn’t live without. That was more than 10 years ago. Over the years, Megan’s passion has grown, leading into hours upon hours upon hours of training, and thousands of dollars spent, in pursuit of learning. She cannot think of a single thing she’d rather have spent her time and money on (though the student loan people might have a different take on that!!!). Megan choreographs couples’ routines for weddings, and is currently delving into group choreography, however her passion is social dancing and sharing the joy of it.
~”My classes focus on the art of leading and following, and I try to ensure that they are fun and stress-free. I don’t believe in the notion of “two left feet”. In fact, I think that if a man can dance Salsa with one leg, and a dog can dance Merengue (see below), then anyone can dance. So what are you waiting for?”
Rulon was born and raised in Los Angeles. He had no dance experience prior to taking ballroom dance class in 1991, at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. If asked, he owns up to only taking that first class to impress a girl. However, Rulon soon discovered he really enjoyed dancing and took as many classes as possible. Rulon felt fortunate to make the BYU formation dance team in 1992, and danced with that Company until 1994. Rulon loves that in ballroom dance, nothing is achieved alone; he and his partners have many accomplishments including: Medals exams with honors in bronze level social; bronze and silver level Latin; bronze and silver level modern ballroom; Medals exams with high honors in silver and gold level social dance; Nevada Star Ball championship in Pre-Novice and Novice modern ballroom categories; and finalist in several other competitions in California and Utah.
Rulon has had the privilege of teaching beginning and intermediate level social dance at BYU and in Alaska. He choreographs routines for dance festivals, and for the Fairbanks Dancing with the Stars competition. He is most proud of helping to instill the love of dance in his family, whom he is most thankful for.
Audrey began dancing at the age of four in tap and jazz and has loved to dance ever since. Audrey started partner dancing at age fourteen when she took swing and salsa at West Valley high school. Not long after that, she signed up for ballroom classes with her dad through the Ballroom Dance Club of Fairbanks. It was not until she moved to Flagstaff, Arizona for her undergraduate degree, that she was introduced to street style Swing and Lindy Hop. She was president for the NAU swing club for two years, teaching weekly classes in Lindy, East Coast, Charleston and Balboa. Audrey recently moved back to Fairbanks and is often found dancing around her office. She is looking forward to sharing what she learned about dancing in Flagstaff and will never stop her pirouettes on her way to the printer.
Dancing has always been part of Melanie’s life. She remembers turning on the music while home alone and leaping and twirling around the living room as if her life depended on it. At the age of 13, Melanie began formal dance training with a workshop hosted by the Lathrop High School Ballroom Dance Team. Two weeks, and she was hooked. Unfortunately she had to wait (impatiently) until she was in high school to join the LHS Ballroom Dance. After high school, Melanie studied Ballroom at Brigham Young University in Idaho, and at Arthur Murray in Livermoore, California.
~”To me, ballroom isn’t just about meeting new people, getting out for fun, or physical health (though these are all wonderful aspects); Ballroom Dance is more. It is a way of living. In my classes, I try to emphasis partner connection, and respect for ourselves, and partners, through the use of proper dance etiquette and human kindness. I strive to create a fun and light atmosphere where students are free to take what I teach and use it in their own creative ways. I love dancing, and I hope to share the joy it brings.”
Born and raised in Fairbanks, Eamon began dancing at an early age when his mother “dragged” him to Contra Dance. She only had to drag him to the first one, after that he was willing. In high school, Eamon convinced fellow classmates to try dancing and the West Valley swim team soon comprised of 20-30% contra dancers. He took his first Swing class in 2006 but was not entirely convinced. In the fall of 2007, after two years at UAF, Eamon moved to Flagstaff, Arizona for a fresh start and a new experience. In Flagstaff, he was regularly escorted by his girlfriend to free swing lessons taught twice weekly. He says, ” I came to realize that I could eventually figure the contraption that is Swing.”
Travis was born in Great Falls, Montana but grew up all over the world as an Air-Force brat. He made his way to Fairbanks in 2002 where he received duel undergraduate degrees in Computer Science and Japanese Studies from UAF. During college Travis served a 2 year mission for his church in Japan. While at UAF Travis took ballroom dance classes from Megan (Allen) Blanchard to meet girls. Shortly thereafter he met the beautiful Melanie at church and she was impressed with his charm and natural ballroom abilities. Megan’s classes worked! Travis and Melanie married in March of 2011. Travis enjoys assisting Melanie in teaching and the fun social atmosphere of Ballroom Classes. Detail oriented and quick learning, Travis is a great asset to beginning dancers, helping them to develop confidence on the dance floor.