The University of Georgia Ballroom Performance Group
The Ballroom Performance Group (BPG) is a pre-professional student dance company at the University of Georgia, promoting the appreciation of ballroom dance through performances on campus and around the community. The company was founded in 1991 by Mark Wheeler. The BPG hosts its annual performance, "Ballroom Magic," the second semester of each school year. The show consists of about 20 to 25 choreographed pieces in Smooth and Latin dancing, along with guest performances. Several dance pieces created for and premiered by the UGA Ballroom Performance Group are in the repertories of university ballroom dance performance companies in California, Kentucky, New York, Texas, Brazil, and South Korea. Dancing with BPG develops a serious ballroom dancer's technique and style, which enables him or her to perform or compete professionally. Several BPG members teach ballroom dancing on campus and around Northeast Georgia. BPG alumni have gone on to teach at studios throughout the Athens/Atlanta area and across the United States.
Mark Wheeler, Founder
Mark Wheeler is professor in UGA's department of dance, and the founder of the Ballroom Performance Group. Wheeler received masters degrees in dance and in literature from Indiana University and a Ph.D. from Ohio State University. Wheeler also studied ballroom at Brigham Young University. Outside the academic setting, he studied modern dance at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, jazz with Phil Black, Gus Giordano and Luigi in Chicago and New York, and tap with Michael Fredrics and Henry LeTang in Chicago and Las Vegas. In addition, he has acted, sung, and danced with Equity and non-Equity theater companies in and out of New York City.
At UGA since 1981, he is published widely on dance history and on current trends in dance education. Pieces choreographed by Wheeler have been performed by university dance companies in California, Kentucky, New York, and Texas. Wheeler teaches dance history, rhythmic analysis, methods for teaching social dance, and ballroom, jazz and tap technique. He has guest taught in numerous dance programs including Columbia University, Vassar College, and the Federal University of Pernambuco in Brazil, among others.
Notable BPG Past Performances
- Atlanta Symphony Orchestra's Black and White Ball
- Children's Museum of Atlanta 's Fairy Tale Ball
- Cloister Hotel on Sea Island
- UGA Concert Dance Company productions
- With the Glenn Miller Orchestra, "In the Mood," October 1998
- UGA School of Music's Second Thursday Concert Series, November 2001
- Olympic Games in Atlanta , July 1996
- Georgia World Congress Center
- Consider the Circle - A Tribute to the Olympic Games at Georgia Tech and at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta
- Hosted THE OLYMPIC BALLROOM, an internationally recognized dance party which included a showcase by Canadian and U.S. amateur and professional champions.
- "Consider the Circle" and six other pieces at the Snowball Classic in Vancouver , British Columbia , February 1998
- Dance festival in Curacao , Netherlands Antilles , Summer 2000
The BPG is a UGA student organization, and therefore it does not receive any money from the Dance Department. The group is funded through proceeds from "Ballroom Magic," Friday-night dances, and other functions throughout the year.
Group auditions are held at the end of each semester. Students who are interested in performing and taking their ballroom dance training to the next level are encouraged to audition. For more information about auditions, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.