December Digest + A Brief Goodbye


It is the end of Waltz Tango Foxtrot’s inaugural year, and that means some reflection is due. We began our year with an earnest attempt to offer resources to collegiate students in an organized issue-driven format, and yet reality ensued and the publication stagnated as yours truly, the Editor-in-Chief, attempted to balance college classes, senior theses, and my own dancing career. By the end of the year, our statement of purpose has hopefully become more clear: while it’s nice to have fair and balanced journalism, being able to give a voice and a space to those who need it is actually what this publication in particular values the most. In the context of ballroom dance, that meant uplifting those whose careers, livelihoods, and passion for dance were threatened by the recent NDCA-BYU dumpster fire. 

We have decided to put together a digest at the end of each month, consolidating both our own articles on the subject as well as media directly and indirectly related to these issues. Context is key, and the ramifications of what we do here will reach beyond the world of collegiate or amateur ballroom dancing. Never doubt the power of the people, no matter how small. Our biggest enemy is apathy.


An Open Letter

Category: Opinion

Date: November 28, 2019

Author: Crystal Song

Publication: Waltz Tango Foxtrot

In an essay that is at times both heart-felt and heart-wrenching, Crystal Song shares her own firsthand experiences with being queer, dancing same-sex, and reckoning with an apathetic community.


Please Don’t Heart React to This

Category: Opinion

Date: December 22, 2019

Author: Anonymous

Publication: Waltz Tango Foxtrot

In many ways a companion piece to An Open Letter, this anonymous essay offers a different perspective in the wake of the BYU rule change. The author has elected to remain anonymous due to fear of backlash from the volatile individual whom the essay addresses directly.


He Gave Thanks for His 2 Dads. His Teacher Condemned Gay Couples.

Category: News

Date: December 2, 2019

Author: Neil Vigdor

Publication: The New York Times

Not far from Provo, Utah, where Brigham Young University is located, a substitute teacher told the son of a gay couple that it was wrong to be thankful for his parents, a haunting reminder of the culture that surrounds the BYU controversy.


Dancing On Ice is making UK TV history with a same-sex pair in the competition

Category: News (Entertainment)

Date: December 22, 2019

Author: N/A

Publication: BBC

After the film Blades of Glory was released, it became incredibly easy to draw parallels between the world of partnered figure skating and partnered ballroom dancing. Considering the UK television program is called “Dancing On Ice,” the fact that a same-sex partnership has been introduced means that it is only a matter of time before the same happens in the world of commercial ballroom dancing; most significantly, Dancing With the Stars.


Same-Sex Ballroom Dancers are Challenging Traditional Gender Roles — Brigham Young University is Pushing Back

Category: Radio News Segment

Date: December 12, 2019

Author: Lydia McMullen-Laird

Publication: WYNC (The Takeaway)

After BYU announced the rule exceptions to the upcoming National Championships, our New York community was able to, within a week, convince a local radio station that the story was something to be reported. Interviewing members of our community, such as Crystal Song and Danica Chan, Lydia McMullen-Laird manages to capture a snapshot of our current fight for public radio.


The Alpha Type: An NYU Journalism Senior Thesis Film

One of the easiest ways to draw attention to a political issue is to create an easily-accessible documentary, which is why as an NYU Journalism student, I decided to focus my senior thesis on the NDCA-BYU issue, and the same-sex couples who are fighting back. The link above is simply a sizzle reel, but the full length film is coming soon. Here’s the GoFundMe link for the film: (coming soon).


As this year and this decade comes to an end, we’re okay with admitting that mistakes were made, as is expected with any new project; we’re proud to admit that goals were achieved, much to our own surprise. We have a lot of things planned for 2020: some of the old, some of the new. We hope you continue to join us for this ride.

Here’s to the future, as uncertain as it may be – as uncertain as any future is, Carly Mattox, Editor-in-Chief

“I want to believe you. Want to feel
Your will like the wind before rain.
The kind everything simply obeys,
Swept up in that hypnotic dance
As if something with the power to do so
Had looked its way and said:
Go ahead.” – Tracy K. Smith, “Don’t You Wonder, Sometimes?”

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