Travis and Jaimee Tuft

 


 

Travis and Jaimee’s story begins with the start of the new millennium. BYU-Idaho, then Ricks College, was a holding annual ballroom dance summer camps. Travis, an immature 16, and Jaimee, a wise 14, were both attending camp. They would Meeting for the first time during the course of the week. Their first meeting would not be as the saying goes, “love at first sight”, nor would be the second or the third meeting, as they were both fairly oblivious of each other. They would say that they were just acquaintances, remembering very little of one another.

After three years of attending these camps, Travis and Jaimee still barely knew each other and if anything, the future wasn’t looking bright for them. Jaimee recalls talking with her girlfriends at the time about the boys they met at camp saying, “that Travis kid is kind of weird. I can’t imagine ever dating him.” Little did she know, it would be just the opposite.

There was a two year break in their relationship, if yo can call it that. Travis served a two year mission for their church in Mexico; Jaimee graduated from high school and attended BYU-Idaho. As Travis was returning home from his mission and preparing to leave for BYU in Provo, Utah, Jaimee was also making preparations to transfer to the same university.

Their reunion at school was an uneventful one, which left them saying to themselves, “it’s that kid from dance camp.” Their first year at BYU, they little contact with each other. They were in different majors; Jaimee, Mathematics and Travis really didn’t know what he was doing. Also, they were on two different teams of the the five that exist in the Ballroom Dance Program at BYU.

The following year they were both placed on the top Touring Team in the company. As the year went on, they had a lot more contact with each other during rehearsals and tours. Travis also needed help with his calculus homework, so he was able to coax Jaimee into tutoring him. The extra time spent together between team and tutoring sessions allowed them to start building a great friendship.

The formation team experience at BYU gave Travis and Jaimee many opportunities that they would not have had otherwise. With the team the were able to tour much of the U.S., England, Scotland, Hong Kong, and China.

After a few months on the team together, their friendship quickly developed into a relationship and then into a courtship. By the following summer, Travis and Jaimee were engaged and then married in September of 2008.

At this point in their relationship, they decided it was time to try dancing together competitively. With prior partners they had both competed in all styles of ballroom, but they both had a passion for American Smooth. Their passion showed, bringing with it immediate success. Travis and Jaimee earned themselves two consecutive NDCA National Amateur American Smooth titles.

Their success certainly didn’t come easy. Juggling full time class load with homework, team rehearsals and shows, work, and individual competitive practice and competitions was a hard task.

Despite the obstacles, Travis and Jaimee were able to finish their schooling at BYU quickly. In April of 2010, Jaimee graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics with an emphasis in Actuarial Science and a minor in Ballroom Dance and Travis graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish and also with a minor in Ballroom Dance.

While preparing for graduation, Travis and Jaimee pondered their future. Not knowing if they had what it would take to be successful professional dancers, they knew they owed it to themselves to give it a shot. They set out to New Jersey with a plan to give it a year, and give it everything they had. Now, eight years later they are glad they never gave up.

A few things people may not know about this couple: Travis is an Eagle Scout, both grew up on farms in Idaho, they both own Harley Davidson motorcycles, they enjoy horseback riding, wake boarding and many other outdoor activities.

Accomplishments

  • 2 x U.S. Amateur American Smooth Champions
  • U.S. Professional Rising Star American Smooth Champions
  • 4 x U.S. Professional Theatrical Champions
  • 2 x World Professional Cabaret Champions
  • U.S., World, and Blackpool Professional American Smooth runners up
  • Ohio Star Ball Professional American Smooth Champions

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