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Alma Heaton papers

Identifier: MSS 2111

Scope and Contents

Contains materials related to the life and teaching career of Alma Heaton, and is organized into three series. Series 1 contains autobiographical materials about Alma Heaton, including histories of his life, histories and memorabilia about his missions to Europe and India, and books he authored with information about his life. Series 2 contains teaching materials from Alma Heaton's career as a dance teacher and professor of recreation at Brigham Young University. Includes books he, Benjamin F. De Hoyos, Don Zimmerman, and Israel Heaton authored on dance. Series 3 contains VHS tapes, U-Matic tapes, Betamax tapes, and film; which records Heaton's dance instruction, dance teaching instruction, student and church events, recreational activity instruction, and lectures related to Heaton's career. Dated approximately 1953-2000.


  • 1953-2000


Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from Alma Heaton papers must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical / Historical

Alma Heaton (1914-2002) was a recreation professor at Brigham Young University, author of 56 books, creator of 27 dance instruction records, and participant in 10 films on dance and recreation. He was vice-president of the Utah Park's and Recreation Association and chairman of the American Association of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation Dance Section.

Alma Heaton was born on June 18, 1914 in Kanab, Utah to parents Israel Hoyt Heaton and Charlotte Cox. He went on to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Canada from 1935-1936. He then served in the United States Army in World War II from 1942-1946. He married Marie Bishop on April 13, 1943 in the Salt Lake Temple, and they had 5 children together. For two years, he and Bishop managed the Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Ogden, Utah while he attended Weber College for two years and Utah State University where he earned a master's degree in recreation and a teacher's certificate. He taught elementary school in Ogden for two years before joining the faculty at Brigham Young University in 1953 to develop the recreation and social dance programs. He retired from Brigham Young University in 1979. He and his wife then served as missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Goa, India, and were called on several short missions to Europe teaching dance and activities to the leaders and members of the church. He was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving on the the Mutual Improvement Association Board for 15 years, as well as in various ward, stake, and church positions. Alma Heaton passed away on 30 November, 2002 in Provo, Utah.


1 box (0.5 linear ft.)

7 cartons (7 linear ft.)

Language of Materials



Arranged in three series: 1. Alma Heaton autobiographical writings, 1992-2000. 2. Alma Heaton teaching materials, 1954-1979. 3. Alma Heaton video recordings, 1953-2000.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated; Alma Heaton; 1999.


Faculty (University Archives Collection Development Policy, V. b. v. 2. b, October 8, 2015).

Separated Materials

Removed "Attention Getters and Forfeits", "Double Fun", "Experience of a Lifetime", "Family Recreation", "Finding the Gold in Your Golden Years", "G Rated Jokes and Other Rarities II", "G Rated Jokes and Other Rarities", "Games We'll Play During The Millenium", "Games Our Pioneers Played", "Games With Gospel Themes", "Gospel Crisscross Mazes", "Gospel Learning Motivators", "Live and Learn", "Mormon Book of Fun", "One Liners", "Party Starters and Quiet Games", "Planning Enjoyable Reunuions", "Teaching With Objects", "The Joy of Living Your Religion", "The LDS Game Book", "Tools for Teaching", "My Yiddish Mammy" / "Rock Me in My Swanee Cradle", "The Star Spangled Banner" / "America", "I Love You, Moonlight and Rose" / "Whispering", "I'm Through" / "Swanee Smiles", "Why Don't You Fall in Love with Me -- Vocadance" / "Dearly beloved -- Vocadance", "Carolina Rolling Stone" / "Just a Little Love Song", "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" / "The Waltz You Saved for Me", "Dreaming" / "Wishing", "You Ought to See my Baby" / "Scandinavia", "Missouri Waltz" / "Beautiful Ohio", "I'll Be With You in Apple Blossom Time" / "If I Wait Till the End of the World", "You Ain't Heard Nothing Yet" / "Rose of Washington Square", "The Thing" / "Yea - Boo", "An Apple Blossom Wedding" / "Passing By", "Miss You" / "Is It Taboo? -- Vocadance", "If You Talk in Your Sleep Don't Mention my Name" / "My Counterfeit Bill", "Comin Thro' The Rye" / "The Winds' in The South", "White Christmas" / "The Anniversary Waltz".

Separated Materials

Removed photocopy of Alma Heaton's Life History, slip of paper with the numbers "377-4225", inventories of collections prior to 2005, collections for 2005, and collections for 2006; stacks of cut labels, sheets of uncut labels.

Processing Information

Processed; Chelsea McNeil, student manuscript proccessor, and Cory Nimer, curator; 2019.

  • Photocopy of Alma Heaton's life history
Register of Alma Heaton papers
Under Revision
Chelsea McNeil
2019 February 22
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.

Revision Statements

  • 2019 February 22: Addendum processed; Chelsea McNeil; 2019.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States