On the 28th of February 2015 York Dancesport were primed and ready in the home of ballroom dancing, Blackpool, for the biggest competition of the year! It has been a busy competition season already for us, but being in the Empress ballroom in Blackpool at the Intervarsity Dancesport Competition was a step up once again.
The day started with the ballroom rounds. Because of the huge number of competitors the beginners began by dancing their waltz and quickstep in the magnificent Empress ballroom, before moving to the smaller Spanish hall that resembled a pirate ship. Our novice team and ex-student dancers were also dancing waltz and quickstep; congratulations to all those who got through ballroom rounds at this tough event.
Unique to this competition is an event called Offbeat. In this, teams have to perform short group dances that have nothing to do with ballroom and latin dancing. They were fantastic lunchtime entertainment and we saw many a Dirty Dancing scene acted out as well as emotional slower choreography to ‘Say Something’ by A Great Big World with Christina Aguilera. Shaking ourselves free of this happy daze, it was time for the afternoon latin competition. The main dances for this are the jive and the cha-cha-cha. York couples did very well, and particular congratulations should go to beginner couple David Barker and Lauren Harrison for their fantastic jive result and novice couple Richard Bennett and Eleanor Sinclair for their combined cha-cha-cha and jive. The beginners team had a particularly successful afternoon with all couples getting through a round in jive and have done so well, especially as competing is still so new to many dancers.
You would be forgiven for thinking that having danced waltz, quickstep, cha-cha-cha and jive that we would be coming towards the end of our day in Blackpool, but luckily one of York’s favourite events was next – the rock and roll! Congratulations to Andrew Grantham and Louise Lambton for making the rock and roll final and to many of York’s other couples for getting through multiple rounds. Rock and roll is a really fun event and it was lovely to see the creative choreography our dancers came up with as well as the flair with which they danced. Kudos also to Richard Bennett and Katherine Jackson for their very daring lifts and tricks in the acrobatic rock and roll; you were excellent, if terrifying to watch!
Lastly we ended the day on a high doing the team match. York’s A team made it to the play-off final of Division 2 and everyone enjoyed the opportunity to dress up in the society’s ballroom and latin dresses. For us, this is the last time we will be travelling to competitions this academic year, although we have Roses in York to look forward to. It’s been a pleasure competing with such an energetic and supportive team and I am sure we will be keen to show Lancaster what we can do come next term!
Words provided by Chloe Francis