As Derby Day approaches, the dance clubs at UEA prepare for their final competitive performances of the year.

Last year, we saw unparalleled success in most of the dance categories, with performances from Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz, Hip Hop, and DanceSport. Highlights of 2017’s rivalry included a collective dance score a huge four points for UEA.

However, this year a change to the point system will require a win in each category from all individual disciplines to secure the weighty one point up for grabs, making the individual wins of dances even more crucial than previous years. This year we have dances from Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz, Hip Hop, and Tap, all of which have had an extremely successful run in inter-university competitions, continuously achieving places in the top three throughout the competition season. Tap will be performing in the Wildcard category this year, as they take it in turns with DanceSport, who competed and won the point last year.

Choreography this year has been a strong point for all of the squads. Notably Contemporary, Jazz and Tap have gone for different stylistic approaches than previous years. In performances so far, the Contemporary squad has been acknowledged for its high level of emotive performance, Jazz for its quick pace and high energy routine, and Tap for its upbeat piece with complex rhythms. The Hip Hop and Ballet routines have been noted for strong technique at competitions, with the Ballet squad having the opportunity to maintain last year’s high standard with leadership from their Hong-Kong trained student choreographer. Hip Hop have gained two new competition choreographers, one with the experience of training in America on a year abroad, and the other a Master’s student who previously taught and danced with the Essex Blades. It’s set to be an intense competition!

Historically, the Hip Hop category showcases some of the toughest competition within dance, and being one of the later dances of the day, a buzzing and lively atmosphere is to be expected. UEA dancers are hopeful for another Derby Day win with an exciting mix of talent and some thrilling performances lined up. Dance performances start at Sam Brown 6pm in the Sports Hall.