UEA DanceSport hosted their annual day-long dance competition here at UEA in the SportsPark on Saturday 30th January 2016, at 10 o’clock. Competitors from universities including Cambridge, Warwick, Nottingham, Leicester, Southampton, Kent and London arrived on campus to dance in a variety of ballroom and Latin styles. It has been a massive success in previous years, involving beginner, novice, intermediate and advanced dancers and this year was no exception. It is hailed as one of the best friendly dance competition of the whole year and also acts as a practice for the big varsity competitions and nationals that are taking place in Leeds and Blackpool this year. Our dancers compete in five ballroom and five Latin routines, including the Cha Cha, Foxtrot, Jive, Mambo, Rumba, Tango and Viennese Waltz. There were also fun contests with a three-girl Paso Doble event and all-male Rumba contest.

The results this year were overwhelming for UEA DanceSport, where we had both students and ex-students taking part. The morning started with our Ballroom section of the day competing at Beginners, Novice, Intermediate and Advanced levels. UEA DanceSport did extremely well, including many of our beginners couples getting to semi-finals of their categories after only dancing together for a couple of weeks. One of our beginner’s couple came third in Beginner’s Quickstep as well as our Novice dancers doing extremely well, where several of our couples semi-finaled and finaled in Novice Waltz and Quickstep as well as the Open Tango. Many of our Advanced status couples, the highest and extremely competitive standard of the university national competitions and is extremely competitive, also managed to final. Our Mayfair Quickstep category, which is open to all levels, is a sequence dance known for its social element alongside Ballroom and Latin dances. We had three couples final in this category, two of whom came first and second, out of 36 couples, a huge accomplishment.

Additionally, unlike other Universities, we also offer couples to dance together in a Same-Sex category separate to other categories. It allows a more flexible and enjoyable approach and means people have a chance to dance with a different partner, making the day more entertaining and lively. Our Same-Sex couples did extremely well too, with two couples reaching the finals in several categories. After the Ballroom was finished for the day, it was Latin time! We had a couple finishing third place in their Beginners Cha, as well as Novice couples finishing fourth and sixth in both Cha and Samba. Other categories UEA achieved semi-finals including the Advanced category, where several of our couples finals including second, fifth and sixth place.

The Open Latin Rounds allowed all of our couples, whether they are Beginners or Novice dancers, on the floor with an unrestricted step routine, which they are unable to do in their normal categories. UEA achieved first place, third fourth, fifth and sixth place, including our Salsa round where we had three UEA couples in the final. Additionally, our Intermediate couples also finished in Finals for Latin, as well as one UEA Couple achieving first and fourth place.

This day’s end resulted in a huge accomplishment for UEA DanceSport as we continue to try and progress in Beginners to Novice categories, to more technically difficult levels such as Intermediate in order to compete at higher levels at our Varsity and National Competitions later on the year.