Blackpool IVDC 2019

On the 23 February, a few of our members recently attended the biggest university Dancesport competition in the UK, Blackpool IVDC. Blackpool is famous for its ballroom scene, and the Winter Gardens, where the competition takes place, is spectacular.

The competition day is incredibly demanding, with most competitors waking up around 4-5am to get ready for the day. This includes very intricate hair, bold makeup, false eyelashes and nails, and fake tan for women. Male dancers will also tan, and have their hair slicked back, and many advanced male dancers will also wear makeup. The first event is always Beginners’ Waltz and Quickstep at 9am, but competitors arrive for 8am.

Team Captain Sam Griffiths said: ‘You can tell as soon as you walk into the magnificent ballroom and the atmosphere is incredible. Performing on the famous dance floor is hard to beat, but in the meantime you get to watch some of the best dancers in the country compete at some of the highest levels, including professional showcases. All in all, a fantastic day concluding with a well-earned meal and drinks!’

This year, our competing team exceeded expectations with beginner couple, William Matthews and Ruut Wasama reaching semi-finals in their categories – which is an incredible achievement, especially at Blackpool. They also came 11th out of 156 couples in the Beginners’ Quickstep.

Hannah Jones and Sam Griffiths braved the Intermediate Latin circuit, and did amazingly well considering the challenging competition. They also came 13th in Novice Ballroom out of 134 couples, and came first place in Rock ‘n’ Roll!

Overall, it was an exceptional day, as always, and we would strongly recommend that people try out Dancesport for this competition.

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Claire Bilsborough

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January 2022
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The University of East Anglia’s official student newspaper. Concrete is in print and online.

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