Strictly UEA graced the LCR for the second time on Monday 11 March as members of DanceSport teamed up with other university sports teams for an evening of ballroom and Latin dancing.
Photo: Ga Chun Yau
The event was hosted by DanceSport president Gurdas Singh Sually, alongside Johnny Bispham, who competed last year for table tennis. During the night an audience of over 500 were wowed by 14 couples competing for the famous glitter-ball trophy.
Having been won by Sam Walford of American Football last year, the stakes were high as every team wanted to take the trophy. The night began with a Jive by a number of members of DanceSport to “Jailhouse Rock”, forming a rousing introduction before the main event.
After Will Edwards scored 25 alongside Louise Whiteside for their Paso Doble, the crowd were in rapture as Coralie Chapman from Dance Squad and her partner Kurt Lee put together a masterful Viennese Waltz to score 36 from the judges.
It was not long before the crowd were cheering again after Ellie Reynard scored 18 for her Cha Cha Cha with Joel Lawrence, and Laura Burgon and Jessica Wilson both scored 32 apiece with their partners.
Things were tense backstage, but none of the competitors seemed to feel the pressure as Harry Frost and Faye Bishton scored 28 for their Waltz and Steve Omanyando scored 16 for his Samba with Charlotte Jones, bringing the first half to a close.
After a short interval the competition was back underway, with Jonty Tindall scoring a superb 30 for his Rumba despite what was described as a “wardrobe malfunction” as his trousers split.
Then followed the highest score of the night, as swimmer Christian Parker and his partner Hannah Godfrey scored 39, including the first 10s of the evening from the judges.
The intensity rose among the competitors as they battled for the top three spots. Lucy Tunnard scored 34 for her Foxtrot with Gurmeet Singh Sually, and UEA rowing’s Tom Hesse scored 38 with a superb Jive alongside Chloe Rochester.
After the final competitors finished their dances it was time to decide the winner through a combination of judges’ scores and a “clapometer” to measure the level of audience approval for each of the top three couples.
It was an incredibly tight finish as Coralie and Kurt; Christian and Hannah; and Tom and Chloe received tremendous ovations. However, the eventual winners were Tom and Chloe, with members of the rowing club celebrating as the pair lifted the glitter-ball trophy. In what was a fantastic evening for competitors and the audience, the pair were clearly elated as they celebrated a superb victory in front of a packed LCR.