UEA Ballroom and Latin Dance Club (BLDC) competed at the 58th annual Inter Varsity Dance Championships (IVDC) on February 22, our most important competition of the year.

The competition took place at the famous Winter Gardens in Blackpool.

It was a highly challenging competition for everyone involved, but our dancers excelled, and one couple even made it to the finals in the Ex-Student Novice Latin category.

Every year the rounds are incredibly competitive, and it is incredibly difficult to make it through. So, in the build up to this year’s competition, every couple competing practiced several days a week.

Although some of our dancers were left disappointed, as a team we were very successful, having a total of 35 call backs, including three semi-finals and one placing in the finals.

One of the key highlights of the competition was Offbeat. Offbeat is a group dance section, where the Ballroom and Latin competitors perform a style of dance which they are not necessarily used to.

These often include Charleston, Jazz and Contemporary, but this year we decided to step out of our comfort zones and perform a HipHop routine, choreographed by Izzy Carroll and Ella Cockcroft.

Personally, I found performing this routine was an incredible and exhilarating experience, and it was great dancing with other members of the club from different levels.

Choreographer Ella describes her experience: “I loved the atmosphere there was at our rehearsals, because our dancers were working hard together, smiling and laughing constantly.”

Izzy also commented that: “The routine getting a shoutout from one of the judges was by far the icing on the cake!”

The Nationals weekend was not all about competing, however.

Philip Leadbitter, another member of the team, celebrated her birthday whilst competing. She said: “It was a great way to spend a birthday, friends from the society even organised cards and cake at breakfast.

“The only downside was the six thirty wake up. No one should be up at that time on a Saturday!”

We were given the opportunity to dance in the Blackpool Tower Ballroom, which was a highlight of the trip for many of our dancers.

It provided the opportunity for everyone to dance with anyone, not just their regular partners, so it was a great way to get to know newer members.

Blackpool has been my highlight of the year so far, and it was a great way to get to know everyone in the club.