Blackpool in numbers: 35 competitors, 55 supporters, 7 bears, 30 hours spent in the ballroom, 67 semi-finalists, 36 finalists, 4 winners, 1 fantastic team.
It hardly seems like a whole year has passed since we were last at Grand Finals and yet here we were again ready to go again. The day began at 8.30am with the Juvenile and Junior events in which we had Luke, Grace S, Leila, Jack, Olivia and Molly participating, along with first timers at this event; Kaitlyn, Chloe and Isobel. Blackpool is always a high standard and, we say it every year, but the numbers and standard seemed higher than ever. Nevertheless our dancers performed magnificently as always and held their own. Everyone received at least one recall and most made at least one semi-final. Olivia, Leila and Jack all made a final and Luke reached both his finals, being placed 2nd in his ballroom event. The couples events followed and Luke & Chloe, Molly & Olivia and Jack & Leila were all in action. Again they all had at least two recalls with Luke & Chloe finishing 4th in their ballroom event and
Jack & Leila a terrific 3rd in their Latin event from an initial entry of 55 couples. Some great performances from everyone and the bar had been set for the adults.
The day ended just after 8pm and there was barely time to eat before it was time to return to the ballroom for the evening dance. This gives people a chance to socialise and relax a little ahead of day two.
The Sunday at Blackpool sees the sequence three dance events and all the adult competitions. Again we began at 8.30am with the sequence events and as there are no grades in these competitions, competition is always fierce. Most had at least one recall and 19 out of our 30 dancers got as far as the semi-finals with 9 of those going on to reach a final. Well done therefore to Grace S, Josh, Carla, Serena, Elizabeth, Christine, Sue, Andy and Allison.
Next came the adult non-qualifying events and joining us for the first time at these events were Libbie, Debbie, Tony, Peter and Carol. All of them got at least one recall and Libbie, Peter and Carol made their ballroom finals and Libbie and Carol also made their Latin finals. Dawn was also placed 3rd in her ballroom event. In the ballroom Qualifier events, again almost everyone got at least one recall and eight dancers reached the semi-finals. Four went on to reach their finals: Geraldine won her event (a feat she repeated in her Latin), Craig finished 3rd, a great achievement as he had had to move up a grade this time after winning his event last year, and Iris and Karen C also made their finals finishing 6th and 5th respectively.
The Latin events followed and this time Craig, Serena, Carla, Karen H, Iris and Geraldine all made their semi-finals with Serena, Iris and Geraldine going on to make the final.
After twelve hours in the ballroom the couples events began with the added excitement of having two floors and two competitions taking place at the same time. In spite of the potential for confusion all went smoothly and Josh and Grace P, Neil & Carla and Chris & Serena all made their ballroom finals finishing 1st, 4th and 5th respectively. In the Latin events Dennis & Sue came 2nd in their event as did Neil & Carla. Josh & Grace P came 4th and Peter & Carol finished 6th.
Another exhausting day finished just after 11pm and we all retired to the bar in the hotel for food and alcohol to reflect on the day’s highs and lows. The overall view was that it was another great weekend even if all the results didn’t always quite go our way. You all looked amazing, gave great performances and showed your commitment and dedication.
Thanks once again to our loyal supporters and our fantastic team of partners: Luke, Ruth, Alex, Liam, Karen and Josh, we couldn’t manage all that we do without you and your generosity in giving up your time both during the weekend and for practising.
Boris doesn’t have much time to recover as some of you will be in action again this weekend but he did have a great time meeting up with his chums and watching you all perform.
Next we have the NATD exam session and the much anticipated 4th series of Strictly George Spencer. Make sure you get your ticket as they will sell out quickly.