ISTD Qualifier – Pudsey

This Sunday was a little further afield than the previous weekend. It was north up the M1 to Pudsey in Leeds.
There was much anticipation, for a variety of reasons. Firstly, there was almost a full team attending which, with our more recently joined dancers means we are quite a size when we venture out en masse. Also, it was the first time to Pudsey for a few people and a few new couples partnerships.
IMG_1978To say we delivered, would be rather an understatement. Across the children’s and adult’s events we collected 35 first places. Everyone, looked amazing. The music and atmosphere was good which led to quite a few performances being far better than perhaps their expectation and our backing supporters to be jolly and vocal.
There are far too many performances to mention individually but here are a few select highlights :-
In the under 8yrs section Kaitlyn had to dance Quickstep and Samba. As many of you know, Samba is not the easiest of dances, particularly if you have never done it before and are only 6 years old. Nevertheless she worked hard and came 5th in the Quickstep and an amazing 1st in the Samba.
Luke and Chloe have both now moved up a category from under 8yrs to under 12yrs social dance test. They therefore did an amazing job to come first and second respectively in their individual Quickstep and Cha Cha Cha IMG_1983events and were first in their couples Quickstep and Jive.  Isobel had the largest event of the the day, as she had to dance three rounds to make her finals, which she did and came 3rd and 2nd. Grace S had the pressure of needing to qualify in her Latin, which was a Jive. She had two rounds to qualify for the final and came a very pleased and relieved 2nd. Jack won both of his ballroom and Latin events. Also, Molly won both her ballroom and Latin events, with Leila coming 2nd & 4th and Olivia 4th & 3rd respectively. Paige made her debut at this type of competition and secured a 1st and 4th place.
In the sequence events we dominated the field. In the under 35yrs section, special mention to Josh who won, Craig who made the final for the first time and also Karly who got her first recalls in this type of event and made it to the semi final. In the over 35yrs, Serena turned the tables back on Karen from the previous week’s result. This is obviously going to be a very closely contested event this year. And, in the over 50yrs, Carla took the win again, which makes it three wins in the first three events of the year. Well done.
IMG_1995Moving on to the adult ballroom and Latin sections. Firstly, a warm welcome to Charlotte, who joined the team for the first time. Charlotte, used to dance some while ago and has decided to make a return to the dance floor. This she did in style with a win in both sections. Wins were also recorded in the ballroom section by Carol, Grace P, Serena, Hazel, Josh, Karen H, Carla, Iris, Neil, Andy and Geraldine. Then in the Latin section by Peter, Craig, Serena, Hazel, Karen H, Carla, Iris, Neil, Andy and Geraldine.
It was then onto the couples and we had a couple of new partnerships, Craig with Charlotte and Alexander with Libbie. They came a creditable 2nd & 1st and 3rd & 3rd. Peter & Carol and Josh & Grace P won both of their events, Neil & Carla their ballroom event and Andy & Dawn their Latin event.
So there are the highlights. Thanks as always to Liam and Alex for their excellent partnering. Also, to Claire and Josh for their assistance.
One final person to mention is Anita (Grace P’s Mum) who decided there was nowhere else she would rather be on her birthday than supporting all of us at Pudsey – thank you, hope you enjoyed your day.IMG_1988
Boris Bear is still recovering from all the excitement and meeting up with all his bear friends. But, he will be fully recovered and batteries recharged for our competition in two weeks and looks forward to seeing you all there.

ISTD Three Dance Qualifier & Inventive Dance Competition

Yesterday was a sequence only Blackpool qualifier competition. The event we usually call Whitwick but this year the venue changed to West Park, Long Eaton. This meant we were on home ground and also that we had an extra 15 minutes in bed (nice).IMG_1948

We had a strong turnout both in quantity and quality. In the Juvenile event, Grace S won, Chloe was 2nd and Isobel was 4th. They were all amazing but special mention must go to Isobel who has worked so hard to be ready for her first sequence three dance event and on the day rose to the challenge and performed way beyond expectation. She also looked lovely in the new dress she’d had for the occasion.
In the Junior event, Molly won, Olivia was 2nd and Jack was 3rd. They all looked great and importantly have now qualified to dance at Blackpool.
In the under 35yrs event we had seven dancers. Josh and Grace had the added challenge of partnering each other and should be pleased they secured both 1st and 2nd spots. Emily came a very satisfying 3rd, with Libbie, Craig, Paul and Karly coming in close behind.IMG_1956

IMG_1958In the over 35yrs event there were only four entries. So our team of Karen, Serena, Neil and Chris were responsible for putting on the show. Today Karen turned the tables on recent results, proving how close everyone is and how such minute details and adjudicators personal preferences can change a result.

IMG_1959In the over 50yrs event we had nine dancers. Carla maintained her winning form and came out top again, closely followed by Dawn, Christine, Andy, Sue and Dennis.

This event has more spectators than our usual competitions and we were very proud of the display you all put on for them. As we were such a large team today, lots of partners had to the drafted in. Huge thanks to Luke, Liam, Alex and Ruth who came especially to partner and also to Josh, Karen and Molly who partnered as well as competed.IMG_1965

After the competitions, Liam and Alex treated us all to a super demonstration of classical sequence dancing. Showing us why they are the four times reigning undefeated British amateur champions. Alex looked beautiful in her white dress and Liam rather dapper in his tail suit. They performed a medley of classical waltzes, gavottes, saunters and two steps. I could see the audience trying to keep up with the long list of dances being displayed.

IMG_1971aLiam and Alex bear were immaculately turned out to support their namesakes. In fact our family gathering of bears was so large today they needed their own table, a chair will no longer suffice. They all watched on attentively although we had a few tears at the end as one poor little bear was sadly left behind. Boris is currently providing support and hopefully he will be reunited with his owner soon (unless of course he decides it’s more fun to stay with Boris).

So there we have it. Another successful day. Next week we are off to Pudsey hoping for more Blackpool qualifying slips to be secured.