Towering Performances at Blackpool

October usually heralds the onset of Autumn with all its glorious colour together with cooler weather, shorter days and a time when Boris is glad of his jumper. For our dancers it also brings one of the most prestigious events in our calendar, the British Sequence Championships at Blackpool. 

This year saw the 70th running of these Championships and we had a great team with us, all eager to test their skills against the best dancers in the country, in this style of dance.

The first day saw all dancers in action: Josh & Grace, Stuart & Andrea, Neil & Carla, Andrew & Dawn and Craig & Emma. The Wintergardens is always a fabulous place to dance, the huge floor, the ornate decor, the history, and the opportunity to dance to the live orchestra make this a very special event. First to put their skills to the test were Neil & Carla, Andrew & Dawn and Craig & Emma in their modern sequence event. They had to battle through two rounds on their way to the final which all three couples achieved, which in itself was a great performance. When the results were announced, Craig & Emma won with Neil & Carla second and Andrew & Dawn placed fifth which set the benchmark for the team and was excellent for all concerned.

The Senior Classical Sequence Championship followed with Stuart & Andrea in action and they finished third in the final analysis which was the same result as they achieved last year although they demonstrated a much improved performance.

Josh & Grace were our final couple in action in their Modern Sequence Championship. There were a number of new couples, fresh from the junior field, contesting this event today so they needed to have their A game with them. Once again they gave a confident and much improved performance earning a recall to the final. They will no doubt feel a little unfortunate to have been placed fifth and on another day could well have been placed higher. 

The following day saw only Neil & Carla and Andrew & Dawn in action but it was good to see that most of the others turned out to support their fellow team members in the early rounds and again in the evening. Once again they had to dance two rounds to reach the final which both couples did with Neil & Carla being placed first closely followed by Andrew & Dawn in second, we couldn’t have asked for anything more so well done to you both.

All too soon it was the final day of the festival, which seemed to have flown by. Josh & Grace, Stuart & Andrea and Craig & Emma were all in action today, with the addition of Liam & Grace joining for the Pro-Am event. As expected all couples were keen to do well and give their best performances, whilst Boris was keen to secure some more silverware.

It was also a certain person’s birthday and we could let it pass without marking the occasion.

In the Senior Modern Sequence event, Stuart & Andrea once again turned in a good performance but had to be content with third once again. Josh & Grace had their Classical Sequence Championship today and once again made the final finishing sixth overall. Craig & Emma repeated their success of Sunday evening with another win in their Classical Sequence event, emulating Josh & Grace’s double win of a few years earlier. 

We then came to the eagerly anticipated Pro-Am event and this gave Liam the opportunity to dance at these championships for the first time since he and Alex retired from their Amateur career. He was partnered by Grace and they gave a lovely display of the three test dances to take first place and round off a winning weekend. 

Overall then it was a very successful Championships for our dancers and all participants should be complimented on their performances, attire, commitment and team support which was fantastic. Well done to all involved.

After all the excitement of the last few days even Boris felt in need of refreshment whilst everyone reflected on the high points of the festival.

We only have a week to recover before one of the other important events in our calendar, the ISTD Grand Finals, once again in Blackpool. Most of the team will be in action here and Boris will be extremely busy organising the mascots. Look out for further reports here.

Dancing in the Rain!

Not so sunny Whitby

This morning the car turned north up the A1 to Whitby. This is a very much looked forward to event on the calendar although today the weather didn’t exactly give us a warm welcome with rain all the way. Nevertheless, there was a warm and friendly welcome when we arrived in the beautiful Spa Ballroom.

At this event we usually just have a team of adult competitors but for the first time we were joined by Tabatha and April who danced as a couple in all the juvenile events within their age group. This meant they had to learn to dance together the waltz, quickstep, tango, cha cha cha, jive and samba. An achievement before the day had even begun!

The day started with the ballroom section and the largest entry of the day was the Open Adult waltz and quickstep which started off with 30 couples.  Andrew & Dawn, Paul & Karen, Craig & Karly and Chris & Serena all made it to the last 13 couples. Andrew & Dawn made it one round further to the semi final and Chris & Serena made it two rounds further making the final, being placed a very worthy 5th. In the age categories, Paul & Karen won their event with Chris & Serena 5th and Andrew & Dawn also won their age group. In the children’s events, Tabatha & April were recalled twice in the open under 12yrs, making the semi final. In the juvenile all girls they were also recalled twice, to make the final, being placed 6th and in the 8-9yrs they came 4th. 

It was then time for the sequence events. In the Adult Sindy Swing, all four couples made it to the semi final. Then three couples progressed to the final. With Andrew & Dawn coming 2nd, Craig & Karly 6th and Paul & Karen 7th.

It was then time for the ‘fun’ Mayfair quickstep competition, where we had some new partnerships, Karly with April, Chris with Dawn, Andrew with Serena, Craig with Tabatha, Paul with Julie (Craig’s Mum) and Karen with Rob (Karly’s Dad). Everyone entered into the spirit of the event. Nearly everyone got a recall. Then progressing another round to the semi final were Chris & Dawn, Andrew & Karly, Craig & Tabatha and Rob & Karen. Making it one more round to the final were Chris & Dawn finishing 6th and Andrew & Serena finishing 2nd.

It was then the last section of the day, the Latin American. The Open Adult rumba and jive was again the largest event with everyone getting at least a recall and Craig & Karly, Paul & Karen and Andrew & Dawn reaching the semi final. In the ages groups, Andrew & Dawn won their event. Paul & Karen were 2nd in their event with Chris & Serena coming 5th. 

Tabatha and April changed roles for the Latin American events with April taking the lead role this time. They came 7th in their age group, achieved a recall in the all girls event and worked their way through two recalls in the under 12yrs open event.

Overall, it was a lovely day, the atmosphere was warm and friendly with great music inspiring both the dancers and supporters alike.

Then after a long day of dancing we went for our usual reward of fish and chips at the Magpie. Why is it fish always tastes better at the seaside??

This type of event is going to be repeated twice in 2020 in April and again in October therefore, we hope there will be lots of enthusiasm to join the group for a lovely day out of dancing at the seaside.

All eyes are now turning towards Blackpool, with the sequence championships next weekend closely followed by the medallist grand finals at the end of the month…..keep dancing!!!!!