Warwick Latin and Ballroom took home over 60 medals and trophies after competing in the recent Northern University Dancesport Competition which took part on the 11th February at Birmingham University.
With 15 universities taking part, the competition was fierce but the 16 students from Warwick University managed to win both the Novice Ballroom and Intermediate Latin events as well as achieving 18 other final placings.
Doors opened at 9am at Birmingham University’s Great Hall and the majority of the 400+ students present made use of the practice music to test their dance routines on the crowded floor before competitions began. Dancesport competitions are judged in heats, with judges marking couples to go through to the next round. Finals are composed of six couples with five judges ranking the couples for their final positions.
The Ballroom competition kicked off at 10am with the Beginners Waltz and Quickstep. Warwick beginners did well with two couples making finals. Meanwhile, in the Intermediate Quickstep and Viennese Waltz, three Warwick couples made it through to the final, finishing 2nd, 3rd and 5th. In Novice Ballroom, Ian McDonnell and Jessica Green won the competition with the runners up also from Warwick.
Warwick dancers worked hard to beat other intermediate and advanced dancers into the Open 5 dance final to place 3rd and 4th. The Open 5 dance is one of the most demanding events on the circuit, where competitors dance all of the five ballroom dances (Waltz, Tango, Viennese, Foxtrot and Quickstep) back to back, testing the skill and stamina of the dancers. With this event being open to all students, the competition was fierce and having two couples in the final was a great achievement for the university.
After the Ballroom section, Rock ‘n Roll and Salsa events were run over lunch, with Ian McDonnell and Claire Hall placing second in the Salsa final.
In the afternoon’s Latin events, Warwick continued their run of success with two beginner finalists and three couples reaching the Intermediate Latin finals. Matt Hoather and Claire Hall won the event, while two other Warwick couples placed 3rd and 5th. The result of the Open 5 dance for Latin was even better than the Ballroom with three Warwick couples placing 3rd, 5th and 6th.
After the individual couple events were finished, the group events were run. Universities select the best four couples to create their A team and are allowed to submit a further three teams into the Team Match.
The team match was tough, with the University of Liverpool fielding a very strong advanced team, but Warwick A finished a respectable second place out of over 20 teams.
Warwick B came 4th overall, beating many other universities’ A teams. The C and D teams also won their categories, again beating other A teams.
The most impressive performance in Birmingham from Warwick was the one they performed last, as they won outright the choreographed group dance event ‘Offbeat’ with the routine, “The Toys are Back in Town”. This featured ballet dancers, Barbie dolls, soldiers and robots and went down an absolute storm with the audience, leading to a fully-deserved 1st place from the judges.
With Regionals well and truly conquered, it’s back to training for Warwick Dancesport as the team prepare to take on the rest of the UK’s universities, in the Inter-Varsity National Championships on the 3rd March in Blackpool.