I was ~3 months old when Imperial last won Best A Team at Blackpool. Now I am 237 months old and Imperial has at last done it again, vanquishing the titans of Cambridge.
It all started on a sunny Friday afternoon when 62 dancers embarked on a long, slow coach ride to the home of Ballroom. With sprayed hair and fake tans, we arrived at midnight having tested our knowledge of halide tests and reverse Disney songs.
But before we knew it, it was time to get up, as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as we could possibly be. The Winter Gardens were opening at 8am and we wanted as much practice time as possible. The Winter Gardens is where the oldest Ballroom dance competition takes place and is probably the world’s most famous ballroom.
The day kicked off with the suave and elegant Ballroom dances (Waltz, Tango, Viennese Waltz, Foxtrot and Quickstep). To succeed here you need a strong frame, floor craft skills and the ability to make everything appear effortless. In the intermediate 3-dance Henry Heston & Sarah McMullan came 4th and Ben Biggs & Katie Moorcroft came 6th out of 56 couples. In the ex-student novice 2-dance Matthew Abdul-Rahim & Yue Shi came 4th, Carsten Beck & Priyanka Shah came 5th and Alex Beddall & Slavina Georgieva came 7th. Finally, in the advanced 4-dance Victor Solecki & Iris Roatis came 6th.
Post lunch came Latin American along with a shift in gears. The five Latin dances (Cha Cha, Samba, Rumba, Paso Doble and Jive) are where you shake your hips and flick your feet… as well as the occasional body roll. In the beginners Jive, Sony Saint-Auret & Yingyi Wang came 6th out of over 160 couples. In the ex-student 2-dance Alex Beddall & Lily Keeling came 2nd and Aizar Enciso Dominguez & Izumi Kurokawa came 5th. In the ex-student 5-dance, Tianci Ma & Kerys Borg came 3rd and Philip Kaloyanov & Daria Dicu came 5th. Last but by no means least was the advanced 4-dance, where Matthew Cavuto & Mariya Pozdeyeva won and Teodor Rusu & Maya Thomas came 7th.
Acrobatic Rock ‘n’ Roll sees dare-devil lifts and tricks being performed and Imperial’s very own Henry Heston & Sarah McMullan won. The Salsa followed by Aizar Enciso Dominguez & Izumi Kurokawa placing 5th in the intermediate category.
As the night drew in, the team match began. Waltz, Cha Cha, Quickstep and Jive would be performed by 4 different couples as a single team. It was as a team that we really started coming into our own. The beginners Waltz and Jive teams both came 3rd in their respective dances. The B team were crowned the best B team of the day too. But the icing on the cake was when our A team were victorious, the first time since 1999. Here’s hoping they replicate their success in 2020!
Overall everybody in the Dance Club should be incredibly proud of their collective achievements. It’ll certainly be a weekend to remember… and the after party wasn’t bad either.