Photo gallery: UEA hosts national student ballroom dancing competition
11:58 29 January 2013
Sequins, glitzy outfits and complex routines were on show in a Norwich sports hall at the weekend when students across the country took part in a dance competition.
Strictly Come Dancing stars of the future demonstrated their moves on Saturday as more than 200 young people competed in a dance contest at the University of East Anglia (UEA).
Organisers hailed the success of the Sportspark’s first national student dancing competition after the university’s Dancesport society experienced a membership boost.
Competitors from universities in Cambridge, Warwick, Nottingham, Leicester, Southampton, Kent and London descended on Norwich to dance in a variety of ballroom and Latin styles.
Dozens of people also watched as the music and dancing began in the Haydn Morris Hall at the Sportspark for the day-long event.
Gurdas Singh Sually, president of UEA Dancesport, which had 36 members taking part, hailed the “massive success” of the competition, which involved beginner, novice, intermediate and advanced dancers. He added that they hoped to run the event again next year.
“Because it was the first time we have run the competition we were a little apprehensive, but it has been a great day and everyone has enjoyed themselves and the venue has been fantastic. We could not have asked for it to go better.
“We set it up to be friendly and give people a chance to try out their routines. We have big varsity competitions and nationals in March, so this is a chance to practise,” he said.
Dancers competed in five ballroom and five Latin routines, including the Cha Cha, Foxtrot, Jive, Mambo, Rumba, Tango and Viennese Waltz. There were also some fun contests with a three-girl Samba event, all-male Paso Doble, and a fancy dress dance.
Mr Sually added that Strictly Come Dancing had boosted participation in ballroom and Latin styles.
“It is brilliant for the profile of the sport. It is quite a traditional sport and it is great that it has been rejuvenated and the competition circuit is growing,” he said.
Chloe Rochester, publicity officer for UEA Dancesport, added that the society was one of the oldest at the university and was beginning to build up its numbers because of the increasing popularity of ballroom and Latin dancing. She added that UEA students had performed better on home turf and had reached lots of finals.