‘It’s Fun to Dance’ – UK Competition 2019
Article by Pete Meager, United Kingdom Same-Sex Dance Council
Saturday 6 October brought us the 14th Annual UK Fun Competition at the delightful Rivoli Ballroom in South East London. This year, a staggering 90 entrants participated in this fun packed afternoon of ballroom, Latin, sequence and line dancing, some of them for the very first time!
In its usual form, the competition was the home to a very exciting and successful starters category, open to all those who have never danced in a competition irrelevant of gender, age or ability. This year both Same Sex and Mixed Couples came onto the dance floor to show off their Cha Cha Cha and Slow Waltz as part of this very special section – a huge congratulations to these individual achievements. The Starter competition was swiftly followed by C and D class Same Sex dance categories, including the Waltz, Quickstep, Rumba and Jive. This section was open to all same sex dance couples from the previous starter competition as well as couples who have never competed in a competition above C class on the Same Sex circuit.
Later on, almost everyone in the room took to the floor for the highly competitive fun dances, competing through multiple rounds of the Rio Cha Cha and the Midnight Waltz, slowly bringing the rounds down to the top 6 finalists – a highly sought after section of the competition and one of the most inclusive and fun rounds. Sequence dancing also plays its part in the afternoon of entertainment and couples were invited to compete in the old time, Saunter Together and the Mayfair Quickstep – they might be old time dances but the dancers certainly bring a modern twist to their performances.
We were excited by two very special couples who took to the floor for a highly competitive six legged jive – when they say practice makes perfect, they had this special category in mind. The trios spent weeks rehearsing and perfecting their routines to wow the crowds in this energetic and showy section of the competition. Spectators were also treated to two very special presentations from Carley Haslem & Mary Matthews and Soren & Bradley Stauffer-Kruse, both couples providing entertaining performances from their recent appearances at the 10. Gay Games in Paris – delightful to watch such talented couples.
Finally, the competition included a Same-Sex Argentine Tango, Salsa and Paso Doble for the more adventurous dancers amongst the crowd and then went on to welcome all couples to a Viennese Waltz, Change Partner Waltz and last but by no means least a Change Partner Cha Cha Cha. What a day of fabulous Equality dancing!
Many thanks to Vernon Kemp, organiser of the competition since 2005, without his dedication and passion for this fun and friendly cause we simply wouldn’t have the opportunity. The event also raised over £300 for the Albert Kennedy Trust which Vernon was also delighted with. We also want to thank Laurie Yates from the ISTD who came and adjudicated for the whole afternoon – we are most grateful to you both for a wonderful afternoon.