UK represented at Norwegian Equality Open 2018

2 Jul 2018

Norwegian Equity, photo K Linnea Backe

Norwegian Equality Open, photo K Linnea Backe

Pete Meager from the UKSSDC, who also plays a role as International Relations Manager for the Norwegian Same Sex Dance Association (NOSSDA) recently helped organise the very first Same Sex Dance Competition in Oslo. The Norwegian Equality Open (NEO18) was held at the stunningly beautiful ballroom – Gamle Logen in the very heart of Oslo, and was attended by over 50 couples, representing 8 European countries from the Same-Sex dance circuit.

Being the very first competition, the team wanted to make a fantastic impression on both the locals and their visitors and were delighted that the Mayor of Oslo, Marianne Borgen was in attendance during the event. She spoke highly and freely of her passion for equality and diversity in the City, and how welcome everyone was as a European Same-Sex dance community. She thoroughly enjoyed the event and pledged to support and promote NOSSDA in their future events. NEO18 was also proud to play a part in the official programme for Oslo Pride and the organising team were invited to attend an opening event at the residence of the Canadian Ambassador with the rest of the Pride Team a few days before. A few of the competing couples were also proud to take part in presentation dances at Pride events throughout the City over the weekend both to help promote the competition as well as Same-Sex dancing in Norway. This level of exposure was well received by the NOSSDA team which helped heighten their debut profile.

NOSSDA President, and Chair of #NEO18, Kai Andre Lillebo says:

“I would like to thank all participants and spectators from all over Europe who helped make this an event I will remember forever! Without my NOSSDA Team this would not have been possible. I am so proud of you and so grateful for your support and help. Norway is finally on the map for Same-Sex dancing”

Pete Meager, who was also the Master of Ceremony for the first time tells us:

“NEO18 was an amazing weekend and I felt totally overwhelmed by the positive feedback. Norway is a country very close to my heart and a dance family so very special to me. The competition was a huge success and participants came from all over Europe to be part of an historic milestone for Same-Sex dancing in Norway. We celebrate diversity and equality and the breadth of our competitors also echoed this. We had seven new starter couples on the floor as well as our usual favourites from all over Europe. We couldn’t have been happier”.

He goes on to say:

“We were entertained by Caroline Privou and Petra Zimmermann (Germany) who won the A Class Women’s Ballroom, whilst Piia Korpi & Santra Rinne (Finland) remained at the top of our A Class Women’s Latin category. We were delighted to see the partnership between Corentin Normand & Julien Poli (France) go from strength to strength since they first appeared on the dance floor in Copenhagen in December 2017, they took GOLD in Men’s A Class Ballroom in Oslo. However, we were also pleased to see that our new UK couple, Michael Litke & Mariusz Stankiewicz were close behind winning SILVER after taking to the competitive dance floor for the first time just a few weeks back in Germany. – a flying start for this dynamic duo. The UK were also ecstatic to see Darren Whitby and Vishesh Mehta bring home GOLD for Men’s A Class Latin – a great and another proud result for the UK”.

NOSSDA were delighted with the success of this debut competition and very much look forward to begin working on #NEO19 as soon as they can.