Competitive Dancesport, part 1

04 Nov 2019 - Richard Horridge

2019-11-04 Mon 10:51


Competitive Dancing (photo © Nathaniel C. Sheetz CC-BY-SA-3.0)

At the time of writing I currently have 4 dance partners.

This may seem a little greedy, so some context is needed: at partnering several weeks ago I got a permanent partner for lessons and, when we both want to, for competitions. At the moment, I'm more keen to compete than my partner - which is absolutely fine - so for the first competition, Leicester Friendly on <2019-11-09 Sat, I've got two partners - one for Ballroom, one for Latin.

I'll be doing four dances in each category; Novice Waltz/Quickstep, Beginner/Novice Foxtrot and Open Tango for Ballroom, and Novice Cha/Jive, Beginner/Novice Samba and Open Rumba for Latin. Of these dances, I've never done Foxtrot before at a competition and I've made up a Tango routine specifically.

Of course, that only accounts for three out of the four partners! I was in need of a partner for Warwick Varsity competition and I was very fortunate to get an extremely talented partner - I have the potential to improve a great deal from practicing with her! However, due to her level of experience we are going to dance in Intermediate (!) at Warwick - this is a big step up for someone (me) who was an absolute beginner, yet to do their first competition, at this time last year!

This means I will have to do a three dance in both Ballroom and Latin - Intermediate Waltz/Foxtrot/Quickstep and Intermediate Cha/Samba/Jive - all of which will be open choreography and open dress! We'll be dancing against couples with tailsuits and Latin shirts with unrestricted routines including line figures, hops and charges!

While quite a scary prospect, I'm excited at the opportunity to dance at this level. I'm going to approach it as a learning opportunity and aim for our routines to be as good as possible - at the expense of adding excessive open choreography. It is better to dance a restricted routine well, than to dance an open routine poorly - though there is always the chance that we might do better than I could expect!

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