Ballroom Dance > blackpool results

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by cl5814, May 28, 2006.

  1. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    Thanks DancingJools, and yes it would be great if we could leave that type of talk to the "tabloid journalist" forums and magazines.
  2. Laura

    Laura New Member

    Here's a question: last year there was some Pro/Am comp tacked on to the end of Blackpool. Did that even take place this year? If not, why not?

    Just curious.
  3. DancingJools

    DancingJools Member

    There was no such event this year and I don't know of any plans for the future. My impression was that last year was a one-time event.
  4. chrisjohnston

    chrisjohnston Well-Known Member

    Supershag ran the event last year on behalf of the UKA Unfortunately we have so much happening in the US this year that we did not have the time to organize it .The UKA have expressed an interest in running the event again and actually did want to host it this year.On a side note Tibor from Supershag is actually at the UKA conference doing a whole days worth of workshops on Smooth dancing.Cheers chris
  5. dressgirl

    dressgirl New Member

    Back in the US after an almost 3 week journey involving Paris, London and the whole of Blackpool. Grateful to have ice cubes and iced tea again! Blackpool was a phenomenal event this year - I felt the US was passed over again and again unfortunately, and that tainted an otherwise perfect trip. Paying dues, coaching with the right people, politics, tea leaves, lucky charms and superstitions aren't enough to overcome a panel of Brits who seem to remember the Revolution every evening when the 48 becomes the 24. You feel like this is the moment - how could they ignore the excellence of our couples? and then it happens again and we go from 8 couples to 2 or 3. By the final, I am waiting for the dress change and packing up the camera. The most exciting round is the 48 - first I have a whole bunch of people that I know and adore to cheer for and second, it isn't crowded with the bronze level dancers from the really large country that has the largest population in the world. I think they don't have enough teachers to keep all the students dancing while they are gone, so they just bring everybody - as you get on the bus, you get a dress and a makeup lesson.

    The differences this year were obvious as I looked at my pictures - the dresses were sooo much prettier in standard and the latin dresses - well they were either to the knees or above the crotch. But they were composed much better than in years past - not a whole lot of everything but the kitchen sink. The second difference was the joy in the faces I captured - I don't remember so many smiles, so much exhilaration in years past. The third difference you won't see in my pictures - I saw more tears and sad faces this year than ever at the end of each evening. Our sport is expensive on all levels and in all countries - these kids give up weeks of teaching to go to England to get coaching, compete and hopefully get a notch up on the ladder. The european countries often support their top couples, so losing to someone could mean losing significant income. The pressure is unreal - the location surreal and in the end, saying "you should have been in there" is not enough.

    I find it amazing every year what you have to go through to get there - planes, trains, buses, taxi - no skycap, just wobbly clackety carts that won't go straight. B and B accomodations that would be condemmed in the US and we are actually protectively proud of, comparing the size of bathrooms and breakfasts. And of course, putting pounds down for next years deposit. Blackpool doesn't have a lot of "real" dancers in their population - they don't attend, they are just grateful for the business. So there is an invasion of pink and purple suitcases from Japan and food-toting slicked-back hair guys from China (and Americans with toooooooo much luggage) to this strange little city on the northern coast of England where the big excitement of the prior week was a hen party that got a little wild. 3 or 4 sticky toffee puddings, a lot of Indian food, a cottage pie, a salad each day that includes 2 grapes (no more, no less), lamb and mint crisps, limitless numbers of mars bars, bacon that is closer to ham, custard on anything that could remotely be considered a custard accompaniment, coffee (lots and lots of coffee), diet coke (they finally figured out diet coke -no more light coke), a wish that you had brought mittens, figuring out how to look smashing when you have to walk 4 blocks in wind and rain on uneven bricks - who cares wear black pants and gob up the jewelry, swearing you will not overpack next year (but then remembering that last year it was 70 degrees not 45), a vow to never eat sticky toffee pudding again after pro latin, best friends in very close quarters, finally, you pack up and leave with the pink suitcases and let the quirky little city return to its protan-less state. On Saturday I stood alone in front of the Winter Garden. The locals don't get that the reason we come can be summed up in that delicious moment in under 21 standard when some fresh faced fearless kids from slovenia go airborne in quickstep. Blackpool is a moment to bring your best to the table and the getting there and enduring make the rewards so much greater.

    sdsalsaguy has some of the best shots that anyone took - hope after next week he'll have a moment to edit some and get them to his web site. I got some lucky shots - but he was the hot shot photographer of the week.

    I'm headed to the store to buy some slimfast.....:)
  6. star_gazer

    star_gazer Active Member

    Thank you Dressgirl. I love the review!
  7. saludas

    saludas New Member

    I noted many many many many Japanese entries in Standard, but few Chinese, which has the largest population in the world... are you sure you are talking about the right country?
  8. Laura

    Laura New Member

    I'm curious about the Chinese too. I have a Chinese friend who is a competitive ballroom dancer and teacher. In order to get permission to leave China to go to international events, the dancers have to post a bond. The amount of the bond depends on their history and where they are travelling. His only time out of China was to go to a competition in Singapore, and I think he said his bond for that was 3,000 yuan (that's about a month and a half of his salary as a dance teacher). He said the bond to go to Blackpool was much larger -- it was either 10,000 yuan per couple, or maybe it was even 10,000 yuan per person. That's a *lot* of money in I wonder how so many couples can find the means to!
  9. DancerForLife

    DancerForLife Member

    The review was lovely... thank you. Made me feel a bit like I was actually there :). Nice to have some commentary on something other than the actual dancing itself. Thank you!
  10. dressgirl

    dressgirl New Member

    its possible - I am not one to carry the book into the ballroom. But honestly, the effect would be the same if they were from France or the US or a zillion different countries. The first qualifying round has a lot of really scared, ill-prepared bronze-silver level dancers (and some not as scared as they should be) who are struggling to remember the choreography. So I apologize for the error. I honestly think that the impression that China came to the game later than everyone else is what fueled my thoughts - Japan has been working on being a ballroom superpower for a very long time.

    And Peter Maxwell needs to learn to say "will all couples please stand together" in Chinese, Japanese, Italian and Russian. Frankly I wish there were general announcements in several languages every night. People complain when directions aren't followed - a lot of the dancers and the audience don't speak any English.
  11. dressgirl

    dressgirl New Member

    Thanks guys!
  12. geoffbjcn

    geoffbjcn New Member

    I guess if you take a minute to check the competitors list you will be able to find out that those "bronze level dancers" are mostly not from the "large country that has the largest population in the world". I'm afraind not so many bronze level dancers in that country can afford that luxuary, not yet, not to mention their students.

    I'm also very sorry that some of the best US couples were overlooked by the Blackpool judges, but there's no point to take it on those Asian dancers. Maybe the organizer can follow the model of the World Cup, giving each country or continent a certain quota, so that the dance floor is not overwhelmed by competitiors from a certain country. But that's a totally different matter.

    Lastly, I want to say that this is a very good review, very vivid, personal and original. Thanks for sharing.
  13. geoffbjcn

    geoffbjcn New Member

    I don't know about the bond you mentioned about. But it is true that it's very difficult for Chinese to get a visa to the developed countries like US, UK or EU countries. You have to see the papers I have to produce to the French Embassy when I applied a visa to France, it is literally a book. So other than the financial considerations, a visa is another huge obstacle for Chinese to go out to compete.
  14. geoffbjcn

    geoffbjcn New Member

    I think it's not a matter of who comes early who comes late, it should be the question who is good and who is not. I'd rather neglect which country the competitors are from (don't forget the country the couples represent may not necessarily the country they are originally from). I'd hope the dancesport would stay away from politics as much as possible, but... who am I to say that?

    By the way, there's nothing to be surprised if a couple of Chinese competitors are catching up so quickly. With China's soaring economy, the Chinese dancers are given more opportunity to learn and compete with the best dancers in the world. It's only normal to see their progress aussuming that ANY race has equal talents in learning and dancing. Again, this is not taking into consideration of the politics which I really dislike.
  15. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    When in Rome...
  16. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    That's what (closed) World Championships are for. Blackpool is really just another open competition.
  17. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    Thanks dressgirl... :oops: :oops:

    I've had a chance to start processing my shots and have started adding them to my online albums. So far I have day 1 and part of day 2 up. Day 1's shots are a little off for my liking, but with almost no sleep the night before, flights from San Diego to Chicago and Chicago to Manchester, a train from Manchester to Blackpool, only a couple of minutes "napping", and some new camera equipment that was the best I could do to start out. I remember having trouble eveen focussing my eyes by the time of the finals!

    With a night of sleep and a little more time to figure out what I was doing, day 2's shots got better. :)

    What exists of my 2006 Blackpool albums so far can be found at:
  18. alemana

    alemana New Member

    schweet! i have been waiting for these :)

  19. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    :oops: :oops:

    Thanks alemana! :D

    Just added another 100+ day 2 shots too... (and with more still to come)
  20. LXC

    LXC New Member

    Photos are up on dancesportinfo. Looks like individually sewed feather gowns are big in standard. I saw one like that several years ago by Pino's partner and loved it but heard that it's very expensive. Wonder when it'll be affordable for regular folks.

    Anna's costume is most eye-catching to me. There's a bit of shock at first, but then I love it.

    Looks like Alessia is dancing in those metal stilettos (I'll save my comment on her white gown). So not only can you dance in those shoes, you can get a blackpool title in them :D

    What did Kristi Boyce do to her hair? :shock:

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