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The Dance Review

Damian Evans reports on the first day of Champions of Tomorrow 2024

Champions of Tomorrow is one of the major UK festivals for all levels. Today is day one and the beginning of the festival with a fantastic turnout for the student teacher program of events. The adjudicators were introduced at 9:55am with a mammoth task ahead of them. 

All age groups and levels were so well supported today with some events having nearly 30 students in the first round. This proved to be a challenging task for our adjudicators working in panels throughout the day. The inclusion of all restricted syllabus events at all levels shows us the importance of studying the fundamentals and also allows those medallists students to compete and experience dancing at such a big competition in the Empress Ballroom.  The open levels are populated by an array of dancers from different backgrounds and especially showed a very good standard of dancing with many students showing an excellent level of performance and dance skills. 

American smooth is once again included in this event and it is most definitely becoming more popular on this side of the Atlantic as it allows another avenue of expression and of course a chance to experience and bask in the nostalgia of yesteryear and truly channel your inner Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. This is truly a beautiful style and I’m happy to see that more UK based teachers are now introducing it to their students. 

Early evening saw the tempos rise and the Latin American section commencing with the Pro Am following with the student teacher events. Again there was an array of different dancers ranging in all ages from 16 to over 70 strutting their stuff and truly enjoying the experience of dancing their hearts out in these wonderful historic surroundings. Some ending up achieving their goals, whatever they were, from remembering their routines under pressure or winning the event. Well done to all that took part. Competitive dancing is surely a journey to enjoy along the way. 

The day as expected was superbly organised and ran just like clockwork by the Blackpool Festival and Pro Am Champions teams.  An event of this magnitude takes many months of organisation and years of development to achieve this standard of presentation to be enjoyed by many. 

Today was truly a fabulous day of dance and I look forward to tomorrow! 

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