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Out of interest and to check out what dance competition is all about, I went along to the 2015 ADS Premiere Championship, on 9th September held at the Pullman in Albert Park.
I chose to attend this competition but was very surprised to learn there are probably 10 to 20 competitions held every year in Victoria alone!
A flyer for the event was available via the ADS (Australian Dancing Society) website. A quick check with the organiser confirmed that tickets were on sale at the door starting from 8am! $60 for unrestricted access from 8am to 11pm seemed like great value entertainment to me…
The ballroom was upstairs at the Pullman Hotel, and quite large, there were competitors in ‘competition wear’ and all along the sides of the room and when I entered everybody was warming up in the side lines. It was clearly more of an event for competitors rather than spectators as most of the spectators appeared to be from the supporting dance schools (either coaches or parents watching) or competitors waiting for their next event.
Next to the ballroom there was a practice room to warm up, fix the hair and makeup and check out the latest from the dance suppliers. There was also a bar and refreshments were available.
Staying just for the afternoon session, I watched New Vogue, Latin and Standard in juvenile, youth, adult and masters classes. It was especially interesting to watch the ‘Recreational’ events, as the couples wore ‘normal’ clothes and the level was close to the level of the group classes which I have been attending. I did recognise most of the steps that we are always working ever so hard to execute properly… but in the graded and open classes, the choreography became much more complicated and the execution, more fluid. But not faultless! I noticed a few spills here and there, delays from mental blanks, multiple collisions, and not that many heel leads. However, the standard is fairly consistent across the board and of course beautiful to observe.
Checking out the ‘competition dress’ was the most enjoyable part for me, it seems the current trend for ladies are in a 1950′s style with slightly shorter skirts, some polka dot fabrics, full skirts starting close to the waist, and belts/ sequins and ribbons to mark the waist. Alexandra Vladimirov wore the perfect example of this fashion (see front page of Australian Dance Review August 2015). Hair was mostly in a bun the size of a squashed tennis ball sitting very high up, while some latin dancers were sporting stunning bleached bobs cuts!
All in all, this event was a great way to spend an afternoon, be able to observe the competition dance scene both backstage and as part of the audience. Worth going.
- Marianne Stoettrup
Finally!!! Photo’s from our Medal Examination Night held in November
Congratulations to all the new beginner students who passed a bronze level exam;
Rick Von Bibra
Special thanks to;
Marianne Stoetrupt & Carol Pham for showcasing such beautiful dancing!
What a fantastic night!
Victor Silvester played a huge part in the development of Ballroom dancing in England.
As founding member of the ISTD (Imperial Society of Teachers of Dance) he also won the first Ballroom World Championship in 1922 with partner Phyllis Clarke.
As a musician, his records sold more than 75 million copies worldwide from 1930 through 1980.
Irene & Vernon Castle
Credited for introducing various ballroom dances to the United States in the early 1920′s.
Alex Moore teaching a class in England
Creator of “The Ballroom Technique”
Ballroom dancing came to Hollywood & the big screen in the 1930′s thanks to
Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers
As president of the “Australian Dancing Society” Mickey Powell and the first Australian competitive team travelled to England by sea in 1948.
Alf Davies and Julie Reaby were members of that team and remain the only Australians who have ever won the British Professional Modern Championship (twice!).
In 1962 the Australian Dancing Society were granted rights to stage the World Professional Championship in Melbourne, Australia. This was in fact the first time it had ever been awarded to any country outside of England.
Alf Davies and Julie Reaby in a 1956 Coca Cola commercial.
The legendary Bill & Bobbie Irvine of the 1960′s
Can you Foxtrot with a cup of tea balancing on your head? Don’t try this at home!
Congratulations to YCD student Marianne Stoettrupt who traveled to Cologne, Germany to participate in the I.S.T.D Festival.
Marianne placed 5th in Standard-Ballroom against some amazingly talented dancers from both Germany and England. What an outstanding achievement… and she also completed a medal examination on the day of her arrival and received an Honours mark!
Well done Marianne!!
Instructor Paul-Daniel was also at the festival, partnering both Marianne and several other German dancers. Special mentions go to – Renate Rademacher, Inese & Ehard Hosters and Anna Sapko.
If you’re at all interested in flamenco or Spain or dance you have to catch this fabulous 1983 version of Carmen.
Being a Saura film and being Spanish, of course it has sex, death and surrealism. Games are played with reality and you’re never quite sure what is real and what isn’t. Thus the real life choreographer and dancer Antonio Gades plays Antonio, a choreographer and dancer directing a flamenco version of Carmen based on both Mérimée’s novella and Bizet’s opera. He is dancing Don José.
The beginning of the film has Antonio trying to cast the passionate, lawless heroine and going to a dance class, where he sees the tiger-eyed Carmen, who fecklessly arrives late. She is played by the self-admittedly ‘wild’ Laura de Sol—who also arrived late for her audition with Saura. Of course Antonio casts her as Carmen and begins an affair with her. True passion, male stupidity or getting into the part he is playing?
The famous flamenco dancer Cristina Hoyos plays Cristina, who bears a grudge against Carmen because, though Cristina is the better dancer, Antonio refuses to cast her as the heroine. The grudge is played out in one of the most thrilling dances, the catfight in the tobacco factory that ends with Carmen slitting Cristina’s throat.
Finally, the famous guitarist and composer Paco de Lucía, plays Paco, a guitarist who transposes one of Bizet’s loveliest tunes into the bulería flamenco rhythm as Antonio and Cristina dance to it.
I’m not sure what all this adds to the film, though Antonio’s deliberate self-delusion and jealous acting out do resonate with Don José’s deliberate blindness and acting out. What really makes this film something you must see is the pounding rhythm and passion of the flamenco, Lucía’s haunting guitar and Bizet’s voluptuous score. The habanera danced by Carmen/Carmen and Antonio/Don José is the ultimate in seduction—and they barely touch each other.
Excuse me. I have to rush out and find a flamenco class.
- Patsy Poppenbeek
UK Disco legend Leo Sayers crashed Federation Square last Wednesday morning for a surprise performance on the TV show “Sunrise”
YCD instructor Alex Kadamani prepared a group of seniors for a week prior to the performance, with the only requirement being, you must be over 50 years of age and you must love to dance!
Dancing to Leo’s 1976 hit “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing”, the group of seniors took over our studio in preparation for the event, turning it into a disco wonderland – learning how to Hustle, Bus Stop and of course all those quintessential Travolta-style moves of the 1970′s.
I don’t think they wanted to go home afterwards!
Check out the video below, can you spot some of our superstar students in action?
Congratulations to a very courageous group of seniors,
YOU make ME feel like dancing!
Special thanks to Apia group for organising such an fun event.
Rehearsals have begun with director Baz Luhrmann for an exciting, action packed eight week intensive rehearsal period at Carriageworks in Sydney for STRICTLY BALLROOM THE MUSICAL presented by Global Creatures.
Newcomers Thomas Lacey and Phoebe Panaretos will play the roles of ‘Scott Hastings’ and ‘Fran’. Their excitement at being chosen from an audition process that lasted eight months and involved close to 600 auditionees is palpable.
Lacey and Panaretos will be joined by principal performers Heather Mitchell, Drew Forsythe, Mark Owen-Taylor, Robert Grubb,Bob Baines, Fernando Mira, Natalie Gamsu, along with the entire multi-talented ‘triple threat’ cast.
STRICTLY BALLROOM THE MUSICAL is the inspiring story of a championship ballroom dancer who defies all the rules to follow his heart. This uplifting and courageous tale will commence previews on Tuesday, March 25 with the official world premiere tangoing and sashaying onto the world’s stage on Saturday, April 12 at Sydney’s Lyric Theatre, Star City.
This brand new theatrical production will be brought to the stage by the original creative team behind the classic 1992 film, including director and co-writer Baz Luhrmann, set and costume designer Catherine Martin, choreographer John “Cha Cha” O’Connell, and co-writer Craig Pearce.
Media Launch with Baz Luhrmann
Scott & Fran revealed on The Morning Show
From all the staff here at You Can Dance Studio,
We would like to wish our students a very merry christmas and a safe & happy new year!
The studio will be closed from Sunday 22nd December,
we will re-open on Monday 13th January 2014.
Group classes will resume through-out January/February
(please check the timetable)