Dancing through the years
A pair of twinkle-toed champions is hoping they’ve still got the right moves to sweep the floor with the competition at the New Zealand Masters Games.
Auckland Central Ceroc Dance instructors Elly-Ann Pritchard and Wayne Griffiths will be competing in dancesport at the 13th Masters Games to be hosted in Whanganui next week.
After clocking up hours of training on the dance floor of their Lorne St studio, they are poised for success, Ms Pritchard says.
‘‘Every time we compete we get better and better.’’
And if she’s right the competition may as well pack up their dancing shoes and head home as this dynamic duo already has an impressive swag of trophies to show for their efforts.
Among other awards they have taken home, they have gold medals in the dancesport category at both of the last two Masters Games.
Ms Pritchard has been dancing for almost 47 years, but Mr Griffiths is a relative newcomer to the sport having taken it up just three and a half years ago after his retirement from Australian professional football.
The Mt Roskill-resident was looking for a low-impact sport that would still allow him to exercise his competitive side.
Dancing was a perfect move, he says.
Ceroc is a partner dance combining a fusion of salsa and modern jive without the complicated footwork.
Mr Griffiths says the pair may have some surprises in store for both the judges and spectators next Saturday.
‘‘We can spend ages creating new moves because there are no rules in this sport. When we go and compete we always aim to do something new that no-one’s ever seen before.’’
Because the games are restricted to entrants who are 35 years or older, judges cannot get caught up in the youthful exuberance that younger competitors could bring to the floor, Ms Pritchard says.
‘‘That’s one of the lovely things about the games is you go there and you are competing against people of your age – not against 20-year-olds. ‘‘We have to dance smart.’’ With no plans to step back from the sport any time soon, Mr Griffiths says they will have to wheel the pair off of the dance floor before they hang up their jiving shoes. Ms Pritchard agrees. ‘‘I want to be a role model for growing old disgracefully.’’
The competition will be held on February 2 from 1pm.
Let's dance: Wayne Griffiths and Elly-Ann Pritchard are competing in dancesport at the New Zealand Masters Games in Whanganui.
Go to centralleader.co.nz and click on Latest Edition to watch the pair perform.