Athleticism, style and flair combine in ‘ballroom blitz’
Top regional dancesport event, the 2016 Rose City Dancesport Spectacular, takes to the floor this Saturday.
Convenor Shirley Wall, who started the glam event 20 years ago, said after the national dancesport competition, the annual Palmerston North ballroom and Latin showcase was the next largest on the New Zealand calendar, and one of the country’s ballroom highlights.
This year, the event has attracted 106 entries.
‘‘It’s highly thought of, and people like coming here,’’ Wall said.
Along with several national champion dancesport exponents, special guests are Latin dance teachers and judges Kristijan and Sandra Pavlovic, who are also the 2015 New Zealand Professional Latin American champions. The pair will be presenting a Latin showcase floor show.
As the name dancesport suggests, this is competitive ballroom dancing. Dancesport was coined to help gain Olympic recognition for what dancers describe as a sport combined with interpretive art.
While Olympic inclusion hasn’t happened, Wall said the attraction was in the combination of ‘‘glitz, glamour, dynamic dancing, exciting costumes, grace and artistry combined with a high level of fitness’’.
Competitors needed to maintain thorough training regimes to perform at top level.
Wall said the energy expended and levels of athleticism and artistry made for ‘‘must-see’’ performances.
‘‘We have any number of aspiring, enthusiastic competition dancers from Whangarei to Christchurch taking part.’’
The three dancesport categories are ballroom, which includes the waltz, tango, slow foxtrot, and quickstep; Latin, with samba, rumba, cha cha, paso doble and jive; and new vogue, a category with a range of styles that won’t be as wellknown to most people.
Among these are the merrilyn, tangoette, gypsy tap, la bomba, evening three-step, excelsior schotissche and charmaine.
‘‘The competitors’ ages range from 6 to 76, and we have a number of children competing in the junior and juvenile sections.’’
Commencing in the Barber Hall in Waldegrave St at 1pm on Saturday, the Dancesport Spectacular runs through into the evening.
Palmerston North dancers Michael Onland and Neridah McPhail will be among the competitors for Saturday’s Dancesport Spectacular at Barber Hall.