Ath­leti­cism, style and flair com­bine in ‘ball­room blitz’

The Tribune (NZ) - - ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT - RICHARD MAYS

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.

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