Click clack, Dance­s­port’s back

The Tribune (NZ) - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - GE­OR­GIA FOR­RESTER

In a flurry of fab­ric, beaded gowns and shiny shoes, dancers are im­press­ing the judges with their ball­room moves.

The an­nual Dance­s­port Spec­tac­u­lar re­turned to Palmer­ston North’s Bar­ber Hall on Satur­day.

Peo­ple came from as far as Whangarei and Christchurch to twirl their dresses and mous­taches for the event, which has been run by Shirley Wall for more than 20 years.

Floor man­ager and Wall’s daugh­ter Emily Wall said there were more than 200 peo­ple danc­ing at this year’s com­pe­ti­tion.

Wall said she was im­pressed with the num­ber of peo­ple com­pet­ing in the com­pe­ti­tion, es­pe­cially in the ju­ve­nile sec­tion, which could fluc­tu­ate in num­bers.

Feild­ing mum Tracey Be­van watched her young son and daugh­ter dance to­gether across the wooden hall floors dur­ing their sec­tion of the com­pe­ti­tion.

Be­van took part in Feild­ing’s stars in your eyes com­pe­ti­tion two years ago and con­tin­ued tak­ing ball­room dance classes af­ter.

Con­nor, 8, and Lau­ren Alexan­der, 7, were in­spired by their mum and started danc­ing lessons about six months ago.

‘‘It’s amaz­ing see­ing them dance to­gether be­cause nor­mally they’re fight­ing.’’

Whanganui dancers Ginny Thom­son, 15, and Jared Moeke, 17, said they love danc­ing to­gether as part­ners.

Thom­son said not many of her friends were ball­room dancers but they were sup­port­ive, and helped her do her hair and get ready for com­pe­ti­tions and shows.

It was a ‘‘great feel­ing’’ be­ing able to dance con­fi­dently in front of large crowds, she said.

Es­mer­alda Young said she had been a ball­room dancer for about 15 years.

She said any­one could be a dancer if they had the pas­sion, drive and ded­i­ca­tion to it.

‘‘As long as you have the pas­sion for it, that left foot will soon be­come right.’’

Wall said the com­pe­ti­tion was the sec­ond largest ball­room dance com­pe­ti­tion in the coun­try, the first be­ing na­tion­als.

The three main danc­ing cat­e­gories were ball­room, Lat­inAmer­i­can and new vogue, a form of se­quence danc­ing that orig­i­nated in the 1930s in New Zealand and Aus­tralia.

NZ Pro­fes­sional Latin Amer­i­can Cham­pi­ons Kris­ti­jan and San­dra Pavlovic also pre­sented a Latin show­case dur­ing the event.

PHOTO: WAR­WICK SMITH/FAIR­FAX NZ

Amanda Anslow and Ken Anslow from ‘‘Klas­sique’’ in Lower Hutt (left) com­pete against Jo Mey­lan and Mike Camp­bell from ‘‘The Stu­dio’’ in Welling­ton in the Dance­s­port Spec­tac­u­lar at Bar­ber Hall in Palmer­ston North.

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