Opinion UK Dance Championships 2019

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UK Dance Championships 2019

Unfortunately I was not able to attend the UK Championships this year due to a personal situation but I have to thank DSI for their streaming so I could still be there without actually physically being there.

Lately I have been looking at the dance, dancing and the dance industry in a completely different way. Taking a few steps back it has given me a clearer vision of what is actually happening, which you cannot see when you are completely absorbed in that world.

Some things are good and others not so good. Actually somethings are quite frightening, and that is principally to do with the dance competitors. Which I am highly convinced it is to do with consequence of what is surrounding them.

There are so many great dancers out there, in the earlier rounds I find freshness of the newer couples who have not yet really been contaminated by a system, dancing their heart and souls out with the hunger to become the next dance icon.

But at the same time I find a staleness in many couples, that are already defeated before they even dance. Their minds clearly state they know what is going to happen and they dance with emptiness, anger and without hunger. They are already judging themselves, when they should be only going deeply in full immersion in their performance. This damages their performance, so they cannot break through to the next round that they have been working on for months or maybe years. They are wasting time because they are not focusing on the correct thing. Then they will say “ I knew it! I told you so”.

Finding excuses like “ It is all political, the heat was hard, they music was not good, there is no space on the floor, too many couples bumping into us etc etc!!!”

Then you have the couples who are making the important rounds from the 24-finals of the amateur and professionals which I put them into 2 different categories, without naming anyone specifically.

The GOERS and the STAYERS.

The GOERS are the couples that are constantly finding ways to keep their dancing fresh, exciting and have a lot of hunger to get eventually where they dream of getting too. They enjoy fully every moment and movement in their dance. True performers and artist. Even if they still have not achieved their goal, but they leave every time something to every person in the audience after each performance.

Unfortunately they are not many of these couple around. Which is a shame, as there is so much potential on the competitive field.

The STAYERS are the couples who have already acquired a good or excellent place and they do not do anything about it, they are waiting their turn! I find that absolutely absurd. As most couples were hungry to get there in the first place and they they wait?!

Missing is the passion, the fire, the emotion, the soul of it.

Where have they lost the will to continue?

Being a Champion or Icon is not just winning the UK, a trophy or money.

It is winning the approval of the audience, which is the most non corruptible thing we have in the dance world. The audience does not care where the couples train, which political field they are connected too, how much practice they do or do not practice.

The audience wants to be thrilled, taken into another dimension for an evening watching round after round. They want to be excited watching couples express their deepest feelings. Have a sensation that they Feel the chill up their spine!

Having hair stand up on their arms, even cry, smile, laugh and talk about what they saw for the next days, weeks and even years!

That is simply what is not happening at the present moment. All good dancers and very few Icons. We have to to go back a few years to get that state of excitement, where the audience goes delirious for the couples. Note the would “ COUPLES” not just a couple.

I have so many amazing memories form the UK and other major competitions, that right from the first round it was if it was already the final.

We are missing the Fletchers, Salbergs, Maxwell, Killick, Donnie Gaynor, Allan Vibeke, Luis Van Amstel Julie, Brian Carmen,Slavik Karina, Riccardo Joanne, Formica, Stefano Anna, Eugene Maria, Michael Joanna etc etc….. the list is so long and I apologise that I have not nominated everyone.

We have today highly train dancers, but something is missing. I would suggest a few people in the dance industry to take a few steps back to really see from another point of view, see where things are not going well, so they could go back in to the business and make a few aggiustamenti before it is too late.

We have a wonderful dance world, let’s not kill it. Bring it back to its glory and it’s fundamentals.

So in conclusion I did not really miss the the UK, but I missed terribly the dancing.

Advice to the couples: find your passion about the dancing and take it really on to the floor and show who you really are, not what people tell you to do and what you have to be, which you are not. That is called being FAKE. None of the above Icons are fake, they still live in everyone’s memories even after they have not been competing or demonstrating for many years.

That is a true goal to aim for, not just the title or trophy.

Carolyn Smith


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3 Responses

  1. I agree and disagree, The dancers from the past are no different than the current dancers, The difference is there are so many more young people than ever before. And young people are not as star struck as we once were. The world is different now and the attitude is different with it. I personally love the newer things being done in both ballroom and latin. And I truly believe that a lot of dancers have the charisma and star power like some of the past champions. I find that people always resist change. When the latin went to a straight leg eons ago people disdained it . Now its the norm. The ballroom with different head styling is so much more expressive. Actually going back to the Fred Astaire look. I know some will totally disagree with me but that’s the way it is . Great dancers will always float to the top.

  2. As a spectator, and a mom to a youth dancer, I was in awe during the most recent Paris Worlds to see that very often (more often than not) fake emotions, arrogant dancing/behavior was judged much higher than quality, musicality and genuine emotions. Also, I am in awe how many judges make selections based on the male partner, and not the couple, how together they are, tge story they tell, and overall couple quality. It is sickening to the stomach to see how a great boy dancing with a girl that does not even close her legs manage to go to the final…. there are basics, and then there are elaborations that are (or should be) built on top of the solid basic technique. And there is that thing called: training with…. to me, not everyone training with a great coach is a great dancer, as there is much more involved in becoming a great dancer than being able to afford the expensive lesson. There is talent, hard work, lots of sweat and tears of exaustion and if course wanting it really bad. dreaming of it and getting the strength from your dreams to plow through, to persevere and disregard some really remarkable judging and results.

  3. I so agree with Avi couples are trying to go beyond what they haven’t got. Technique. You can’t build on a bad foundation. I do like big shaping but it must be used responsible. Richard Gleave said in the first Dance Tape ever made.” Never sacrifice balance for “. I couldn’t agree more

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