Saturday, May 29, 2010

Blackpool 2010

Aloha from Blackpool! Where the weather has suddenly turned cold.
But before I get to blog the Blackpool information congratulations to Maria Handl and Lucas Jaime on their success at the Crown Jewel of Dancesport in Miami Beach, Florida – Maria took 1st place in all of her 90+ entries! Although several of her entries, but not all, where uncontested this was a great achievement for Maria and Lucas – Congratulations.
Let’s hope that Carlos Chang has similar successes with his students this weekend at the People’s Choice Dancesport Competition. Competing in Bronze, Silver and Gold Latin events as well as scholarships are: Janet Liu, Charlotte Bugarin, Ria Baldevia, Theresa Nakayama and Yulia Sharipova.
So onto Blackpool. Left home on Tuesday evening with Roger Izumigawa kindly taking me to the airport for the 4.5 hour flight to San Francisco. Then a 9 hour layover in San Francisco then an 11 hour flight to London Heathrow then a 5 hour car ride to Blackpool. In all a 34 hour journey!
Arrived into Blackpool and the weather was warm. Staying at the Empress Holiday Flats in North Blackpool which is a 10 minute cab ride to the Winter Gardens. This is new accommodation for us (Sister Pam with husband Peter Eggleton and I) and it is great. The Flats are large, well appointed with full kitchen and bathroom with a shower. The cost is around $35 per day and we go grocery shopping to prepare our own meals or we eat out in local restaurants.
When we arrived we picked up our tickets and Programs then prepared to settle in.
I had heard that there was to be a boycott by the IDSF affiliates of Italian and Russian couples this year. I compared the number of entries to last year and it appears that there is an 11% decrease in couples. Yes, a number of Italians and Russians are boycotting but there are many more Chinese couples competing!
The night before (Thursday) there was a charity show featuring world class dancers in the World Competitors Dancesport Corporation Cabaret Showdance. The big story of the night, apart from the great dancing was a walk out by several of the WDC officials on a break before Mirko Gozzoli & Edita Danuite took the floor. Apparently Mirko wrote a letter in support of the Italian IDSF affiliate’s boycott of the Blackpool Festival. Mirko & Edita competed in the professional Team Match (tonight) and are entered in the Professional Standard (Friday) and we shall see if they dance. Their lecture at the BDF Congress was also canceled.
Early Friday morning I went to the Winter Gardens to support local couple Calvin and Debra Ota competing against 160+ couples in the Senior (over 35’s) Ballroom Championship - Blackpool still refers to the Standard division as “Ballroom” – the dances are Waltz, Foxtrot, Tango and Quickstep. In that order! Calvin and Debra did their best at coping with 20 couples on the floor at one time and dancing for almost 2 minutes per dance. Although they did not make it past the first round they certainly did not disgrace themselves. Once they understand the basic foundation of the dances, and gain more experience dancing in larger competitions, and receive guidance and training they could become consummate competitors and not local show dancers. I am sure that they will realize that after seeing competitive dancing at Blackpool. They are also entered to compete in the Senior Latin on Monday. They will be dancing in the evening which means they will get to compete with the Empress Ballroom Dance Orchestra! I will be there to support their efforts. I believe they are blogging their experience on another blogspot. Go check it out.
It is now almost 3 am and I will continue reporting the Blackpool news tomorrow.
In the meantime note that the USA Team held their title for 2010. The European Team was a very, very close second, the British was third and the Asian Team was fourth.

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