The British Open Latin Formation Championship 2013 was held on 31st May in Blackpool, less than two weeks after both the XS Latin A and B teams returned from competing at the WDSF European Latin Formation Championships in Lithuania. With four XS couples also competing earlier in the week in the individual Amateur events at Blackpool (27th and 29th May), this meant that there was very little rehearsal time available to the teams between the two competitions!
Five teams had entered the latin formation competition: BYU from the USA (frequent winners and US champions, whose ballroom formation team had won the British Open Championships ballroom formation event only two days before); Schwarz Gold Altenburg from Germany; Beijing Vocational School of Culture and Arts; and the two XS Latin teams.
Unusually, XS Latin A and B teams were the only British teams to enter the competition. As the Blackpool Open Championship serves as the qualifier for English teams to attend the World Formation Championships, this meant that both XS Latin A and B teams qualified to represent England in Bremen this December.
After the disappointment of the European championships, the XS A team had refocused ready for Blackpool. They opened the competition, having drawn first, and produced a performance that was much more confident and engaging than their Europeans performance had been. The audience was very supportive and after the performance the team was extremely encouraged by numerous spectators who approached them to offer kind words of praise and say how much they enjoyed the routine.
XS B team had added Blues Brothers style hats and glasses to the men’s costumes to give the routine a more theatrical feeling for the UK debut of their new routine. Their performance was noticeably cleaner and sharper than it had been at the Europeans such a short time before and the enjoyment that the dancers exuded whilst performing was palpable.
BYU, performing their new routine Fire and Ice, deservedly finished in first place. Altenburg, who had drawn last to perform, placed second with a solid and neat performance of their routine, Crazy Business.
XS Latin A team came third, beating Beijing into 4th place. This was the first time in memory that a British team had beaten a Chinese team at the British Open Championships, and so the victory was significant. XS B team placed 5th, but were not discouraged as this was as expected given the quality of the other teams in attendance.
Brigham Young University Latin Team
Coached by Lee & Linda Wakefield, Eugene Katseman, Michael Chapman & Maria Manusova
Routine: Fire and Ice
TSC TK Schwartz Gold Altenburg
Coached by Birgit Schaller
Routine: Crazy Business
Coached by David Mallabone
Routine: Bat Out of Hell
Beijing Vocational School of Culture & Arts
Coached by Huo Yinshan, Tian Tian and Zheng Lina
XS Latin B
Coached by David Mallabone
Routine: The Blues Brothers