Couples from around the world arrived to take part in the 89th Blackpool Dance Festival, which began on 22nd May 2014 and finished on 30th May 2014 after more than a week of exciting events including Amateur and Professional, Ballroom and Latin, Formation and Exhibition.
This year saw a record 6 couples from XS, both current and alumni dancers, participating in the amateur championships – 4 in the Latin and 2 in the Ballroom.
Over 300 couples entered the Amateur Latin event and the goal for the XS couples was to make it through to the second qualifying round. This is no mean feat, as this world famous competition attracts many of the world’s best amateur competitors and there is a fierce cut from the first qualifying round.
The XS A team couples competing in this event were: Kien Trinh and Kirsty Davies; Stu Cork and Dafni Metaxa; Kenneith Yong and XS alumna Olesya Nikiforova; and alumni Misha Aizatulin and Harriet Waghorn.
All four XS couples made a valiant effort in their respective heats with Stu and Dafni showing particular passion and successfully making it through to the 2nd Qualifying Round. Congratulations to them on this wonderful achievement.
Kien and Kirsty narrowly missed the cut by a tantalisingly close 2 recalls. This result shows a fantastic improvement for them in the last six months and is all the more impressive given that Kirsty was a total beginner to dancesport only 18 months ago.
Representing XS in the Amateur Ballroom event was Kim Wagenaar with alumnus Rob Pott, who had flown in from South Africa to perform with her, as well as XS B team alumnus Filip Bar making his May Blackpool debut with his partner Karolina. Kim and Rob showed dynamism amongst a strong heat, particularly in the quickstep, although neither couple made it to the 2nd Qualifier.
The standard of Latin at XS continues to improve and these couples will hope to take their dancing further at the British National Championships in November.