17 September 2016

Managing Dance Partnership Breakups

2016 has seen its fair share of dance partnership breakups, including some high profile couples that surprised their long-term followers.  Whilst we on the outside absorb such shock announcements, spare a thought for the actual dancers involved. The breaking up of sporting partnerships is never easy, bringing with it the usual grief that comes from any sea change, and with much soul searching that goes before it. Sports psychology experts recommend couples openly discuss their joint goals and direction before announcing that they have decided to part company. Acknowledging that they are no longer seeking the same outcomes helps not to make each other wrong or feel victimised by the decision. Confiding in close friends also alleviates the heaviness of heart, although it’s important to ensure that such shared confidences do not become external gossip. Finally, as time passes and new horizons emerge, it is important to be grateful for lessons learned, and appreciate that, in the long run, each dancer has become a stronger person.

3 September 2016

DanceSport Looks To The Future

DanceSport has been the name given to competition ballroom dancing since 1999, and now, 17 years later, DanceSport CEO Steve Edwards says the future looks bright. “Project 5000 is the main program through which DanceSport continues to gain momentum, having introduced a Recreational Division for new dancers, alongside Medallists who want to consolidate their skills at competition entry level.” We asked Steve Edwards where the sport of dancing was heading, and he stated that “DanceSport is not only a member of the World Dance Federation but also the Australian Olympic Committee, where it is anticipated that DanceSport will become incorporated as an Olympic Sport in the future.” This is an exciting horizon for DanceSport athletes that seek recognition on the world stage, and appears to be ripe for introduction at Olympic level. Through Project 5000, DanceSport provides multiple incentives for competition dancers to continue to improve their skills, with public recognition at all ages and levels, from Recreational to Professional.

The Paso Doble as Defined by the Inimitable Leeanne Bampton

Sydney Ballroom Dance Studio principal Leeanne Bampton is one of Australia’s most highly respected professionals in DanceSport, with a string of titles as long as your arm, and highly sought after for TV shows such as So You Think You Can Dance,  Dancing With The Stars, and musical productions such as Strictly Dancing. We asked Leeanne to define the Paso Doble, a Spanish gypsy dance taught in the Latin group of dances alongside Cha cha cha, Rumba, Jive and Samba. 
"The Paso is a dance that catches the eye with colourful costumes and moves to a strong marching rhythm. It is a mixture of Latin American and Flamenco gypsy music" says Leeanne. "The character of the dance in choreography depicts an imaginary bullfight, with the man as the matador, and the lady as the bull and at times the cape of the matador. There are three musical highlights rising to a crescendo, and normally two of those are played on the competition dance floor. The Paso Doble has syncopation, fast footwork, and plenty of scope for dramatic interpretation. It's one of my favourite dances to teach and choreograph."