By Sophie Barnes
On Saturday 13th February 2016, Cardiff welcomed one of the toughest and most sought after competitions in the UK – and we are not talking about the Six Nations Rugby match between Wales and Scotland!
The Welsh Capital greeted over 500 dancers from across the south of the United Kingdom to Talybont Sports Village seeing them go head to head on the dancefloor for Ballroom and Latin American dancing titles.
As this competition is part of the UK University Dancesport circuit, it is the second largest competition held before the national event, with the main event in Blackpool featuring over 1000 dancers. Cardiff won the bid to host the Southern Universities’ Dance Competition (SUDC) back in November 2015, so it has been a long but rewarding process for all of the SUDC committee involved.
The city last hosted a competition on this scale back in 2013. Amongst this year’s organising committee there were experienced dancers who had organised the competition three years previous as well as fresh ideas incorporated by dancers who had since joined Cardiff University Dancesport.
The home turf proved a successful advantage for the Cardiff team, captained by Ed LeBrun Powell and Jenna Crocombe, where they had winners in the advanced, same sex and intermediate Latin categories, as well as the ex-student advanced Ballroom section.
Laurence Lovell, who also co-organised the 2013 competition, said of the 2016 SUDC: “It has been three years since Cardiff University Dancesport Club has hosted an event on this scale. It has also been a while since Cardiff have had wins at SUDC, so we are thrilled”.
As well as the Cardiff University Dancesport Team, we also saw fake tan, gelled hair and sequined appearances from the likes of Cambridge, Exeter, Southampton, Oxford, Reading, Aberystwyth and Swansea.
The day also welcomed a fantastic demonstration from the UK ranked number two, Professional Latin couple, Gunnar Gunnerson and Marika Doshoris. They managed to get over 500 dancers on the floor at one point for an entertaining Salsa amid the middle of their Latin demo.
The cheers rocked Talybont Sports Hall in honour of one of the world’s top 20 Latin couples, who were also introduced to Dylan and Daisy -our resident AU dragons.
Mrs Stevens was watching her daughter dance for Team Cardiff saying that: “The atmosphere was electric and the demo couple were incredible”. She further congratulated all of the SUDC committee involved in hosting an excellent day. Kshitja Nevgi, a member of the SUDC 2016 Committee, describes the event as “just like Strictly but on a bigger scale with fierce rivalries between the Universities”.
The SUDC 2016 Committee President, Carrie Gwyther, declared that “we could not have wished for a more enjoyable day. The SUDA committee’s hard work really paid off; I would like to thank each and every one of them for making this process possible.
I would also like to thank the ‘competition makers’ for giving up their entire day to help out with the running of the event on the day itself when our committee were dancing. Also a massive thanks to everyone who helped to set up and clear away – it was a huge operation”.
The SUDC Committee also wish to thank Sean Perry and his team, all seven of the adjudicators, all of the scrutineering and music team as well as Talybont catering for their outstanding services on the day.
Cardiff University Dancesport Club are now training hard for their biggest competition of the year – the national all-University competition held in Blackpool later this month. For more information on the sport you can find the club on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
For more information regarding the success of SUDA you can find photos/videos and details on the ‘SUDA’ Facebook page. Results from SUDC 2016 will be available online soon.