Our first trip to Blackpool since February 2020 was a massive success and we are so proud of each and every one of you for keeping dancesport alive at Birmingham!

We arrived in Blackpool around 10:30pm on Friday night - in good spirits after Alex's excellent quiz! This year we were staying in the Fairway Lodge and Fairway Hotel, which were much closer to the Winter Gardens than we have been in the past.

We will be leaving reviews of the accommodation - if you have any (anonymous!) feedback about the trip please fill out this form: https://forms.gle/dTEpFNDAbK9GA1dk9

On Saturday we arrived in the Winter Gardens and split off into our groups - the ex-student Intermediates and Novices headed upstairs to the Spanish Hall while all of us students went down to the Empress Ballroom.

All our beginners had their first dances in the Empress - fantastic performances by all on that big floor! They all headed upstairs to join the ex-students in the Spanish Hall and found they had all made it through the first round!

It was soon time for our Novices to take to the floor and, as the morning progressed, our Same Sex, Pre-Intermediate and Intermediate couples. Meanwhile in the Spanish Hall, our beginners and ex-students continued their rounds. We are very grateful to our experienced ex-students for being there to support the beginners upstairs!

Our team was reunited downstairs for the finals and then it was time for Offbeat. We were to be the first team on to perform 'The Greatest Show' which we had spend many sessions rehearsing. Our Offbeat team did a fantastic job with their performance in spite of the technical difficulties that IVDA saddled us with!

After a quick costume change we were back to our respective rooms for the Latin section. Again, every beginner couple put in a fantastic performance on the Empress floor then headed back up to the Spanish Hall. We were all reunited once more for the finals.

After Latin it was time for our four Rock 'n' Roll couples to get ready for their section. While the acrobatic competition was less busy than it has been in previous years there was a big Cambridge team to contend with. Our couples all put in a fantastic performance and it was great to have such a big Rock 'n' Roll team on our first IVDC back!

With the individual events all concluded it was time for the Team events. We managed to field four teams this year and our student teams danced their qualifying round before we were treated to a spectacular demo from Marcus Mitchell and Tanya Panchenko.

Following the demonstration the ex-student team headed back upstairs for the last time and our student teams danced their Division 1 and 2 rounds. Our teams put in brilliant performances, with our A and B teams both making it into Division 1 and our beginners' team making it all the way to the Division 2 playoffs!

Our final team results:

  • A Team: 12th in Division 1
  • B Team: 28th in Division 1
  • Beginners Team: 12th in Division 2

Once we had all waited for presentations and packed up, it was time to go out and party! We headed to Revolution along with many of the other uni teams for a boogie!

Sunday arrived far too quickly and many of us went into town for a pub breakfast. We arrived at the Blackpool Tower at 11am for the traditional tea dance - it was great to be back in such a lovely venue for some sequence and social dances, and to see everyone enjoying themselves dancing with lots of different people!

One last stop! It was of course time for the all-you-can-eat buffet at Mr Basrai's, and it did not disappoint. Our team filled up on all sorts of fabulous foodstuffs to recover from a long comp day.

Many of us enjoyed a bracing walk along the promenade - the weather was kind to us all weekend with some very unseasonable sunshine! A very sleepy coach journey later and we were back at the Guild.

It has been a great pleasure for us to be your Team Captains this year - we are so proud of each and every one of you. We will have one comp left together - Bristol on 12th March - and then it will be time to elect new captains for next year from among you. There are so many of you who we know would do a fantastic job and we've no doubt that next year's team is in good hands!

Katie & Rich x