We have come to the end of our year as your Team Captains. Here is our report on the year and how it has gone!


Our Remit

The following is what we agree to be the remit of the Team Captains:

  • Prepare the team for competitions
  • Organise transport (+ accommodation) for competitions
  • Represent Birmingham at Inter Varsity Dance Association (IVDA) meetings
  • Vote on IVDA business
  • Represent Birmingham at Northern Universities Dance Association (NUDA) meetings
  • Vote on NUDA business
  • Represent the team at competitions
  • Clean, look after and order team kit (dresses, waistcoats etc.)
  • Organise partnering
  • Organise Practice Comp and BALADS Bootcamp (formerly (BA)LADS 'n' Ladies)
  • Organise the annual trip to the Inter Varsity Dance Competition (IVDC) - Blackpool
  • Arrange, choreograph and teach Offbeat
  • Organise and run the Birmingham Competition
  • Communicate with our three coaches on routines and technique for the competitive (Tuesday) classes

Partnering

We ran partnering this year with Kerry's involvement. We were successful in pairing up 16 beginner couples, 8 novice couples and 10 preinter/inter/advanced couples, though we had a big shortage of leaders in Intermediate partnering.

Practice Comp and BALADS Bootcamp

This took place on Saturday 30th October - here is the original event info. This was attended by several beginner and novice couples, and we filmed and published all of the talking and explaining. This year, Helen helped with the hair and makeup workshop and we kept the entire event within the Guild unlike in previous years.


NUDA and IVDA

We attended the IVDA and NUDA meetings on Sunday 24th October at Aston University. We voted for role-switching between leader and follower to be allowed in unrestricted events, as well as approving the introduction of ex-student Intermediate as a new category.

At the meeting, we were offered use of the in-development competition entry and scrutineering system, eScrut. This is being developed by IVDA and we were offered the use of it for Birmingham Friendly and accepted.

We voted for Durham to host NUDC - they were the only team to submit a bid. We attended NUDC on Sunday 13th February in Peterlee, Co. Durham, and attended IVDC on Saturday 26th February in Blackpool.


Birmingham Friendly

The Aston Webb Great Hall on the evening before the comp

Planning for this event originally started in June 2020 and Katie and I put plans into action very soon after our election. We got the Great Hall booked in early through the UoBe festival team, as our event coincided with the end of the festival. We originally instructed three judges - Gary Foster, Ronald Jager and Morgan Hemphill, and were able to replace our initial scrutineer, Kris Turner, with James Moore from IVDA, having been offered use of the eScrut system. We then engaged an additional two judges - Richard Rose and Leila Stewart. Richard Rose unfortunately had to cancel, so we engaged Jamie Cutler as a last-minute replacement.

Compering responsibilities were shared by our two coaches, Kevin and Kerry, as well as James Cardus. We decided to order trophies for the first places in the 27 main events, and I organised a team of marshalls to help on the day on the front desk, to assist the officials and to prepare and fetch refreshments and meals, along with arranging for a team of runners to fetch marks.

Thanking everyone for all their help! Photo credit @fireadder

One of our judges cancelled last-minute so we ran the event with 4 judges. We had 18 universities attend with a total of 195 entries and 316 unique individuals after dropouts on the day. We sold over 60 advance spectator tickets with over 100 sold on the day, and we ran to time thanks to everyone's help!


Offbeat

Katie did most of the work on choreography with help from Ellie - myself and Katie both arranged the music. The theme was 'The Greatest Show' - a medley set to the soundtrack of the Greatest Showman.

Teaching started early in first term but was not well attended until second term. We competed Offbeat at IVDC with 18 people, placing sixth in spite of there being an issue with the music for our team only (that's why you should never go first!)

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Conditioning Class

This was an initiative by Katie and was taught by Katie and Ellie, focusing on dance-specific fitness and training. It was well attended in first term but in second term the sessions ended up being taken by Offbeat rehearsals due to needing to catch up on the routine.


Competitions

We attended the following competitions:

  • Leicester Friendly on Saturday 6th November 2021
  • Warwick Varsity on Saturday 20th November 2021
  • Nottingham Varsity on Sunday 28th November 2021
  • Birmingham Friendly on Saturday 29th January 2022
  • NUDC on Sunday 13th February 2022
  • IVDC on Saturday 26th February 2022
  • Bristol Friendly on Saturday 12th March 2022

We were very proud to have finalists in every comp!

Leicester Friendly

Match report here.

  • First competition of the year
  • We brought 19 couples
  • 4 beginner couples
  • 34 people
  • Highlights: Winning Team Match

Warwick Varsity

  • First Varsity competition
  • We brought 20 couples
  • 5 beginner couples
  • 36 people
  • Highlights: Our amazing ex-student couples!

Nottingham Varsity

  • One of the biggest Varsity competitions of the year
  • We brought 16 couples
  • 2 beginner couples
  • 32 people
  • Highlights: Everyone's support

Birmingham Friendly

  • Our own competition!
  • We brought 28 couples
  • 5 beginner couples
  • 44 people
  • Highlights: Hosting such a successful comp!

NUDC

  • The second-biggest Varsity comp
  • We brought 4 couples
  • 1 beginner couple
  • 8 people
  • Highlights: The Open 5 dance

IVDC

Trip report here.

  • The biggest comp of the year!
  • We brought 21 couples
  • 4 beginner couples
  • 40 people
  • Highlights: Being back in Blackpool again

Bristol Friendly

Match report here.

  • A fun friendly comp after a busy February
  • We brought 12 couples
  • 2 beginner couples
  • 23 people
  • Highlights: All the exciting new partnerships that were created!

Concluding Remarks

Katie: My major aim was successfully running Offbeat and Birmingham competition as have been planning them for two years, lovely to be back, and it was been a pleasure to work with Richard, thank you to everyone.

Rich: Through two years on committee I had always aimed to make dance that bit less scary and inaccessible, and I feel I have managed to achieve that. It's been great to work with and be supported by so many people and to give back to the society, but it is now time to move on to new challenges, whatever they may be!