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Blackpool Hosts Worlds Largest Ballroom Dancing Competition

13th November 2015

Blackpool Hosts Worlds Largest Ballroom Dancing Competition
Ballroom dancing in the UK got a shot in the arm in recent years courtesy of the enormously popular BBC show, Strictly Come Dancing. According to the organisers, the National Ballroom Dance competition attracted over 20,000 competitors from 60 different countries.

The Strictly Effect

It's probably no coincidence that the growth of the National Dancing Competition in Blackpool has seen a surge in competitors since Strictly Come Dancing has become a success story around the world. With BBC worldwide, the show has licensed the format of this global TV phenomenon to over 50 counties around the world.

According to Elin Thomas, Director of Global Formats at BBC Worldwide, Strictly Come Dancing has become “a global phenomenon".

Len Goodman, Head judge in the UK and US said: “As a dancer and judge, I've always known the magic of ballroom but the fact this hugely uplifting TV show is dazzling audiences the world over, that just takes my breath away. This show does have an enormous place in people's hearts."

There's one thing watching it on TV, but the best way to enjoy ballroom dancing is to join a ballroom dancing class.

In the UK, ballroom dance was fundamentally dying until Strictly came along and helped boost participation in dancing across the nation, with over 10 million people watching the show each week. Strictly is a great example of the cultural nature of dance. Just by looking down this year's professional line-up, you see dancers from England, Ireland, America, Italy, Australia, South Africa, Poland, Russia, Slovenia, Venezuela and New Zealand! 11 countries spanning 5 continents!

The real recent growth in ballroom however has been seen in Asia, particularly in China with over 50 million people regularly participating in ballroom dancing. This is just a part of the global rejuvenation that dance is going through due to it's inclusion in popular culture. It could also go one step further. With the International Olympic Committee now officially recognising ballroom as a competitive sport, there are strong rumours that it could be included in the Olympic games as soon as 2020, with Japan set to host.

Cross-cultural influence is revolutionising ballroom dance, causing it to evolve and is seeing traditional dances become modernised, with new steps being drawn from new cultures to transform ballroom.

What can I expect from the National Ballroom Championships?

Blackpool will be hoping that the growth of worldwide Ballroom will have a positive impact on this year's competition, both in terms of competition standards and popularity.

Last year saw over 500 entries from dancers spanning too all corners of the globe and with similar expected again this year, the tournament is sure to see a lot of different flavours of ballroom.

With both ballroom and Latin dance titles to be won, there will be a really eclectic mix of styles. The ballroom categories allow entries of the waltz, Viennese waltz, tango, foxtrot and the quickstep, whilst the Latin category will cater for the samba, rumba, cha-cha-cha, pasa doble and the jive.

This year's competition is taking place at The Winter Gardens ballroom in Blackpool, with tickets available on the day for as little as £23.

How do I find a ballroom dancing class for myself?

Wish you could dance like the pros? Well maybe one day you can, all you need to do is get on your feet and get yourself into a dance class.

Due to the popularity of ballroom dance, finding a class in the UK is easy, whether you are a beginner or a former pro! To find one, simply search your postcode using the Dance Near You class finder tool to locate classes in your local neighbourhood.

Then all you need to do is speak to some of our dance instructors or dance studios and they'll be able to tell you all about the wonders of ballroom dance and why you should go along and try it out for yourself!
Source: Dance Near You