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Blackpool Same-Sex Dance Festival: the highlights

Posted on June 17, 2014

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web o7b6946The ESSDA European Championships Same-Sex Dancing took place this weekend in the sumptuous surroundings of the Blackpool Winter Gardens’ Empress Ballroom. In a well-organised competition, hosted by Blackpool Same-Sex Dance Festival’s Sugar Dandies Sören and Bradley Stauffer-Kruse, an ever-higher standard of dancing was enjoyed by an enthusiastic and supportive audience.

It was fascinating to observe those unused to dancing on such a huge floor adjusting to the space – many played safe, sticking to their rehearsed routines in the central area, which sometimes meant some interesting floor craft.

The reigning champions Caroline Privou and Petra Zimmerman triumphed again in the women’s ballroom A classification, pipping fellow Germans Claudia Reger and Raphaela Edeler, who were snapping at their heels.

The women’s Latin A title was won by Kelly Monshouwer and Liejette Spindler, who were closely challenged by Santra Rinne and Piia Korpi.

The men’s ballroom A class was won by the popular Hungarian pair Csaba Csetneki and Balázs Gáti (pictured above), closely followed by Stefan Schlattmeier and Peter Becker from Germany.

The men’s Latin A title was taken by Spaniards Antonio Castillo and Santiago Granizal, with Danish couple Gilles Hoxer and Esben Weiergang a close second.

Lemington Ridley and Nejc Jus took the top prize for their evocative couples’ showdance, while Guyz in Sync won out with their cheeky flat cap and braces routine in the showdance team category.

Look out for our full report on the championships in the August issue of Dance Today, on sale on August 6.


Words: Kim Thompson

Photograph: Murray Thompson

Nicola Rayner was editor of Dance Today from 2010 to 2015. She has written for a number of publications including The Guardian, The Independent and Time Out Buenos Aires, where she cut her teeth as a dance journalist working on the tango section. Today she continues to dance everything from ballroom to breakdance, with varying degrees of success. Her debut novel, The Girl Before You, was published last year in paperback, ebook and audiobook.

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