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The UK National Para Dance Sport Championships

Posted on June 26, 2019

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The eighth UK National Para Dance Sport Championships took place on June 23 at the Centre for Sport Bristol at the University of the West of England.

Run by Para Dance UK, the event saw 57 Debutante Para Dance athletes take to the floor to show off well-rehearsed routines and glittering costumes.

Dancers participated in a series of seven different events, with a total of 120 medals awarded.

Highlights from the day included a heart-warming Juvenile performance to “Let’s Go Fly a Kite” by Layla and Rowan, which had the audience in tears, and a high-energy group routine to “Lose Control” by Freewheelin’ that had everyone on their feet.

Allocating the prizes were head adjudicator Louise Sampson with Suzanne Hancock and Vera Randall-Noyce, who deliberated hard to award the championship places.

This year saw the launch of the Open class in the Singles and Combi (where wheelchair users dance with standing partners) categories in a step towards making Para Dance Sport as accessible as possible.

“It’s our aim to make Para Dance Sport totally inclusive and this is the first step towards that goal,” says Lin McGeough, operations manager at Para Dance UK.

“Our hashtag is #EveryoneCanDance and we truly believe that. We work hard through the entire year to make this happen because the National Para Dance Sport Championships is a celebration of everyone’s dedication and hard work. It’s fantastic to see so many people here today of all abilities achieving in and enjoying dance.”

The event’s success was aided by sponsorship from Affinity Care Group and support from Capezio London. Bush and Co’s employees and their families offered volunteer support on the day. To lend your support to Para Dance UK, click here.

Photograph by Adam James Photography

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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