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Following their recent successes at Durham Dance Fusion 2012, the Lancaster University Dance Society (LUDanS) competition team headed to Manchester University for the weekend, with the hope of continuing their winning streak. The Manchester Dance Competition 2013, held on Saturday 16th February, gave the LUDanS girls the chance to compete against a new array of universities. There were 13 university dance teams at the event, having travelled from all over the country, from London Imperial to Cardiff, so competition was tough. However, after their first performance of the day, it was clear that LUDanS were going to be serious contenders, and by the end of the competition, the girls walked away having placing in 4 out of the 5 categories entered.
LUDanS competed in the Advanced Tap, Advanced Ballet, Contemporary, Advanced Jazz and Advanced Street categories, and were welcomed with praise about every single routine performed. The day began with the Advanced Tap category, in which the girls kicked off the first advanced section and really did open the show with a ‘bang’. The audience loved the fast paced routine to Little Mix’s ‘Wings’, and clearly so did the judges as this routine won first place and was nominated for ‘Overall Best Choreography’, a nomination well deserved by choreographers Aimee Longley and Jenny Tait.
Advanced Ballet was next, and after having tackled the white contact lenses, the ‘demon’ ballerinas were ready to take to the stage. Their costumes were the talk of the category and made a fantastic impact in the dramatic ballet routine choreographed by Mel Stott. This routine placed third in the category and was awarded 100/100 from one of the 3 judges at the event.
Moving towards the middle of the day, the next routine to compete was a Contemporary piece choreographed by Siana French. This was an extremely competitive category with 9 universities competing, however Lancaster’s emotional routine had everyone talking and received praise from members of many of the other university teams and spectators. All dancers performed the routine beautifully, and many spectators, including a member of LUDanS exec and the Manchester President were brought to tears.
The next routine of the day was Advanced Jazz, an up-tempo, sassy routine to Basement Jaxx classic, ‘Good Luck’. The routine featured the girls wearing eye catching black and white pinstripe leggings, and was complimented by the judges as their favourite costume of the day. This exciting routine was choreographed by Jenny Tait and Siana French, and placed second in another highly competitive category, losing out only to the routine that eventually won ‘Overall Best Choreography’.
Finally, the day ended with everyone’s favourite category, Street. This is always a fiercely contended category with a number of universities bringing squads purely specialising in Street dance. LUDanS opened the Advanced Street section with their James Bond inspired routine featuring a ‘Diversity’ style storyline and innovative idea choreographed by Beth Hallett. After the recent shock success in Durham Street, LUDanS were determined to hit Manchester with another jaw dropping routine, and they definitely did just that. The routine was placed third and everyone was ecstatic at such a success in an unbelievably tough and talented competition.
The results from this recent competition support the claims that LUDanS just keep getting better. Whilst they went to Manchester one girl down due to injury, and taking at least 4 other injured dancers along with them, the girls battled through and made sure that the 7am rehearsals and late nights weren’t in vain, pulling out some amazing performances, which they should all be very proud of.
LUDanS President Emily Pollitt said: “Once again I am overwhelmingly proud of all the girls that took part in the competition. Their commitment throughout the preparation process was more than admirable and the effort the choreographers put in was second to none. Everyone approached the competition with a professional attitude and this was reflected in the absolutely fantastic results we achieved.”
Next, LUDanS will be looking forward to their annual show, taking place in Week 8 of this term, and then onto Roses in third term. Last year was the first time LUDanS were allowed to compete for points in Roses, and this year, after such a successful competitive season, they are confident that they can give York some tough competition and win the points for Lancaster!