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When it comes to dance, the four points on offer are an all or nothing situation. There were five categories: Street, Contemporary, Tap, Ballet, and Jazz, with LUDanS and UYDS having just one routine for each, and whoever won the majority of dance styles won overall. Before the dancing started, the hosts gave a shoutout to mental health charity Mind, which has been at the forefront of the whole tournament this year.
There was a fantastic atmosphere for the whole fixture, and very early on the audience had to move forward to make room for more people, and those who still couldn’t get in watched outside through the windows.
Lancaster opened up with their Street routine “All the Way Up”; which was very sharp, mostly synchronised and had plenty of attitude and energy. York’s routine “Who Run It?” was equally sharp and energetic, but their larger team allowed for more visually dynamic formations, and so they won Street with 274 points to 233 points.
One of the most striking things about the Contemporary section was how much strength and control all the dancers had. Lancaster’s routine “Take Me” was brilliantly dramatic, however, there were a few issues with synchronisation, which gave York space to let their routine “Hypnosis” tell quite a sci-fi story in a clearer way, and win this round as well, 237 points to 218.
For Tap, Lancaster took a traditional number, “Sing, Sing, Sing” and gave it a really modern feel, particularly with a few gymnastic moves, and it had amazing energy and flair. York’s Tap dance, “Billy” took a story-driven approach again; a school-yard vibe with PE kit style outfits and dance-off sections that the audience loved. York had a third win, but it was much closer, 255 – 246.
Lancaster’s Ballet routine was the Spanish themed “La Vida Breve” which made great use of fans as they added to the aesthetic but didn’t distract from the good footwork – and there was some excellent pointe work. York’s Ballet “Rhapsody” was a little more technically precise and blended elegance with drama well, and this dynamism is probably what gave them their fourth win, 272 to 260.
Lancaster’s final dance was the Jazz routine “Warriors”. Their sharpness and strength matched the dramatic music well, and was a fantastic way to end their performances. However York’s “Living For Love” equaled Lancaster’s strength, control, and flexibility, and a very impressive segment of fouetté turns had the audience going wild. A 283 – 256 win to York in Jazz meant they won all five categories and won Dance overall.
It is very unusual for one team to sweep all five categories, but Lancaster were fierce competition – so bring on next year!