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On Friday 2nd February, the Ballroom Society’s Charity Showcase was held in the Great Hall to raise money for Cancer Research UK. Societies from across campus including LUTG, Salsa Society, Bellydancing, LUDans, and Hip Hop, as well as the Big Band, showcased a variety of performances. There was also the annual Strictly Come Dancing competition with ‘celebrities’ from a range of societies. Carolynne caught up with some of the Strictly stars of what is a fantastic event in the University calendar.
Louise Broad, treasurer at BailriggFM performed a Samba to I Just Can’t Wait To Be King from The Lion King. She received the joint highest score from the judges of 35 with partner Anna France.
“I started Strictly with very little dancing experience and with no idea what to expect from learning to dance properly. Thankfully Anna, my partner, was amazing, she was very patient and committed. She taught me and choreographed at the same time and every day we met up I tried my best to mimic her. We chose to dance the samba to The Lion King and had a lot of fun! We didn’t want to be serious, before going on stage Anna told me to just enjoy myself and that’s exactly what I did. I just wish I could do the whole thing all over again.”
Molly McDonough, former President of Grizedale JCR, danced the Cha Cha Cha to Kung Fu Fighting with the Ballroom Society’s Team Captain Shane Alleyne. They scored 29.
“When I was asked to do Strictly this year, I realised that I hadn’t danced since I was about 6 and the thought of performing in the Great Hall, doing Ballroom dancing and having to step rather far away from my comfort zone really daunted me. Luckily for me, Shane was an INCREDIBLE teacher and was capable of putting up with me; I have to credit him, he literally taught me how to dance from scratch. The experience was incredible, I never thought I’d be able to do it so thank you to everyone at LUBDS for the opportunity!”
JL McDonald performed a Pasodoble and a Jive to Holding out for a Hero and I’m a Believer from Shrek. Together with his partner Beatrice Bartilucci he scored 27.
“LA1TV has a long affiliation with the LUBDS Charity Showcase and Strictly, from broadcasting the event live to having members take part in Strictly. I was quite reluctant to take part at first, but decided to do it to support LUBDS and Cancer Research UK. Taking part was a great experience and I got to know some amazing people. I have done drama before, yet I never thought that I would be able to dance – never mind in front of a huge audience! I am proud of both myself and everyone involved for making a huge difference!”
Sam Possible, Head of Marketing at BailriggFm performed a Cha Cha Cha to Twist and Shout from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off with his partner Ella Wong. They scored 23.
“Taking part in Strictly Come Dancing has been one of the most fun things I’ve done at University. I signed up since I figured that everybody needed to learn how to dance at some point and I wanted to follow my friends who had taken place in previous years. Learning how to dance with my amazing (and very patient!) partner Ella really helped me appreciate dance more and gave me a whole new perspective on the time and effort that goes into making the event happen! Plus, it was for a great cause and I had a lot of fun (I don’t think I’ve ever smiled as much as I did on the dance floor).”
SCAN’s Editor Bethany Crow performed a Tango to the Pirates of the Carribean theme with partner Georgina Watson. She scored a total of 25.
“I was stuck in a bit of a rut at the beginning of last term, and felt like I needed to spend at least some of my final year doing something that I was never going to have the chance to again. So when I was asked if I’d like to participate in Strictly the obvious answer was yes! As someone with essentially two left feet learning to tango was a challenge, but I had the best time thanks to Georgina being such a patient and supportive teacher. Overall, the evening was really fun and I would encourage anybody to take part in future events!”
Tom Pearson, Station Manager of BailriggFM performed a Foxtrot to City of Stars with partner Emily Greaves, with a score of 33.
“The university Strictly Come Dancing was certainly an experience that I will remember for years. I had so much fun and I’m so glad I was able to be a part of it. Not only did I learn to dance the foxtrot, through my great teacher and LUBDS Secretary, Emily, but I also met a bunch of hugely talented and dedicated people who put on an awesome show! Of course, the amount of money that was raised for Cancer Research was a tremendous achievement for everybody – and I personally hope that everybody that was involved in this Showcase, and those that will be involved for years to come, take as much enjoyment out of it as I have.”
Dan Clarkson, the treasurer of LUBDS who has only been dancing for two years, made his strictly debut with celebrity partner Bethany Nickson. They danced to Cut to the Feeling by Carly Rae Jepsen, and won, with a score of 35 and the most audience votes.
“Choreographing the routine was more fun than I expected, as I got to learn quite a lot of new steps for it as well as all of the follower steps, but it was particularly nice being able to choose which moves I wanted for the routine. Beth was very enthusiastic and picked up all the moves really quickly, which made practice really enjoyable. We were mainly aiming to give a good performance for everyone and have fun with it, so winning the competition was an amazing surprise.”
The showcase was a huge success, celebrating the hard work of so many societies, Georgina Watson, the President of the Ballroom Society had these words:
“The day of the charity showcase is always a really busy but amazing day. It’s one of my favourite nights of the year, I love how many people from a huge range of societies we bring together to raise so much money for charity. This year we raised over £2100.”
The main message to take away from the Showcase is that everyone can enjoy dance, no matter their experience, and that there are a huge number of performing and dance opportunities available on campus. To check out a full list visit www.lusu.co.uk/groups.