The eighth UK National Para Dance Sport Championships took place today at the Centre for Sport Bristol at the University of the West of England, run by Para Dance UK.
Fifty-seven Debutante Para Dance athletes took to the floor to show-off eight months of dedicated preparation, well-rehearsed routines and dazzling outfits.
Dancers from South Wales, Birmingham, Manchester, Essex, Oxfordshire and Berkshire showed no signs of nerves as they proudly entertained and impressed an audience of 150.
Athletes participated in a series of seven different events, with a total of 120 medals awarded. Dances were choreographed by individuals and groups themselves or by trained para dance instructors located around the country.
As they danced to the tunes of The Greatest Showman and Miley Cyrus the audience joined in with cheers of support and loud applause. 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 large group routine to ‘Lose Control’ by Freewheelin’ that you had everyone on their feet!
Allocating the prizes were Head Adjudicator Louise Sampson with Suzanne Hancock and Vera Randall-Noyce and 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. Open class is the first step towards making Para Dance Sport as accessible as possible, creating an exciting addition to the Championships.
“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, and National Governing Body for the sport.
The medals and awards given out on the day
“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. We were privileged to have some Bush & Co’s employees and their families offer volunteer support. This event would not be possible without them and the hard work from all of the Para Dance UK Staff present and our Chair of Trustee’s Roberta Beaton.
The National Para Dance Sport Championships are held in different cities each year, so as to reach out to and make the even more accessible each time.
We can’t wait to see what to next year’s event brings!
Details will be announced soon.