Saturday 15th May was an incredibly successful day for Oxford at the 37th Dancesport Varsity Match held at the Iffley Road Sports Centre. After a fantastic day of competition, during which both sides displayed a very high standard of dance, Oxford emerged victorious in both the Varsity Match, by 2051 points to 1729 points, and also the Challenge Match, by 2111 points to 1669 points. This result capped a highly successful year in which Oxford were also crowned champions at the British University Dancesport Championships.
Eighteen couples represented Oxford at this year’s competition – nine couples competing in the Varsity Team and nine in the Challenge Team. The Varsity Match, which is unique on the university dancesport circuit, requires competitors to demonstrate a high level of skill in both the constituent disciplines of dancesport. Over the course of the match each couple must perform in two ballroom dances (Waltz and Quickstep) and two Latin-American dances (Cha and Jive).
In this year’s competition Oxford dominated the ballroom section, both in the Varsity Match and also the Challenge Match. The Latin-American section was more closely contested, with Oxford winning the Challenge Match but Cambridge narrowly pulling ahead in the Varsity Match. The overall result, however, was a resounding victory for Oxford, who emerged overall champions in both matches.
Particularly impressive performances were given by Oliver Zeldin (St Cross) and Marja Verbon (Hertford) who won the trophy for the best overall ballroom couple; Peter Kecskemethy (Merton) and Sarah Farrell (St John’s) who were awarded the best overall Latin trophy; and Ivans Lubenko (Wolfson) and Helen Pearce (Keble) who were named the best couple overall, taking into account both disciplines.
We were incredibly honoured to welcome two very special guests to the 37th Dancesport Varsity Match. The Right Worshipful the Lord Mayor of Oxford, Councillor Mary Clarkson, was present for most of the Varsity Match. She was joined by Mr Morrin Acheson, the very first senior member of the Oxford University Dancesport Club (1968-85), who happened to be visiting Oxford from Switzerland – a truly serendipitous occurrence!