On Saturday morning, students from across the Oxford colleges, armed with sequins and sass, filled out the floor at Iffley Road gym to compete in this year’s Dance Cuppers, coordinated by the Oxford University Dancesport Club (OUDC).
The competition got off to an energetic start with couples taking to the floor in their eye-catching sparkling dresses and tight shirts. Couples from each college, comprising of at least one inexperienced dancer, competed in fast-moving heats. The competition began with an elegant waltz, but there was a quick change of pace and music as the Cha Cha Cha competitors delighted the numerous friends and family who came to show their support.
After heats in both the Quickstep and Jive, tensions grew as the high-profile judges made their decisions asto who would go through to the next round of heats. Competitors were given some time to cool off as demonstrations were given by both the Komrades, the OUDC’s Rueda dance team, and the OUDC’s rock and roll team, who performed some high energy and captivating routines.
As the couples were whittled down the competitors became more and more enthused to make it to the critical final. The kicks got higher. The turns got faster. The stakes had been raised. The pressure was on as the finalists were announced. The spotlight was on the remaining six couples who battled it out for the title of each of the four dance styles.
The competition was fierce as experienced, inexperienced, male-female partnerships and female-female partnerships each put their own twist on these classic dance styles. However, competitors and spectators had to wait a bit longer to find out who the winners were as the OUDC’s more experienced dancers gave the audience a treat in performing some varsity standard routines.
Finally, the winners were announced and the all-important presentations were made. Magdalen had a brilliant day, winning both best A team and best overall team with a total of 109.5 points. Keble – last year’s runners up – came second with 73 points and Jesus came a close third with 72 points. Andrew Everall and Seana Moon White represented the fantastic turnout of inexperienced dancers winning the best inexperienced couple. Individual congratulations must also go to Dan Bright and Ellie Shearer who won the open Rock and Roll, and to Konstantin Goncharov and Eliza Casapopol who won the open Salsa.
It is fair to say all who participated and watched the competition left with a smile on their face and a skip in their step.