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Why Do Dancers Love The Blackpool Dance Festival So Much?

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For most of the dancers, May is a synonym for The Blackpool Dance Festival. This year it would have been the 95th celebration of this prestigious event and its 100 years anniversary. It is for the first time in history when the Festival has been postponed; the event was cancelled for 5 years during the Second World War.   

On Saturday, it would have been the start of the Blackpool International Congress. Last year the theme was “Concept of Art”. On Monday it would have been the start of the last week of competitions, everyone being excited for the Amateur & Professional finals.

Because The Blackpool Dance Festival is deeply ingrained in our soul as well, we decided to share with you some reasons why dancers love this event so much

“When you are a young kid and you get here, definitely the music, the audience, the history, the hall, even the smell and energy of the room, it just takes over, so you’re not dancing the competition, the competition actually dances you.”
– Yulia Musikhina –

You can also see the full answers in the interviews we had last year with these amazing dancers, on our YouTube channel

The wins

It must be truly out of this world to experience a win at The Blackpool Dance Festival. And by win I am not necessarily thinking about winning the competition. Maybe for someone a win is to get to the next round, into the semifinal or final. As Ferdi Iannaccone puts it: “Your whole life you hope that one day you do a good result here in Blackpool.”

For example, Dorota Rusu remembers with great fondness the Team Match from 2018. Troels Bager is keeping dear into his heart when he & Ina won the Under 21 and when they got into the Amateur Final and won it. Also a big win for him was when they turned Professional and they made it into the Final straight away.

The music 

The Empress Orchestra lead by Mr. Ashley Frohlick is for sure a trademark of this prestigious event. There is no Blackpool without its music! 

Ina Jeliazkova gets goosebumps even now when she thinks of the time when Mr. Ashley Frohlick came out with the Casino Cha-Cha for the first time. Her and Troels had this side-by-side piece in their Cha-Cha routine and they hit exactly the music phrase. She told us that the audience went absolutely crazy!

The Legends

We all need to remember that your idols have idols as well and in Blackpool, you get to perform in front of them! All the biggest legends have each year the same seats in the front rows. You get to see great dancers on every square meter of the Winter Gardens.

Valerio Colantoni told us this story and it must be one of the most amazing ones I’ve heard so far:

“I first came here with my father and my dancing partner. I arrived at the stairs when Marcus & Karen Hilton were dancing their last dance. And there were like a million people inside and the crowd clapped them for 12 minutes. In that moment I realized that this competition is a different world than the world we’re usually staying in. I realized that this is where I want to be.”
– Valerio –

Troels had almost the same experience as Valerio. In the night they got into the final of Professional Latin, Michael & Joanna announced their retirement.  

“It was such a culmination of so many things that night and for us to be able to stay on the floor with those champions and legends.”
– Troels –

But Domen Krapez makes sure to remind us that these legends are still human beings. They all know what the pressure of dancing in front of your idols means and that is why they show support. Even if they are the biggest legends, they always stand up at the last dance of the final, clapping & cheering. 

“This is actually the beauty and the friendship of this world. It puts everybody together.”
– Domen –

The Energy

Without doubt the atmosphere in the Winter Gardens is absolutely addictive. There is an energy in that ballroom that fills your heart and takes you over. But where does this energy come from? 

“Blackpool is very special in so many ways. Like you never get so much energy from the audience as here.”
– Klemen Prasnikar –

“Definitely, of course, the feeling you get in Blackpool, dancing on this floor… you cannot compare it with any other competition. Of course, there are many competitions that are great in the world, but here it just feels… Maybe it’s also because it’s the peak of the season, like you feel that the whole year you are building up to that. In Jive it’s like it’s just building up to this moment, this “10 minutes of the Final”, when you just wanna give everything. And you feel that the audience also gives it back.”
– Sasha Averkieva –

“It’s the stairs. Going down on those stairs…and you start to smell it, probably, even the lightning, and the music, the live music just gives me goosebumps. Because when you practice at home, it’s a different thing. You don’t have this magical factor that is Blackpool.”
– Monica Nigro –

“When we’re preparing for The Blackpool Dance Festival, we think about the venue, the atmosphere, the surroundings.”
– Sergiu Rusu –

“I think in Blackpool, people are more prone to having special moments and they are excited for something happening. I think people are always just waiting for something special to happen. If it’s every year? I don’t know.. I think in a way it depends on us, on dancers, cuz if we don’t do our part, I don’t think the crowd would go mental.”
– Petar Daskalov –

“If we don’t give, we don’t receive anything. So I think it varies, the public is very ready to give, to cheer you on, if you give to them firstly.”
– Zia James –

I dare say that I agree 100% with all of these great dancers. Those stairs, the smell, the legends from the front row who ALWAYS sit in the same place. The beauty of the Empress Ballroom and the music that the Empress Orchestra plays are absolutely fairytale-like. But I think the best thing about The Blackpool Festival is the audience: the clapping of thousands of people who share the same passion – dancing. You absolutely feel alive!

How about you? What’s your favorite thing about The Blackpool Dance Festival?

The post Why Do Dancers Love The Blackpool Dance Festival So Much? appeared first on Dancesport Life.

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NEWS

17 Things Dancers Did During The Coronavirus Lockdown

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Because of the Coronavirus, there is still a lockdown in some places around the world, while in other areas, the government adopted more relaxed regulations.

What is certain is that every single one of us had to stay safe in their homes for quite a long time.

All of us missed dancing. We even created a list of what you miss about dancing, a few weeks ago. This time, we asked you how you filled your spare time during the Coronavirus lockdown and how you maintained the love for dancing alive, and here is what we found out:

1. You trained in the garden at least 8 times.

2. Listened to your favorite dance songs. Probably The Empress Orchestra or Tito Puente was for sure on the playlist.

3. You’ve looked through your old dancing photos. Don’t worry, nostalgia hit us all.

4. You read a lot of books. (Book suggestion from one of our followers: Latin – Thinking Sensing and Doing in Latin American Dancing by Ruud Vremeij)

5. Stretching while watching your favorite TV show.

6. You’ve meditated so that you keep a healthy mind and spirit.

7. Practicing your dance routines by yourself. Don’t worry; knowing your steps and timing without your partner’s help is always good!

8. You’ve worked on technique. Going back to basics is always a good idea!

9. You jogged quite a lot. Well, cardio exercises are the best for a dancer’s stamina.

10. Keeping fit by doing home workouts. 

11. You’ve watched endless YouTube videos of your favorite dancers.

12. You have at least 5 new ideas for your choreographies. 

13. Doing Yoga/ Pilates every morning.

14. You’ve watched online courses on Dancesportlife Academy 😜.

15. Watched the tons of Instagram Live sessions everyone did. 

16. You had at least one private lesson online with your teacher. 

17. You did nothing! And that is fine too! It’s been a hard time for all of us, and everyone dealt with this period in their way. 

To all of the dancers and dance enthusiasts out there:

We know it’s a tough time, maybe some of you are feeling hopeless and even want to quit dancing. Do not ever forget why you love this sport and art form! Just keep your spirits up that this uncertain and sad period will end!

The post 17 Things Dancers Did During The Coronavirus Lockdown appeared first on Dancesport Life.

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Balance: Important Not Only For Your Dancing Skills

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Balance is a crucial ability in dancesport. Without balance, we cannot maintain the positions and move gracefully. But balance is also essential in your muscular system. Muscle imbalance is one of the leading causes of injuries, and what is worrying is that it is so subtle and yet can do so much harm. 

In this article, I am taking away some key principles from Costin Glavan’s online course – How To Get Rid Of Back Pain And Unleash Your Full Potential

If you want to learn how to test yourself to see if you suffer from certain conditions, the science behind the issues and how to correct them, this course is for you. 

Identifying Issues & Restoring Balance

Ballroom dancers wear heels all the time, and besides wearing heels, being on the balls of our feet with the weight forward is one of the first lessons we learn. These two things usually cause tightness and cramps in your front part of your thighs, feet, and lower back.

Now, maybe you don’t think that having cramps is such a bad thing. But this can lead in time to problems with fine motor control of the pelvis and legs. 

One muscle imbalance that it’s often met in dancers is that they have overly trained quadriceps and less trained glutes because they stay a lot on their balls of the feet.

Having such issues, you won’t be able to perform as efficiently. Muscle imbalance also leads to increased chronic back and knee pain or joint pain in your ankles. In time, this also leads to an incorrect position of the bones in your joints, which causes joint injuries and lower cross syndrome.

In the course, Costin shows how to perform these tests from the comfort of your house and offers a set of exercises designed to correct and restore the muscle imbalance. 

Access Costin Glavan’s course here.

The post Balance: Important Not Only For Your Dancing Skills appeared first on Dancesport Life.

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Madis Abel & His Passion For Mastering Men’s Hairstyle In Ballroom

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Madis Abel is a finalist in the WDSF Standard Adults World Championship, WDSF Standard European Championship, and GrandSlam Series. He is from Estonia and started dancing when he was 6 years old. Until the present day, even though he’s quite young, he counts many titles: WDSF Standard Youth European Champion and WDSF Standard U21 World Champion.

Madis, like any other dance champion I’ve come across, is hungry for knowledge. He wants to be the best and is a perfectionist. These traits are helpful not only to develop into a skillful dancer but also in other aspects of a dancer’s life – the looks.

By studying and learning from his mistakes, Madis learned how to master his hairstyle. In this interview-based article, you’ll learn more about the skill he has. Also, if you want to learn how to create a ballroom man’s hairstyle directly from Madis, you can check his lecture on Dancesportlife Academy.

Bianca: Madis, how did you become interested in perfecting your hairstyling skills?

Madis: Growing up, I let my teacher Aleksander Makarov do my hairstyle, and I felt fine, even confident. But the reality hit me when I was alone at a competition and had to figure it out myself. So I started to do my hairstyle by myself and I felt that I was doing a pretty good job. But when I compared myself to others, I realized that I wasn’t good enough.

One day I decided I wanted to get better and create my own perfect hairstyle, so I started studying and practicing. I began to look for different styles, shapes, ideas. I also relied on the tips my teacher, Aleksander Makarov, gave to me. He helped me a lot!

After all the practicing, I guess I got to a level where everything started to come naturally. It became easy to prepare for a competition and feel confident when entering the floor. It became easy to help all my younger students with their hairstyles. I’ve even had the opportunity to help my friends in the World Final of the Adult Standard category. 

It felt like a superpower!

There are too many dancers out there who are not doing their own hairstyles because they are led back by their lack of confidence. 

Bianca: Why is it essential for dancers to have a perfect hairstyle?

Madis: There’s an important truth in this sport – you have to have a complete look on the dance floor. Starting with your dancing skills and finishing with how you look. We are judged from the moment we step on to the floor until the moment we step off the floor. That includes how you walk, how you smile, and how you look. Your look is what people usually notice first. This is the first impression of you, and you get judged by that, too. 

If you don’t look like you’re ready to win, you might lose to folks that don’t deserve beating you. It isn’t always fair, but deep down, we all know that this is how the world works. It’s a crucial aspect of your overall presentation during the competition. 

Bianca: Why did you decide to create this course?

Madis: I wanted to help others, as well. I thought about the dancers, friends, or family members who are not sure how to create a hairstyle properly. My wish is to share my tips & tricks with them so that they can master this skill.

We all had those moments when we saw a professional hairstyle and wished you had a similar one. Or maybe as a young teacher, you hesitated to help your students do their hairstyles because you thought you could fail.

Each of us practiced doing a hairstyle for ourselves at home but did not turn up as you wish, and you let it go…You stopped trying… 

And for sure, for many of us, only the thought of doing our hair on the competition day gives us a sort of anxiety. 

I want people to feel confident, to learn, and perfect their hairstyle skills so they won’t feel like this anymore. 

Bianca: What can we find in your course?

Madis: My course “How to Make a Ballroom Dancing Hairstyle for Men” is a step-by-step program designed to give you all the tools needed to take your hairstyle making skills to the next level. You will find 20 lectures divided into 5 sections: Preparing your hair, Basic principles, Blow drying, Hair spraying, and Common mistakes. 

This isn’t fluffy theory stuff either. You’ll get real, ready-to-use tools that you can begin to implement immediately. You’ll also get my personal tips and explanations about my techniques. 

You can go through the course at your own pace and watch the videos as many times as you’d like. Inside the course, you’ll have access to the comments section to discuss the progress and ask for additional help. 

Bianca: Awesome! Thank you so much, Madis!

Madis: Thank you!

You can find Madis’ course, “How to Make a Ballroom Dancing Hairstyle for Men” here.

The post Madis Abel & His Passion For Mastering Men’s Hairstyle In Ballroom appeared first on Dancesport Life.

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