Newcastle University Dance Society made a statement last Saturday that no matter the obstacle, they would fight until the end. Their perseverance proved fruitful as they finished the weekend with an excellent result of 10 trophies at their successfully organised home competition.
On 17 February, nine universities from Scotland and England came to Newcastle to compete head to head for the top prize. By 9 am, the Civic Centre was full of excited dancers who were ready to compete in seven different styles: Contemporary, Jazz, Wildcard, Ballet, Lyrical, Tap and Street. Most of the styles were additionally divided into Intermediate and Advanced categories. The culmination of the day was Improvisation category where each university’s most versatile dancer proved their skills in Jazz, Contemporary and Street.
After winning five trophies in Edinburgh and ten in the Northumbria Dance Competition, the dancers from Newcastle did an outstanding job by winning additional ten trophies through a tireless effort. Despite their success, it was the most challenging competition for Newcastle so far this year.
The first obstacle of the day was caused by an unexpected injury. Vice President of the Dance Society and Advanced Jazz teacher, Sophie Lynch, showed her professionalism by dancing through the pain in her Advanced Contemporary routine. After overcoming adversity the Contemporary dancers succeeded in defending their title and were placed first for the second time this season. An emotional performance by the Intermediate Contemporary dancers also wowed the judges and ensured them a well-deserved third place. Unfortunately injury held Lynch back from performing in three additional categories, but it did not stop the dance team from doing superior job overall.
The dancers from Newcastle did an outstanding job by winning additional ten trophies through a tireless effort
The advanced Jazz ladies made sure to make Lynch proud by pulling out an excellent performance that claimed top prize in the category. Another highlight came from, our own ”Weather Girls”, whose sassy dance with the umbrellas landed on another first place of the day and captured the eyes of the audience.
Whilst both of our Intermediate and Advanced Ballet dancers gracefully landed on the third place, Intermediate Tap team tapped their way to the second place. Undoubtedly, the hardest category to judge was Wildcard, where the competitors danced in the style of their own choice. A charming solo tap performance by Darcy Phillips amazed the judges, and her performance earned her second place amongst 16 outstanding acts.
Despite missing two dancing teachers during the event, the Advanced Street crew still succeeded in busting some serious moves that secured third place - which is their third trophy of the season.
The competition finished with the debut of a new Improvisation category, which was a definite success for the Newcastle dancers. Just a few hours before the start, Elena Corcobado found out that she was to represent Newcastle University instead of the injured Lynch. With the help of dancers from Jazz, Contemporary and Street styles she gave an unbelievable performance in all three styles that led her to first place.
President of the Dance Society Charlotte Astley expressed her gratitude of the efforts from the Newcastle dancers.
“It was a really stressful day, but in the end, it is such a relief. We did absolutely incredible,” Astley said. “To place in the amount of the categories we did, with a really tough competition, as well as really harsh judges, is just mind-blowing. After Newcastle Dance competition it brings our total to 25 trophies, which is nearly our record of 31 trophies!”
Astley also mentioned the amazing work done by the main organiser of the event, Alice-Taylor Peat. Astley said without Peat, the event would not have happened with such success. It took eight months in total to organise the competition, which Astley said was not easy to do while still focusing on studies but was an absolute success.
It took eight months in total to organise the competition
Peat had rather positive emotions from the day, and said the event was surprisingly not as stressful as she had thought it was going to be.
“Production and staging company was amazing,” Peat said. “All the teams were so helpful and my committee was just incredible. I don’t think I could have done anything without them. I am actually upset that everything is now over, because I’ve loved every minute of this job and I would happily do it again in a heartbeat.”
At the end of the day, all universities were invited over to Newcastle University Students’ Union for a post-event meal, drink and good company.
After incredibly successful weekend, Newcastle University Dance Society is ready to smash the next event and hopefully beat their trophy record at their last competition of the season that will be held in Leeds already on 25 February.