Newcastle University Dance Society enjoyed yet another hugely successful weekend this past Saturday after winning an incredible 8 trophies at their fabulously well-organised home competition.
Triumphantly placing in every possible style of dance on the day, this remarkable feat means that the society doubled their trophy count for the academic year in just one day, bringing their total count to 16 accolades from three out of the year’s four competitions. Perhaps sweetest of all was the fact that this success was all achieved on home soil.
8 trophies won at the Sage in Gateshead
Held across the river at The Sage theatre in Gateshead, the Newcastle Dance Competition was a fantastic day for both the society and University from beginning to end. Welcoming over 400 dancers from eleven different universities across England and Scotland, Tyneside played host to an incredible event which celebrated the diversity of dance.
The competition saw dancers compete in seven different styles over the course of the day: tap, ballet, jazz, contemporary, lyrical, wildcard and street. In the majority of these styles there existed both Intermediate and Advanced categories, with universities allowed to enter a team at both levels if so desired. This meant that on average there was at least six or seven entrants within each category, and that placing in the top three was always going to be tough.
Just a fortnight on from the Edinburgh competition where Newcastle won four trophies, our teams had just one hour of allotted practice time to rehearse and tighten their dances before the weekend’s competition.
“Pirouetting their way to another 2nd place merit were our Inter Ballerinas”
Yet even with the exceedingly high standard of the dance on the day - particularly in the Jazz, Contemporary and Street categories – our competitors were able to utilise this limited rehearsal time to demonstrate to the other universities and the three highly-experienced judges the overwhelming level of talent on display here at Newcastle.
Our fantastic Inter Tap team gave a dazzling performance which saw them secure 1st place before the intricate footwork of our Advanced Tap team ensured our first 2nd place trophy of the day. Pirouetting their way to another 2nd place merit were our Inter Ballerinas, soon followed by the fast-paced and technical performance from our Advanced Jazz ladies which also landed 2nd place.
Mesmerising choreography from Yvonne Chiu earned our Advanced Contemporary girls Newcastle’s fourth 2nd place trophy of the day, before the Lyrical ladies bared their emotions through dance to achieve 3rd place. In the wildcard category, Louisa Barnard’s exquisite solo tap performance landed yet another 3rd place award in the busiest category of the day with a staggering 18 entrants.
Finally, our Beginners Street crew rounded off the day fantastically with an electric performance worthy of their 1st place accolade that had both the audience and judges up on their feet.
“Louisa Barnard’s exquisite solo tap performance landed yet another 3rd place award”
To end the day, guests were treated to two exciting and unique guest performances from the highly-skilled Newcastle Pole Dance Society and the exhilarating Newcastle Irish Dance Society. All universities were then invited over to Newcastle’s Students’ Union for pizza courtesy of our sponsor Manny’s Pizza Deli before being invited on a classic Toon-style bar crawl - which of course ended in Sinners!
Discussing the event, Competition Secretary Hannah Davies said: “The day was a huge success, not to mention Newcastle winning our highest number of trophies in one competition to date this year! As for each routine, you could see that they had improved massively since their last competition, and this was reflected in the number of categories we placed in.
“Myself and all of the committee, not to mention all the teachers, are so proud of all our teams who competed. The successes of this weekend puts us in a great position leading up to our final competition at Manchester. I would just like to congratulate all the Newcastle dancers and teachers. You all smashed it!”
Of course, the magnificent day wouldn’t have been possible without Competition Coordinator Amy Mcmann, who began planning the event as early as last April after being elected into the role by the society. With jobs including (and certainly not limited to) booking the venue, appointing the judges, inviting other universities, and designing and ordering over 450 t-shirts for competitors, the day was certainly a credit to her fantastic organisational skills and commitment to the role.
16 accolades from three competitions
Speaking of the momentous size of the task, Amy said: “I’d say it was the most stressful thing I’ve ever had to do - juggling a dissertation, a lab placement and organising this competition. However, I’ve loved every minute of it. I’ve made some amazing friends by being on committee, and don’t regret taking on this role for a second!”
Newcastle Dance Society now prepare for their last competitive action of the year this weekend at the notoriously tough University of Manchester Dance Competition.
MVP: Yvonne Chiu