This weekend, the University of Nottingham’s Latin, Ballroom and Salsa Society (LBSS) took part in the Inter Varsity Dance Competition (IVDC) in Blackpool, the largest university competition of the year, and were the highest scoring northern University.

As a national tournament, IVDC attracts approximately 33 university teams including Oxbridge, Leeds and Imperial, and for the last couple of years has taken place in Blackpool’s iconic Winter Gardens.

The University of Nottingham came fifth behind Cambridge, Oxford, Bristol and Cardiff respectively, once more naming them the Top Northern University following their first place position at NUDC (a competition exclusively for northern universities) earlier in February.

The competition largely follows the same structure of all the other University Latin and Ballroom competitions that occur throughout the academic year. Team members are split into four categories (Beginner, Novice, Intermediate or Advanced) dependant on previous dancing and competitive experience, and typically compete in at least two dances from the two dance types (Latin and Ballroom).

The majority of the day is made up of the individual dances; that is to say, couples compete for themselves rather than for a combined university score.

Several students from Nottingham’s team were very successful in these, with many reaching the finals and some even going on to win first place. Among the winners were Lukas Von Below and Rebecca Bullen (Beginners Quickstep), and Tom Worthington and Stephanie Kyle (Novice Waltz and Quickstep).

Another feature of IVDC is the Offbeat Competition, which is a freestyle event. A university may enter a three minute routine in any dance style, ranging from funny to more serious interpretations. Captained by Miriam Barriga, the University of Nottingham’s routine involved the combination of Charleston, Argentine Tango and Jazz, providing a highly entertaining and varied show. The team earned a respectable fifth place following its first place at NUDC.

The remainder of the competition encompasses the team dances, where the university teams split their couples into teams of four and allocate each couple in each team a respective dance. It is the results of these team matches which decided the overall winning university. After a qualifying round, the teams are split into Divisions 1 and 2 dependent on skill level and progress through each round by totalling the scores of each member. Nottingham’s A Team came fifth in Division 1, while its D Team gained an impressive third in Division 2.

Alice Faulkner, one of LBSS’s two Team Captains, spoke to Impact about the success of the team and the society as a whole.

“Following a storm at NUDC, we retained our title of Top Northern University and came fifth nationally- a great achievement considering our limited funding and resources compared to other universities.” She said.

“Offbeat was an absolute blast to learn and perform. Moreover- team members were willing to attend practices during exam period!”

“The team this year has been consistently huge; recruiting new members throughout the year. I’ve been impressed by the dedication our team members have shown to their dancing as well as to the team in general.”

She went on to say that the team’s dedication was reflected in their results at IVDC, and that she has been so proud to have captained the team this year.

“Not only has every team member excelled in their dancing,” she said, “but our team spirit has consistently been phenomenal; our dancefloor-side cheering and dancing is the envy of other Universities!”

A full list of results can be seen here: http://www.scrutelle.info/results/estelle/2014/140301_ivda/index.htm

James Thomas

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