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Imperial Open Freestyle & Rock ‘n’ Roll Championships

Imperial Open Freestyle & Rock ‘n’ Roll Championships

23 June 2014

Reports from the superb Championships held in Staines on Sunday 2nd March 2014

Solos Report by Lianne Culley

I feel very honoured to have been asked to write this report. I first began attending these Championships as a competitor and for the last couple of years I have been a teacher and principal (who also had one of the winners in 2013).

DFR Faculty Chairman, Yvonne Taylor-Hill and Vice-Chairman, Paul Streatfield attended the competition. The mammoth task of deciding our winners for the day belonged to five independent adjudicators consisting of Chairman June Green, Debbie Austin, Alan Beale, Justine Collins and Moya Jordan.

“It amazed me how over the years standards at such young ages have improved”

As usual at this competition the atmosphere was buzzing; dancers were warming up and stretching for what promised to be a spectacular day. Solos began with the Beginners rounds. It amazed me how over the years standards at such young ages have improved, along with technique. I am impatient to see them at championship levels.

The rounds for Beginners and Starters had the most dancers in the heats; which made the adjudicators’ decisions very difficult. In U14 Starters there were 17 competitors to start, which led to a second semi-final in order to reduce the numbers down to a six-dancer final.

The Intermediate sections demonstrated great promise and all Championship dancers should up their game. I was particularly impressed with the U12 Intermediates group with many showing great maturity in their dances.

Once again the time had come for the Champs to do their thing and impress us all. I am glad to say they did not disappoint, with very strong contenders in the U16s showing great determination, flexibility, stamina and performance.

At the end of the Solos events it was safe to say that we had been truly entertained and had witnessed a very high standard of dancing which improves year after year. All wins were well deserved and any dancers that had recalls should be very pleased with their achievements.

The winners for the Solos dance-off for Imperial Dancer 2014 were: Beginner Dancer 2014 – Saskia Hardingham, Starter Dancer 2014 – Darci Smith, Intermediate Dancer 2014 – Liberty Domeney, Championship Dancer 2014 – Joe Atkinson. They were all incredible to watch and their teachers should be very proud to have them at their schools. Roll on 2015 to do it all again!

Lianne Culley

Teams Report by Amy Lewis

After a great start to the day the Team events followed, demonstrating plenty of energy, charisma and focus.

The teams thrilled the crowd with a variety of well-rehearsed high-energy routines, which included a variation of styles, tempos and intricate arm sequences as well as some impressive lifts and choreography inspired by Michael Jackson.

The teachers pushed all the boundaries with their routines and their dancers executed the choreography with a fantastic performance, which in turn, contributed to a sensational Team event.  

Amy Lewis

Pairs Report by Sophie Morgan

After a fantastic morning of Solos and Teams it was great to see that when the Pairs took to the floor, they too were performing to the same standard.

The Beginners looked as if they were enjoying themselves, you could tell that a lot of practice went into their routines and the quality was great.

Rock ‘n’ Roll in unison High flying freestyler Winners of Imperial Dancer of the Year 2014

Upping their game were the Intermediate Pairs. They were very much in-sync, used the space well and were working hard to capture the adjudicators’ eyes. You could tell that there were a number of dancers striving to attain championship level status.

Finally, the Championship dancers were heads above the rest; using excellent partnership skills to show complex and creative choreography with great personality, enthusiasm and energy. 

As results were announced you could tell that the dancers were eager to get hold of one of the fantastic trophies that were on show. It was thrilling to see that there were lots of happy faces on the podium by the end of this event. 

The competition excelled in showing great partnerships, which illustrated their choreography at top standard. I thoroughly enjoyed this event and the competition.

Sophie Morgan 

Rock ‘n’ Roll Report by Christine Edwards

There was plenty of energy and flair for the Rock ‘n’ Roll section of the day, which was well supported from the Under-8 competition through to the Adults.

DJ Justin Light played some great music, which coupled with the use of syllabus figures and the innovative creativity of the routines, gave us some adrenaline-filled performances. 

Partner awareness with good footwork ensured a high standard throughout the finals, with the older age groups showing interesting lifts and jumps in their choreography. An enjoyable end to a successful day.

Christine Edwards


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