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Imperial Open Freestyle and Rock ‘n’ Roll Championships 2011

Imperial Open Freestyle and Rock ‘n’ Roll Championships 2011

29 June 2011

Imperial Open Freestyle and Rock ‘n’ Roll Championships 2011
Mandy Pearce reports

We arrived for the annual Imperial Open Freestyle and Rock ‘n’ Roll Championships at Spelthorne Leisure Centre on a crisp March morning with a feeling of great anticipation. As everyone came into the sports hall the atmosphere was warm and friendly and it was obvious we were all in for a fun-filled day.

The adjudicators for the day, Yvonne Domican, David Huntingford, Jo Regan, Karen Shepperd and Jimmy Welch, were introduced by Maria Howse and the day was underway.

The Solo event was first and all the Beginner sections were represented. The competitors showed a very strong standard of dancing and were neatly groomed with bright costumes. Next it was the turn of the Starters. They had great competitive experience and there was an obvious progression of standard from the Beginners. The two boys in the Intermediate Under 10 and Under 12 section, both displayed strong dynamic dancing and great control. All the rest of the Intermediates had attack and stamina and showed a good balance of strength and flexibility.

The ‘Champs’ were straight into their finals. The solo spots proved to be a wonderful display of dancing talents. It was so good to see quality dancing with such high energy levels; if only we could bottle that energy!

Solos were drawn to a close by the Under 18 Youth Final, an absolutely outstanding standard of dancing and as Maria announced, “What a way to finish the solo finals!” The superb trophies from Ivor Baker Awards were presented to the very worthy finalists by June Green.

The winners from each section were now going forward to the Dancer of the Year competition. These were amazing competitions and they all deserved to be first place dancers. They delivered very confident and extremely polished solo spots and rounds giving the adjudicators the unenviable task of choosing the overall winners.

The results were as follows: Beginner Dancer 2011, Caitlin Cocksedge; Starter Dancer 2011, Mia Bartlett; Intermediate Dancer 2011, Jack Morley; Championship Dancer 2011, Melissa Jackson-Sankey. The prizes were presented by ISTD DFR Faculty Chairman, Yvonne Taylor-Hill and Grand Council member, Betty Bouston.

Next were the Teams, all of which showed really smart lines and togetherness with vitality and strong team work. The prizes were presented by Amanda Hughes.

After the Teams, the day continued with Rock ‘n’ Roll. The Under 12 couples were all working really well together and the Under 16 couples had very sharp Basic Actions and clever choreography. The Over 16s showed an athletic demonstration of partner work combined with lifts. It was a tough fight to the final. The adjudicators had a difficult task separating the couples. The presentation of prizes was made by Christine Edwards and it was obvious that all the couples were delighted to have made the final.

The Pairs competition ended this wonderful day. The Under 8 Beginners started it off with beautiful matching costumes. They all kept with their partners really well and covered the large floor with ease. The other Beginners had bright costumes and worked well together. The floor came even more alive as the Starters took to the floor, wearing some attractive costumes with lots of feathers. The dancing that followed certainly matched those wonderful costumes. Once again the standard was raised as the ‘Champ’ pairs completed this amazing day. The impressive, fast and strong choreography with the combination of leaps and jumps were second to none. The prizes for the pairs were presented by Charlotte Colborough.

“The impressive, fast and strong choreography with the combination of leaps and jumps were second to none”

Yvonne Taylor-Hill thanked Paul Streatfield and the DFR Faculty Committee for all their hard work in once again organising this most prestigious event. She also thanked the DJ, Justin, and the whole team of people who had made this day possible.

On behalf of the teachers and competitors I would like to also thank the DFR Faculty Committee and their team of helpers for once again providing us with a day we will all remember.

Mandy Pearce


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