As someone whose knowledge of ballroom dancing is relatively non-existent, I was unsure going into Buchanan lecture theatre for yesterday evening’s On the Rocks event Strictly Come Dancing. However, Ballroom & Latin Dance Soc organized an event that successfully walked the line between fun and professional.
For the competition portion of the night, experienced dancers paired with amateurs and performed a variety of Latin and Classical dances. With a judging panel made up of three experienced dancers, Guy Whitworth, Gleb Dobrovolskiy, Darya Smirnova and a forth guest judge Pat Mathewson, the commentary managed to cover all bases: technique, passion and the “cool” factor.
From the waltz, to the cha-cha to salsa, the couples wowed the crowd not only with their rhythm and winning the battle against gravity on the slippery stage but also for the sheer infectious fun of their dancing. In between dances the audience enjoyed the wit and camaraderie of hosts Lorelei Pfeffer and Rachael Miller.
Special performances of belly dancing, the six-step fling and a tap version of Bruno Mars’ Uptown Funk by Shimmysoc, Highland Fusion and Blue Angels added some variety to the night.
Judges ultimately decided on Chris Macrae, our very own director of events and services, and his delightfully sassy partner Arkady Silverman for their rhumba/salsa combination. Audience choice went to the lovely Pim Ungphakorn and her partner the beloved Ian Smith of the School of Economics for their performance of the cha-cha to The Beatles’ Twist and Shout.
While the event had several timing issues and could have benefitted from another run through, Strictly Come Dancing was a night full of talent and passion for dance.