Dance Sport

2014 / 2015

Captain: TBC

2013 / 2014

Officers: Captain Zöe Kelly

2012 / 2013

Officers: Captains Zöe Kelly and Nathalie Raunet

2011 / 2012

Officers: Captains Zöe Kelly and Nathalie Raunet

Dancesport is competitive ballroom and latin dancing in which competitions have a knock-out format. In a team match each entry has to provide a different couple to perform in each of the four dance forms: waltz, quickstep, cha-cha and jive.

Queen’s entered two teams of four and one of three in Cuppers. A Cuppers’ rule is that at least one of each couple must be ‘inexperienced’, a term which in this context means that they have not competed for the University. Only two of the Queen’s dancers counted as ‘experienced’ and whilst some of the team had performed last year, when Queen’s were placed seventh overall, many were new members of the teams. All rose to the occasion with Queen’s ‘A’-team being placed third and Queen’s being the second college overall. There were many fine individual performances: Fred Woodcock and Emily Shercliff, seventh in waltz; Tom Nichols and Zoé Kelly, fourth in quickstep; Karl Heilbron and Nathalie Raunet, sixth in cha-cha; Ashley Francis-Roy and Olivia Clarke seventh in cha-cha; Joshua Claxton and Elaine Joseph, seventh in jive. A special mention should also be made of Queen’s many entries in the ‘improvised/freestyle’ category in which Queen’s had dancers in three of the first four final pairs with Joshua Claxton and Elaine Joseph taking first place with an innovative routine featuring a Baywatch-style slow run and the worm.

Queen’s also provided three members of University teams in 2012, Nathalie Raunet in the beginners team, and former members of the beginners team, Nick Li and Zoé Kelly represented the University against Cambridge, which this year was won by Cambridge by a narrow margin. With their respective partners, Li and Kelly tied for first place in ballroom dancing, and Kelly and her partner were recognised as Best Newcomer in the Varsity match.

After a very encouraging second year, Queen’s can confidently look forward to even greater success in 2012-13, hopefully strengthened by new recruits from amongst the freshers.

2010 / 2011

Officers: Captains Zöe Kelly and Nick Li

Dancesport might require some introduction. It is competitive Ballroom and Latin Dance in which couples dance rounds and the worst-performing couples are eliminated. This year several members of Queen’s trialled successfully for the Oxford University Dancesport Club’s beginners’ team and, in the various inter-varsity competitions throughout the year, there were many individual achievements. At the start of the year Nick Li and his partner H.Q. Han (Merton) made it to the final rounds of Beginners Waltz and Cha Cha and came second in the Cha Cha at Warwick Dance Compretition. At the Southern Universities Dance Competition, Zöe Kelly and Zöe McGee (Worcester) reached the final in all four beginners categories, winning Best Overall Beginners. At the IVDC, the national inter-varsity competition, held in the Winter Gardens in Blackpool, Zöe Kelly came fourth in Beginners Quickstep and Juha Toivanen and his partner Kate Ivanova (Balliol) came third in both Beginners Quickstep and Cha Cha. In Trinity Term Juha Toivanen danced for Oxford’s Said Business School’s salsa team which came second at an MBA tournament in Paris, and Nick Li and his partner Becca Millington (New) were one of eighteen couples selected to compete for Oxford in the Varsity match against Cambridge.

Following these individual successes, Queen’s was able to enter nine couples into Dancesport Cuppers, which was held in May at the Tingewick Hall in the John Radcliffe Hospital. The competitors were: Max Gallien and Melissa Freeman (Waltz), Nick Li and Charlotte Anderson (Waltz), Shu Li and Shumeng Chen (Waltz), Jack Straker and Zöe Kelly (Cha), Venkat Rao and Elle Crossley (Cha), Olivier Butler and Olivia Clarke (Quickstep), Mark Tomlinson and Loveday Wright (Quickstep), Fred Woodcock and Sarah Shapcott (Jive), and Craig Smith and Charlotte Cutts (Jive). An impressive standard was shown by the couples during the day. As a result of hard work, enthusiasm and patience, all couples made it through the first two rounds of their dance even though most had never danced before. Special mention goes to Max Gallien and Melissa Freeman for coming seventh in Waltz, which earned them an outright win for the Best Inexperienced Couple, and to Nick Li and Charlotte Anderson for finishing fifth in Waltz. This was the first entry by Queen’s in Dancesport Cuppers and for the team to finish seventh out of the thirteen colleges competing was an achievement. It is hoped that Dancesport will continue to gain in popularity in the College, and that Queen’s will be able to enter teams in Cuppers every year.