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The Dance Review - David Trueman reports on the British Senior O35 Ballroom

It’s Friday 24th May and time for the finest Senior Over 35 Ballroom couples to take the floor. This has been an eagerly awaited event amongst these fine exponents. The major events has seen couples closing the gap on each other over the last twelve months which was really going to add considerable tension to a truly wonderful spectacle of Senior performances.

One area that caught the eye this year was a better awareness of floor surroundings with far fewer collisions, this is only going to assist the dancers as they continue to develop their dancing after all ballroom dancing is difficult enough without having to spend even more time on figure usage for situation avoidance.

One can never cease to amaze on the immense stamina and mental strength that these excellent couples possess and the way they maintain style and composure as the competition reaches its final stages.

Champions for 2024 by winning four dances and only finishing second in the Viennese waltz were Fabian Wendt and Anne Steinmann. They stood out from the very first round and produced a level of performance that didn’t slip for a moment. Their style and hold was simply beautiful and well compacted in the Tango. The Lady was graceful in posture production and skilled in partner awareness. They were very much firing on all cylinders and very difficult to catch with so much quality in place.

Second Andrey Polnarev and Oksana Skripnik 

They reversed the dance positions with the winners and their first place was well deserved in the Viennese Waltz which was filled with drive and shape. Their attention to the use of the leg joints was so effective too, which resulted in a level of floor coverage that was so easily delivered. They were constantly in ones view as they moved with power and control.

3rd Slawek Lukawczyk and Janie-Nicole Desai 

Third in Waltz Foxtrot and Viennese and Fourth in Tango and Quickstep. Here we have a couple who just excel in dance skills and styled grace. It is very likely that they are the most successful Senior dancers in history, not just together in a world renowned partnership but individually with previous partners as well. Tonight they went about their task with the knowledge that the experience and technical prowess gained over many years of study was going to see them through. 

4th Saverio Di Benedetto and Maria Patrizia Altieri Fourth in Waltz and Foxtrot, fifth in viennese Waltz and Quickstep and Third in Tango. 

Full of energy and great shape production. The Lady took a knock to the head in one of the earlier rounds and recovered well to produce wonderful performances in every round to follow. The strength and depth of action was so effective and one could visibly see the bodies moving in considerable harmony.

5th Chester Crucy and Shannon Crucy

They were placed fifth in Waltz Sixth in Foxtrot, Fourth in Viennese Waltz Fifth in Foxtrot and Third in Quickstep. They always maintain a level of performance that sees them included at the latter stages of major Championships. The Lady was superbly balanced and controlled through all actions and combine with such a skill in parter awareness. It wasn't surprising to see them achieve third in the Quickstep as it literally took off with great speed and delightful use of the leg joints.

6th Phil Holding and Melina Harrison

They finished Sixth in the Waltz Viennese Waltz Tango and Quickstep and Fifth in the Foxtrot. Here we have another couple whose experience and fundamental knowledge is second to none. All through the event they steered through the traffic and kept very well clear of potential performance affecting incidents. There was an air of confidence about them too which allowed the dancing and musicality to be fully appreciated.

This has been one of the finest Senior Ballroom Championships and it can be said that any of the semi finalists could also have been included such was the vast array of fabulous dancing on display.



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