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The Dance Review - Kyle Taylor reports on the WDCAL European Junior Ballroom Championship 2024

This competition saw one of the most brutal contests of the weekend, with each competitor giving it their all, and taking few prisoners in the process. A kind suggestion to all the leaders, however…please do look after your partners on the dance floor.

Through this fierce competition, 6 finalists eventually emerged, who all produced some excellent dancing and attained tremendous energy levels.

Winning the championship was Davyd & Angelina who were simply a level above all others. They are a remarkable talent who seem almost on a telepathic level with each other when it comes to connection and musicality. They have a huge amount of power, but also combine it with fluidity and expression. The amount of detailing in their dancing too, rather than relying solely on a frame and movement, should also be very highly commended. Congratulations on your double victory!

Into 2nd place came Volodymyr & Sofia, who were a highly visible and dominant couple from the very first round. They produced some powerful and consistent dancing in every round, and certainly deserved such high honours.

The bronze medal went to Daniil & Anna, who I believe also benefited from their consistency levels. They, perhaps, did not produce enough in quantity of any specific quality or in any individual department to challenge higher, but were certainly stable and reliable enough across all 5 dances to be very easily markable.

4th place was taken by the more classical pairing of Arseniy & Iryna. For me they challenged very strongly for a higher placing, particularly in the swing dances. They had a beautiful fullness of timing in Waltz and Foxtrot, which is often missing in this young category overall. Their tango possibly fell short of the intensity required to maintain their strong challenge, but overall they gave a very enjoyable performance.

Into 5th place came another talented couple who had also produced some outstanding Latin the night before, as with the winners. It was very positive to see Matvey & Maria’s latin freedom and flair also appearing into their Ballroom, setting them apart from most of the other couples. Their smaller statures make it difficult for them to compete “swing for swing”, but they more than make up for it with their high energy and commitment. A very exciting performance, and a well deserved placing.

Completing the final was Kaynan & Polly, who are certainly at their best in the faster dances. The energy of their couple is sometimes unbalanced, which can prevent them from challenging for higher placings. But, they gave their best performance in the final, and Kaynan’s energy and determination kept them firing all the way to the end of quickstep.



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