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The Dance Review - Mark Willemite reports on the 2024 British Amateur Team Match

Wow! How many highlights can a dance festival have. This years British Open amateur team match was one of many! A galaxy of stars, meteors of power, an array of explosive moments and bold comets of dance.

Perhaps too many celestial references but I am compelled to mention Anna Sazhina who was the very definition of the word celestial, stunning in her heavenly white gown and detailed silver head jewellery. Accompanying Anna to adjudicate this event were, the equally stellar Alan Clarke BEM and Klaus Kongsdal.

The teams entered, China came on first in electric blue costumes looking ready to take the cup, which they did. The next team, Europe. The ladies took to the floor with a defiant challenge and ownership of space. Like courtiers they proceeded their queen, Alessia Betti held like an Egyptian legend supported by the men of the team. The USA followed by making a statement of elegance and precision with a touch of showmanship all in black. Then the team from Great Britain entered in a flurry of pageantry. Each dancer held a fan with red and black chiffon and with synchronicity they waved and displayed a beautifully choreographed parade.

The dancing began and the Waltz brought elegance, the Cha Cha Cha raised the temperature, the Foxtrot simmered then the Samba bubbled and the Viennese Waltz added to the momentum. The remaining dances culminated in excitement as the running score and totals were read out by the commanding Robert Bellinger.

The atmosphere became full of the unique energy, the magic that is the Empress Ballroom, just wonderful.

The team match evokes quite a different atmosphere. Despite the competitive edge, the fury and intensity of a competition is a different mind set, obviously. In the team match environment, we see the couples perform in an almost relaxed presentation, showmanship and artistry has room to breath and often an insight to another facet and dimension of a couples dance performance is on display, warming the audience to the passion with which these dancers perform.

This wonderful show concluded with a heart warming display of the Viennese Waltz danced with the added interest of partner swopping. The giggles were palpable from the audience who were inquisitive to see the new combinations of dance partnerships. It added to the thrill of the moment.

The Latin and ballroom couples swopped so a ballroom individual would partner a Latin exponent and wow how amazing they all coped and looked! An uplifting end to a meteoric performance from each and every dancer. The future will only sky rocket this wonderful amateur team match - we have the stars and wow did they shine this evening.

The result:

1: The team from China. Captain Alex Wei Wang.


Linghao Kang & Anran Xing

Yujie Tang & Aini Zhao


Yiming Tang & Xinyi Zhao

Marco Youngkin Long & Victoria Jiani Cheng

2: The team from the USA. Captain Eugene Katsevman.


Samuel Hacke & Katerina Hermanova

Nathan Zaytsev & Alisa Bankova


Alexander Chernositov & Arina Grishanova

Austin Joson & Liza Lakovitsky

3: The team from Great Britain. Captain Lilia Kopylova.


Glen Richard Boyce & Caroly Janes

Andrei Toader & Mia Linnik-Holden


Lloyd Perry & Anna Sloukova

Yegor Young & Zoe Woodall

4: The team from Europe. Captain Alessia Betti.


Oleksandr Bezkrovnyi & Maria Savchuk

Karol Sledz & Natalia Szymczak


Giacomo Ballarin & Alessia Altieri

Marco Bonavolta & Magdalena Strzesnicka

Image credit: Tomasz Reindl



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