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The Dance Review - Stephen Sysum reports on the WDCAL Senior 3 Ballroom

We had a fantastic final to watch after what was a long day for the couples. I found in this competition as I have previously at other events, consistently keeping techniques and performances up is the big challenge for most. This can make adjudication much more difficult from round to round.

Winning this event, Russ Houlden and Aileen Carroll-Turner

A well-deserved victory and the always beautifully turned out lady. For a very new partnership, this was a super performance that kept them ahead of the field. A strong centre from Aileen and fantastic posture allowed Russ the freedom to dance and compete with that security and confidence needed. Going forward I'm sure this will only help in their development as a couple.

Coming out 2nd were Fabio Cassi and Marzia Cassi

The main thing I feel kept them ahead of the rest of the field on this occasion was their maintenance of posture and consequently more consistent performance. Each time I looked back the picture hadn't changed. Well done.

3rd Gary Allen and Jacqueline Montgomery

Danced much better in the evening, consistency is key for these two. Sporadic moments, the quality challenges the best, but other moments the performance goes slightly missing. If this can be sorted like for many, then the rewards will come.

4th John Francis and Elizabeth Foley

Opposite really to the couples above. John, with his experience and appetite to compete never backs down. In Liz, he has a great foil with her lively always active dancing in front. Still a fairly new partnership that just needs a bit more attention on centre connections to progress.

5th Graham Diles and Helen Diles

Super compact couple here. Consistency is key for them and such an asset. You can see how they feed off each others feel, and energy. I feel that was slightly off for them earlier in the weekend, but was much more the usual for them this evening. Congratulations on the increased levels over a long weekend of dancing

6th Howard Lewis and Gillian Lewis

Making up a cracking final that was closely fought. Actually, I thought opposite to Graham & Helen they danced better on the Friday and for me were harshly left out of the final. This evening, possibly in an effort to right that wrong, there was a little too much physical effort. Howard is again a true competitor with the beautiful Gillian as the perfect foil.

An overall a super competition and strongly contested. Trying to find that balance between quality and energy always makes this one of the more difficult events to judge.

Well done to all the finalists and all senior dancers over a long weekend of dancing. Your efforts and support at the biggest events are never taken for granted.



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