Strictly Wheels shine at the UK National Para Dance Sport Championship 2018
Last Saturday 27th October, saw dancers from across the country attend the UK National Para Dance Sport Championships 2018 in Harrow.
Strictly Wheels club team featured 5 debutante dancers, with some returning to retain their titles competing alongside over 50 competitors.
The day kicked off with a Latin 5-dance showcase performance from our own GB competitors, Paula Moulton and Gary Lyness. The couple are currently 8th in Europe in Latin Combi in the official World Para Dance Sport rankings.
First to take the floor was the Conventional Singles, with Goz taking to the floor in Class 1 to defend her double title from the last 2 years. Goz says “The worst part of competing for me is waiting in the line-up for the results. That’s when my nerves kick in, because it’s out of your control. You’ve done all you can in the performance and now it’s up to the judges to see if you’re good enough”.
Needless to say, there was nothing to worry about. She shone through with her varied choreography and a winning smile to make her 3rd consecutive Gold in Single Women Class 1.
Up next was Duo couple Kay dancing with Paula, who samba’d their way to Gold again for Strictly Wheels club.
Lloyd and Goz in Combi Class 1 hoped to win back their title from 2016 but were just pipped to the post by last year’s winners to take Silver Medal for the 2nd year running. Their energetic samba stole the show though.
Last to dance in the conventional events was new paring Kay and Melvyn. They only paired up 3 months ago and were nervous taking to the floor, however, neat footwork and top line in the Waltz and Quickstep sailed them through to take another Gold for Strictly Wheels. Melvyn said, “It was a very friendly and enjoyable competition”.
The afternoon session featured the Freestyle events in Singles, Combi and Group dances.
Gary and Paula opened the afternoon with a sneak preview of their new Freestyle routine. The routine gets its competition premiere at the WPDS European Championships on 9th November in Poland.
For the first time ever our dancers took part in the Freestyle events with Kay dancing in Single Women Class 2 and Lloyd and Goz in Combi Class 1.
We’ll be honest, they were a little under rehearsed due to time limits before the event, however, we were incredibly proud of their achievements.
Kay’s emotional routine to “This Is Me” from Greatest Showman stole the round with the audience reaction but failed to wow the judges as much taking the bronze medal. Kay commented “I especially enjoyed my freestyle dance and the reaction I got, the support and appreciation from the audience was really special and I shall remember that for a long time. I’d do it all over again tomorrow if I could!”.
An atmospheric “He lives in me” from the Lion King from Lloyd and Goz was confidently performed and again saw them pick up the bronze medal. They’ll be brushing up their routine more in the next 4 weeks before they compete again at the Malta Open Dance Spectacular. Lloyd said “performing freestyle for the first time was a highlight for me. Despite it not being perfect on the day, one judge scored us first. So, I know with more polish and practice the routine has potential to do better”.
Lloyd was also quick to congratulate his dance partner; “I realised how much I appreciate Goz as a partner and competitor. Everyone heard how pleased I was when she won gold in Single Women again!! I am proud and lucky to have her as my partner”.
Other memorable performances from other competitors came from Birmingham Freewheelin’s Group routine to Tina Turner’s Rolling. Not to mention the huge group number by WOWD to Greatest Showman.
Paula said “We’re super proud of our dancers some of whom were thrown freestyle choreography a few weeks ago. Having the courage to trust us as coaches. For them to get on the floor and perform the way they did was amazing. What makes it worthwhile is to see the emotion on their faces when their results are called! It just goes to show what wheelchair dance can do for people and we hope more people can come and join us to learn.”
In total Strictly Wheels club came away with medal placings in every event. Total medal tally is 3 Gold, 1 Silver and 2 Bronze.
If you are interested in learning to wheelchair dance our classes take place in Manchester each week. Everyone is welcome no matter what your background or experience.
Posted on: 31st October 2018, by : Strictly Wheels