That sounds wonderful. I've never been to Blackpool, but I hope to go one year.
I'm sure we would love to hear about your dance team. Is it a formation team?
Is that your dance partner that you are kissing in the picture? or just your boyfriend?
well we dance for our local radio station dance team, we called the "Signal 1 HotShots, we gettin kinda big now, we've already bin away to do shows bout 7 times this year so far and theres loads more to come. and we are supposed to be doin a competition in america sumtime next year which i cant wait for cos i neva bin americe we doin a concert called "summer in the city" in the summer which is big... dancing for different groups n singers which shud be kool... and no that aint my dance partner its my... well not my guy... YET! lol
Okay. So why all the mistique about Blackpool? Has any of you ever been there? Why is it so legendary? Good performances? Good competition? Good judges? Why Blackpool? And should I buy the videos? :lol:
My wife and I went to Blackpool 3 yrs ago. The legendary Winter Garden is a magnificent venue, and to my knowledge, the only comp in the world that uses a live band for the entire event (except breaks) It's fame is for 2 reasons: Britain is the birthplace of ballroom dance, and the "British Open" attracts the largest international entry of any competition worldwide. It is even more revered than the world championships, because every top couple is there.
Umm, the band is actually only for the evening sessions, the daytime sessions are by DJ. This same set up – DJs by day, band by night – is also used at the GOC.
As far as Blackpool and the Winter Gardens, it is the site of a long and enduring history... [the following information is adapted from the Winter Gardens, Blackpool, 125 Years Souvenir History pamphlet]:
The Empress Ballroom was almost complete by the summer of 1896. WWI saw military forces given the run of the Winter Gardens and 1918 saw the Empress Ballroom used for support assembly for the R.33 airship. 1929 gave rise to extensive renovations that brought the facility close to its current design.
There is debate as to the original source of the idea of the Blackpool Dance Festival, and is generally thought to be the idea of either Mr. Harry Wood or Mr. Nelson Sharples.
The first BP Dance Festival took place Easter week, 1920. This was prior to the development and codification of Modern and Latin ballroom dancing, and the festival was between the new Sequence Dances Waltz, Two Step, and Foxtrot, one contested each day, and one being selected as the "winner" on the fourth day.
The 1st chairman of judges, Mr. James Finnigan, went on to co-found and be 1st president of the UKA (The United Kingdom Alliance of Professional Teachers of Dancing). Following a shift in management, in 1927, there was a break in the regular running of the festival until 1929. Mr. Richardson took over as Chairman of Judges at this time and served in that capacity until 1960.
1931 bore witness to the first British Professional and Amateur Championships. 250 preliminary heats & ~40 District Finals were danced around England to advance to the Am Championships at Blackpool.
The Empress Ballroom was re-floored in 1934, using 10,000 pieces of oak, mahogany, walnut, and greenwood, covering 12,500 ft., all lain over 1,320 4-inch springs. The ballroom's stage was rebuilt in 1935, complete with art deco motifs.
1937 saw the introduction of the skating system of judging, the same as is now in use at ballroom comps worldwide.
During WWII the WG was site to Royal Air Force training by day and entertainment by night. A limited festival was held in 1940, but was than on a five-year hiatus during the war, returning in 1946.
The festival grew apace and, in 1953, was host to: the North of England Amateur and Professional Championships; a Ballroom Formation Dancing Comp; the British Amateur and Professional Championships; and a Professional Exhibition Comp.
Although there had been some ties with Denmark as early as the 30s, the 1950s saw the start of the foreign influx with special seating for foreign guests in the south balcony. This lasted until 1980 by which point the foreign participation had swelled far beyond this arrangement. Indeed, the past several years have seen the participation of 50(!) countries in the Blackpool Dance Festival.
One other large change came with the introduction of the British Amateur Latin event in 1961 and a professional Latin event in 1962, both of which became championships in 1964.
The British National Championships, then named the British Closed Dance Festival was first held in 1975 in response to the continuing influx of foreign competitors to the British Open Blackpool Dance Festival.
Mrs. Ilet, who developed the festival into the premier ballroom event in the world, died in 1978 and her husband, Mr. Bill Francis briefly took over. Poor health led him to retire in 1980, when Mrs. Gillian MacKenzie, the current Festival Organizer, succeeded him.
The Professional Team Match started in 1968 between Germany and England, but now invites four countries to participate annually.
Anyway, that’s some history for anyone who may be interested. I’ll try and provide some first hand impressions and accounts in the next few days…
Hey ma name iz Kristie n i live in stoke on trent az well! i am 15 n i am reeli reeli interested in the signal 1 hotshots but i dont reeli know how 2 get involved! i was wondering if you could possibly help me az i cant find much information plz reply asap thnxyu x