Once a year, the best ballroom and Latin dancers from across the globe quickstep their way to Britain’s very own Blackpool, to take part in the most prestigious competition - the British Open Championships at the Blackpool Dance Festival. I was invited to glimpse into an iconic and little-known world of the qualifying rounds that lead up to this most competitive of occasions.
Dancers from more than 60 countries were bringing passion and glamour, tears, triumphs and tribulations. Not to mention gallons of fake tan and hair spray. Once these guys swing their hips, nothing is going to stand in their way, not even stiletto-stabbed ankles or double hip surgery. Just as Blackpool’s has worldwide renown when it comes to dancing, so do British coaches, who work behind the scenes to prepare dancers for Blackpool.
“It's dancing’s most iconic competition because it has that legacy, and it doesn't matter if you're a dance competitor, dance enthusiast, or you’ve just watched Strictly, when you mention Blackpool, everyone knows immediately what you're talking about."
Oskar, dancer “I hope that we represent the fact that if you have a dream, just because you work, that doesn't mean that you can't achieve it. We dedicate our lives to dancing just as much as any other couple. If I wasn't able to do dancing because of work, dancing would always come first!”
“Anything can happen. We don't assume we're just going to sail through, so it means that much more when our number is called, or it can have more of a knock when it's not.”
To the editor
If you are interested in this project, would like to use the images or would like to discuss any other projects please contact James Rudoni - firstname.lastname@example.org