Friday evening saw fourteen dance acts, from nine of the university’s dance societies, take to the stage of the Riley Smith Theatre to compete against one another in the LUU Dance Competition.
The acts competed for six different awards, judged by a panel comprised of three external dance professionals. The competition was a huge success, becoming the first show to sell out the new Riley Smith Theatre.
The competition acted as a showcase for the great diversity and incredible abilities of LUU’s dance societies, featuring performances from Vertical Fitness, Irish, Ballet, Bellydance, and Bollywood, to name just a few. The LUU Dance societies compete both nationally and internationally, but this was an internal competition, offering the societies the platform to compete against one another.
The competition featured many group performances, as well as solos from Vertical Fitness, Modern, and Belly Dance, and duets from Freestyle and Dance Exposé. Each performance exhibited their society’s style with superb choreography, attention to detail, and passion for their display. There is no dance degree offered at the university, making the level of the performances exhibited even more impressive, as these are just hobbies for the dancers involved.
An external group of dance professionals made up the panel of three judges. These included Sara Horner, Principal of Sara Horner School of Dance and freelance dance teacher with over thirteen years of teaching experience; Victor ‘LaVic’ Amango, choreographer, dancer, creative director, and teacher of the only Afrofusion dance class in Leeds; Louise Rainford, freelance dancer, whose credits include performing at Glastonbury Festival, and founder of Dance Fusion Studios in Pontefract.
Best Performer – Zul, Freestyle
Best Performer – Stella, Street Dance
Best Costume – Athena, Belly Dance
Best Concept – Zul and Minori, Freestyle
Best Choreography – Ballet
Best Overall Performance – Street
Sara gave a special mention to the Bollywood Vibes performance, commending them for their enthusiasm as each member looked like they were having the best time during their routine.
The evening was hosted by LUU Dance Rep, Lauren Huxley, who spoke proudly of the dance societies and all their efforts: ‘I couldn’t be more proud of all the dance societies for the hard work they put into their incredible routines for the competition. It’s an honour to get to represent these lovely people’. She also expressed her thanks to the LUU Backstage Society, without whom the show could not have taken place: ‘I’m so grateful to Backstage Society for helping me create such a wonderful show for everyone.’
Not only did the competition showcase the incredible dance societies, it was a great opportunity for dancers to spend time together as societies. Chloë Barlow, a member of Irish Dance Society, loved taking part, revealing her favourite aspect of the competition: ‘I loved spending time with my friends and getting to know other members of the society better as a result of rehearsals and socials associated with the competition.’
The competition was an exceptional showcase of the incredible abilities LUU’s dance societies have to offer, displaying not just the skill of the dancers performing but also the wide diversity of dance styles practiced by LUU Dance.