The elegant waltz, precision-focused paso doble and fast-paced quickstep were among the dance styles featured in the 2019 edition of the Livy and Betty Alleyne Ballroom Dance Centre Stars of the Future competition.
Founders of the group, husband and wife duo, Livingstone and Betty Alleyne, have dedicated their lives to teaching the artform. They have received international acclaim, being awarded the Dancesport International Award by the Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) in London for their continued contribution to dance.
Their inaugural local contest took place in 2001 and they have been churning out award-winning dancers since then. For the past three years, they have copped the highest awards at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool, England.
Last year, Shane Alleyne and Aleksandra Przybylak won the Gold Star and Above Level; Zachary Hamid and Ambia Paris were the Gold Latin winners and Cherise Rollock won gold in Bronze Latin. They are determined to show that a small island like Barbados can continue to be a force to be reckoned with in dance as they are soon set to return to Blackpool for this year’s contest.
Betty confirmed, “We have a high achieving team as usual. We normally place in finals of most categories we enter, and I expect the same thing this year. We not only place in finals annually, but we are triple gold winners in some categories.” She added, “We look forward to the exciting atmosphere in the large hall filled with over 5, 000 persons and the competitions, one at a time.”
Dance Stars for the Future, which was hosted on Saturday evening in the auditorium of the St Leonard’s Boys’ School, is part of the preparation process to assist the 30-member strong contingent get ready for their trip. This international competition will see the delegation competing with dancers from across the United Kingdom as their quest for more medals continues. Every effort is being made to ensure that they are competition-ready and in prime form to make their mark on the world stage.
Competitors squaring off before the judges ranged in ages from under 8 to over 65 and competed in categories spanning from pre-bronze, which is the beginner’s level, straight up to the gold level. Many of the competitors pulled out all the stops, donning vibrant eye-catching costumes to match their style of dance. Though some of the divisions only had one entrant, that did not deter the dancers from putting their best foot forward.
In some instances, multiple age categories took to the dance floor once they were performing the same dance style. This atmosphere of having to manoeuvre around other dancers was optimum to prepare them for the international realm. Also, in preparation for the stringent guidelines at that higher-level, participants were summoned only using the numbers they received at registration.
Among the myriad of dancers who excelled were Alexander Price-Greaves and Daniel Jones winning Youth Silver/Gold and Youth Gold for Ballroom. Though just 17 and 15 years old respectively, they will show their mettle as they face off in the adult category in Blackpool.
Alleyne said: “Stars of the Future competition went really good on Saturday evening. I think more supporters and competitors of the dance form would have added to the night. The competition was very warm, competitive and filled with excitement on a whole.” (STT)