by Geoffrey and Eva Churchman

Yesterday we watched the last three hours of these in the Memorial Hall. There were about 40 contestants and about 50 organisers and spectators.

Not only is dancing a good form of exercise, the creativity and skill involved makes it a good spectator activity. The ages of the contestants seemed to range from early 20’s to 80’s so there is little limitation involved, although we ourselves aren’t as supple now from lack of practice as would be needed — we were active in a range of styles in the 1990s and 2000s.

The ballroom dances involve long flared dresses for the ladies and black tuxedos with long coat-tails for the men. The general dances involve skimpier outfits for the women, most were wearing high heels, and less formal clothes for the men (some were wearing shoes with higher than normal heels).

The Latin dance styles were the Samba, Rumba, Cha-Cha-Cha, Paso Doble and Jive — the last owes more to rock and roll than South American style, but is different and distinct. Waltz, Foxtrot, Tango, Quickstep and La Bomba were the Ballroom dances,

In next year’s Paris Olympics Breakdancing (known to the dance community as “Breaking”) will be a competitive sport, but wasn’t part of yesterday’s event.

Watching dancers on TV is one thing, but we enjoyed watching dancers in 3D panovision and in highest definition right in front of us more.