Strictly Kent Dancing 2019: Cricket shake their way to victory

Image courtesy of Kent Ballroom and Latin Dancing Society | Facebook

Ballroom and Latin Dancing club put on yet again another successful event of Strictly Kent Dancing, in which ‘professional’ (members already in the club who have been trained in dancing) and ‘amateurs’ (members of sports clubs and societies who have never dance competitively before) danced their way through the night, competing against eachother. Members of multiple sports teams danced foxtrots, sambas and jives, just like the famous TV show.

The night kicked off with InQuire’s very own Bill Bowkett, who danced the Waltz to Skyfall from James Bond. The judges complimented him on his grace and chemistry between the two dancers.

Next up was Laura Carlin, best known as Kent Union’s vice president (Postgraduate Experience). She jived to You Can’t Stop the Beat from Hairspray, being commended by the judges on her use of props and facial expressions.

After came Dom Barnaby from Men’s Rugby who, as the judges put it, was very light on his feet. He fox trotted to Singin’ in the Rain, spinning about the dance floor with an umbrella. We’ll say the one-handed catch was very impressive.

Kent RAG’s Lizzie Hindle danced an extreme tango, filled with anger and difficult steps. The lifts were impressive, and both seemed to cut across the floor effortlessly.

The show was stolen by the next contestant, Dan Bird from Men’s Cricket. Dancing samba to Soul Limbo, he and his partner stayed exactly in time and the judges were very ‘jealous of his hip movement’. Having received the first 10 for the night, the pair looked chuffed at their performance.

Following on was Alex Johnson from T24, who did another James Bond performance, complete with dramatic pointing of fake guns and fluid movement.

Then, Sam Street from Men’s Cricket took to the stage doing a contemporary dance with his partner, which was graceful and modern. A question was on the lips of many audience members however - where were his shoes?

Finally, Caitlin Merison from Women’s Hockey performing as the only same gender couple competing. Their outfits matched as terrifically as their steps, having fun as they danced.

Image courtesy of Kent Ballroom and Latin Dancing Society | Facebook

Once all acts had performed and the judges scored were added up, the public were left to decide the fate. Everyone in the audience voted for two individuals, who would go head to head.

In a tense moment towards the end of the show, after all audience members had placed their votes to the judges, it was decided that Dan Bird and Laura Carlin would be in the dance-off to compete for the title.

Bird took to the stage with his partner and, taking on board the judges’ comments to be lighter on his feet around the stage and stay on his toes. He took the advice, gliding about the floor more freely, but arguably he was more concentrated on his toes that the dance lost a part of its energy.

Carlin danced next, to which her dance off was a vast improvement from her original performance. She took to the stage, her kicks as strong as before but with more energy in her performance. The switch of tone from the slow-paced opening to the fast-paced drop in the music was echoed by the performance.

After the dance battle was done, it was a tight competition. With much deliberation from the judges, there was one vote for Carlin and three votes for Bird, making cricket the overall winners of the event.

Josie Neame, Bird’s partner and President of the Latin and Ballroom Dancing society stated that “it was a fantastic evening. I was so pleased to see how much support there was for each celebrity, this meant a really big audience, who were so enthusiastic for everyone taking part.”

She continued, detailing: “Thank you to everyone who came along to support the event! The celebrities all danced brilliantly, the standard was so high this year and it was clear to see that they had all put in so much training. A huge well done to Daniel Bird, our winning celebrity from the cricket society, who performed a brilliantly energetic Samba. We had amazing performances also from our cellist Buauna, from Kent Sing, Zouk and K-Pop. Thank you to everyone involved, I hope that everyone enjoyed the evening. Keep Dancing!”

Cricket were therefore the overall winners of the event, with Dan Bird’s flowing hips and a samba worth of a 10 stealing the show. Well done UKC Cricket!

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