Hitting the stage with astounding energy from the get-go, the members of St Andrews Ballroom and Latin Dance Society (BALLADS) performed an incredible rendition of Strictly Come Dancing last Sunday. Walking through the door, the energy drumming through the air, the anticipation was palpable, the crowd buzzing as it waited for the performances to begin. We didn’t have to wait long as the show started right on the dot.
Hosted by two hilarious, dashing young men from BALLADS, it was immediately clear that the dynamic between the audience and the hosts was going to be strong. Although the two hosts, on occasion, awkwardly interrupted each other, their banter was generally effortless, encompassing the audience, judges and participants in equal measure. The judges were likewise as charismatic, and were seemingly at home among the BALLADS, with two of them having begun dance with the society 4 and a half years ago.
The event opened with a polished waltz to a cover of Adele’s Skyfall. The dancer glowed in her stately scarlet gown, and the chemistry on stage was irresistible. Her kick extensions were well practiced, and the atmosphere of the music embellished the performance with a dramatic undertone. Although the music cut off far too abruptly, the performance was otherwise hypnotising.
Following the waltz was a sexy cha-cha. Once again, the dancers were enchanting together and their flirtatious yet satirical moves won both the audience and the judges over immediately. The third performance was an original quick step that proved innovative through the dancers’ use of umbrellas as props. The jive that followed was light, funky and energetic, and the audience was captured by the exuberant tune of Olly Murs’ Dance with Me.
The final performance of the first act of the night was a refined Viennese Waltz to the melodramatic song You Don’t Own Me. Although some steps were mistimed, the story infused with the performance was sexy and dramatic, and the dancers’ ability to stay in character throughout the dance was fascinating to watch.
The second half of the event was dominated by the dance of the judges, a clear crowd favourite according to the roaring cheers. A first year and member of BALLADS, Maggi Chalgunova had nothing but praise for the event,
“It was my first time to such an event which recreates the famous Strictly Come Dancing, and I found it quite entertaining. The show’s hosts were absolutely charming and made the show happen. In my opinion, I liked that each couple represented different kinds of dance but the best moment of this event was for sure the dance of the judges, absolutely mind blowing.”
The winners of the night proved to be Gabriele Uboldi (celebrity) and Léonie Havé. Although at times the event was a little unruly, it appears that BALLADS achieved what they set out to do, and have made the crowd fall in love with dance once again.