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Dance like everyone is watching

On September 15, the National Centre for Performing Arts (NCPA) will set the stage for a fascinating team sport competition that has drawn people in over 84 countries on all six continents into its spell. The Maharashtra State Open Championship will see five to 80 year-old participants.

“Entries are still pouring in, but we already have 120 entries from Mumbai, Pune, Kolhapur, Nashik, Goa, Bangalore and Chandigarh,” says 27 year-old Shannon Benjamin, co-founder of DanceSport India with Dr Priti Gupta.

The five main categories are further divided into 20 sub-categories as per the level of difficulty. All couples in a sub-category, like Jive, will dance for one to one-and-a-half minutes to common music in the semi-final round. The top five couples will again dance to common music in the final round. The judges will rank them from 1st to 5th.

The ground rules of the competition are simple — couples must follow an internationally recognised syllabus and use floor craft and make sure they don’t bump into other couples. Dancing skills, choreography, costumes, posture and confidence must attract the attention of the judges. Musicality and use of rhythm to an unknown song is required. Since these are partner dances, the lady needs to follow her partner’s lead on the dance floor, maintaining the right connection and expressions.

Winners will be awarded medals, trophies and certificates. The winners in the top two Categories — Grade C Latin & Salsa Masters will win a cash prize of Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000 respectively. Winners are also promoted and further trained to represent India at international championships.

UK-based Mansi Amin, a renowned DanceSport athlete, examiner & adjudicator, will be the chief judge for the competition, along with a panel of six judges, including Benjamin, from Mumbai and Pune.

Did you know?
A one-minute jive routine equals 20 minutes of cardio

Categories
Latin American Championships: Rumba, Samba, Cha Cha, Jive and Paso Doble
Standard Ballroom Competition: Waltz and Tango
Social Dancing Competition: For beginners
Teacher Student Competition: This is for participants above the age of 30 who can partner with their teachers
Open Competitions: Salsa, Argentine Tango, Bachata

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