Strictly Cardiff Dancing: CU DanceSport Team In Varsity Action

Cardiff University DanceSport strutted their stuff on the way to numerous awards in Varsity Competition.


The dancers competed in the Warwick Varsity Competition on November 16 at The Tower Building, Birmingham. Their competitors hailed from Aston, Lancaster, Nottingham, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Oxford, Warwick, Royal Holloway, Southampton, Liverpool, Manchester and London.

Team Captain Bethan Edwards and her partner Laurence Lovell performing the Waltz

Team Captain Bethan Edwards and her partner Laurence Lovell performing the Waltz

Enthusiastic Team Captain Bethan Edwards reflected: “It was a fantastic day with some amazing results, for both individuals and the team as a whole. I’m so proud of everyone who took part for their brilliant dancing and team spirit throughout the 12 hour dancing day!”

Team Captain Sophie Timbers and her partner Ali Naeem performing Quickstep

Team Captain Sophie Timbers and her partner Ali Naeem performing Quickstep

Sophie Timbers said: “Bethan and I are super proud of Cardiff University Dancesport today at Warwick Varsity competition! You all looked smart, supported each other, and danced amazingly. Thank you for being such a fab team! Now, bring on Bath Friendly…(and the rest of an exciting year)”

The competition included Ballroom dances the Waltz and Quickstep; Latin dances the Cha-cha and Jive and the Open Paso.

Findley Mostyn, Kate Barnaby, Olli Wannell and Shani Freeke performing the Beginners Waltz

Findley Mostyn, Kate Barnaby, Olli Wannell and Shani Freeke performing the Beginners’ Waltz

Beginners’ Power Couple, CUSU VP Olli Wannell and Shani Freeke won several awards for Cardiff University. They were placed 2nd in Waltz, Quickstep and Cha-cha and won 1st place in the Jive. Olli Wannell, “It was my first dance competition and I was surprised at just how much energy was in the room at the time – most of which came from the Team Cardiff corner. Shani and I definitely danced our best yet and I’m really pleased with how we and the rest of the team did”.

CUSU VP Ollie Wannell and President Carrie Davis

CUSU VP Ollie Wannell and President Cari Davies showing off their winnings with the CU mascot!

CUSU President Cari Davies said, “It was a really enjoyable day, particularly because Cardiff DanceSport have great team spirit. Everyone was so supportive of each other and we were definitely the loudest uni there!” Davies and her partner Becky Lambert won the Beginners’ Cha-cha.

Ex-students Michael Chen and CUDS Secretary Becca Martin

Ex-student Michael Chen and CUDS Secretary Becca Martin performing the Cha-cha

Additionally, there was the Warwick Challenge which included the Rumba, Samba, Tango and Foxtrot. The winners were Oxford, followed by Warwick and then Cardiff.

CUDS intermidiate team

Intermediate Team (L-R) Zixin Tang, Hannah Garfield, Bryan Heggs, Natasha Dumigan, TC Bethan Edwards, Laurence Lovell, TC Sophie Timbers & Ali Naeem with their shiny medals!

Within the Team Competition, Cardiff was placed in 3rd place in Division A and 4th place in Division B.

The dancers celebrating their victory

The dancers celebrating their victory

The event also included a demonstration from UK Closed Amateur Latin Champions Ryan McShane and Ksenia Zsikhotska. They performed several dances and entertained the participants as they tried to built their stamina.

McShane and Zsikhotska showing how it's done.

McShane and Zsikhotska showing how it’s done.

A new team member commented, “I have always enjoyed dance but doing it on a competitive level is even more amazing! I would encourage everyone to join in and have a go! It’s great fun and you get to meet lots of new people. Plus, you can also show off your moves when you’re out clubbing!”

CU DanceSport hold social lessons on Tuesdays in the SU Great Hall. They offer Salsa (6-7 pm); Beginners’ Latin & Ballroom (7 – 8:15pm) and Improvers’ Latin & Ballroom (8:15 – 9pm).