Get ready to Rhumba

Ballroom dancers are sashaying their way to the Latrobe Valley to entertain a crowd rumoured to have an energy like no other.

More than 25 couples will travel from across Victoria to compete in the state’s invitational-only competition, the second annual Latrobe City DanceSport Classic at Latrobe Leisure Traralgon Sports Stadium on Saturday, 18 June.

Dance styles include Waltz, Tango, Viennese Waltz and Quickstep and Latin styles, Samba, Cha Cha, Rhumba, Pasodoble and Jive.

DanceSport Victoria’s Anna Longmore said last year people were dancing in the aisles with dancers, commenting on the “different feel” of the regional-focussed competition.

“We had couples ask if they could come back before the invitations were sent out. They said the crowd, the support and the atmosphere were just amazing,” Ms Longmore said

Ms Longmore said ‘DanceSport’ was the new term for ballroom dancing.

Supported by Latrobe City Council, the fundraising event for Gippsland Rotary Centenary House hopes to highlight the dance style as an alternative to more traditional sporting endeavours in the region, such as football or netball.

Ms Longmore said the glamorous and exciting leisure activity had been renamed to suit its modern image as a demanding sport.

“Characteristics consist of physical strength, agility, coordination, stamina, high-level of fitness, discipline, teamwork, grace, style and musical interpretation,” Ms Longmore said.

Latin dance couple Daniel Ryan, partnering Sherone Armel, said his brother competed in last year’s event and had commented on the great atmosphere.

“If you’re there this year, you’ll see brother versus brother. It’s always pretty exciting,” Mr Ryan said.

Mr Ryan said he had struggled at school as a male dancer, and wanted to get more people involved in dancing, to understand it was not what people thought.

“I love this music and want people to enjoy it as well,” Mr Ryan said.

The event will feature children as young as 11 years old performing in juvenile and junior categories to senior adult categories.

Australian dancing style ‘New Vogue’, a form of social dancing involving patterns and sequences, will also be featured in the local event.

Latrobe City mayor Michael Rossiter said the Latrobe City DanceSport highlighted the diversity of events in the region.

He said a number of local dance schools in the municipality had shown their interest in the style of dancing.

“I have no doubt that our community will appreciate not only the grace of the sport, but the competitive edge and the level of fitness the dancers display,” Cr Rossiter said.

The evening grand finals will also feature local talent including the Latrobe Valley Community Choir and the Latrobe Rockers.

For more information and tickets phone Latrobe Performing Arts on 5176 3333 or email boxoffice@latrobe.vic.gov.au

Doors open at 6pm with tickets available for a 7pm start.

Table tickets with refreshments and full table bookings of 10 are also available via Meagen Alderton on 0424 136 246.