CUDT secures sixth consecutive Varsity title to seal another undefeated season

Sunday, May 21st, 2017

The 44th Dancesport Varsity Match took place on Saturday 6th May, 2017 at the Cambridge University Sport Centre – the final fixture of the season for the Cambridge University Dancesport Team and their chance to seal another undefeated season.

Varsity has a different structure to all the others competitions we had faced so far this year. Each side enters two teams of nine couples to compete in the Varsity Match (A Team) and Challenge Match (B Team). In each match, each team is divided into three heats – the Home side A,B & C and the away side D,E & F. Each heat then dances against each of the opposite team’s heat in a straight final format where judges mark couples in descending order 1-6. A first mark earns six points for the team and a sixth placing earns 1 point. All the scores are then added together across nine finals of each of the four dances – Waltz, Quickstep, Cha-cha-cha and Jive, and the team with the higher score wins. This format requires couples to be all-rounders in both Ballroom and Latin. The high number of final rounds to dance (twelve for each couple across four dances) in a short space of time and the length of each round means that fitness plays an incredibly important role in this match. The Cambridge Squad had been training incredibly hard in the run up to this competition to ensure we kept fighting until the very end of each track.

The day began, as usual, with the Challenge Match. The strength of this year’s Varsity squad meant lots of couples were competing for limited places, but those dancers selected for the team put on a dominant display from the start, reflected in the final scores, with a massive 1360 points difference between the two teams.

Challenge Match Result Cambridge Oxford
Waltz 625 320
Quickstep 617 328
Cha-cha 665 280
Jive 663 282
Total 2570 1210

Congratulations must go to all members of the B Team, but especially Sam Rowe and Sarah Bull for winning Best Cambridge (and Overall) Latin Couple and Niklas Steenfatt and Emily Burbidge for winning Best Cambridge (and Overall) Ballroom and Top Overall Couple from both teams. Congratulation too should go to Izaak Jephson and Ekaterina Zabolotnaya for winning the Best Newcomer award.

After a lunchbreak in which the Varsity Rock N Roll Match took place, the afternoon began with the Varsity Match, in which the top nine couples from both teams took to the floor against each other. Oxford had some very strong dancers and the sides were fairly evenly matched in the Waltz, but Cambridge’s strength in depth and stamina showed through, especially in the Latin half of the competition, where the Home team dominated. The final scores show a clear Cambridge victory, marking our sixth consecutive Varsity victory:

Varsity Match Result Cambridge Oxford
Waltz 490 455
Quickstep 513 432
Cha-cha 557 388
Jive 564 381
Total 2124 1656

Outgoing Vice-Captain Tom Brown and his partner Liane Dupont won Best Ballroom and Best Overall for Cambridge, while Andreas Schachner and Maria Fala won the Best Cambridge Latin and Top Overall Latin couple prizes. The Best Newcomer award went to Philipp Verpoort and Nina Friedrich. As a separate event, CUDT Head Coach David Mallabone also announced the Couple of the Year award, chosen by CUDT’s distinguished panel of coaches for the couple who have exemplified the work ethic and team spirit of CUDT. This year’ award deservingly went to Izaak Jephson and Ekaterina Zabolotnaya, who were both new to the team this year and have worked exceptionally hard to improve a great deal and achieve outstanding results.

So concludes a sixth successive undefeated season for the Cambridge University Dancesport Team. Thank you to all our dancers, coaches and supporters over the past year, without whom none of this would have been possible. With a large crowd watching us on home turf, the atmosphere at Varsity was electric and really helped us all keep fighting till the end. After an afternoon of additional open events, in which Cambridge dancers and alumni again dominated, both teams celebrated the end of the year together with a social at St Philip’s Church Centre on Mill Lane. The team now looks forward to celebrating its successes with the annual garden party and team dinner next month, before setting out on a new season in 2017-2018 under the leadership of incoming Captain and Vice-Captain Maria Ouvarova and Katjana Lange.