Cambridge University Beginners’ Dancesport Team

Want to take part in Dancesport but don’t have prior dance experience? Come join our Beginners’ Team. This team requires no prior dance experience and is also formed at the start of the academic year. The team trains in Waltz, Quickstep, Cha-cha, and Jive and competes against other Beginners from around the country at the same competitions as the First & Second teams.

It is a great introduction to Dancesport and you will have training from the same coaches as the First & Second teams. In fact, most members of CUDT started as beginners. CUDT is very much like a family, so there is a great social side too, both within the Beginners’ team, and together with the First & Second teams.

It is fun, good exercise, and a great life skill, so why not give it a go? Come along to one of our free taster sessions during Freshers’ week 2019 to learn your first steps and see demos from our experienced dancers. For more information, please visit our FAQs page, or contact our Beginners’ Co-Captains, Kate and Kelvin. You can also read about the experience on the Beginners’ Team from Tom, one of our most successful beginners in 2015-2016, who went on to be Vice Captain, Advanced dancer and Full Blues recipient, below.

Tom’s journey as a beginner

Since writing this in summer 2015, Tom joined first team, became CUDT Secretary (2015-16), represented Cambridge at the 2016 Varsity match, was elected CUDT Vice Captain for 2016-17 and went on to receive a Full Blues as an Advanced dancer. He now competes in the open circuit with his long-time dance partner.

“I joined CUDT tentatively last October (2014) with the aim of spending an hour or two each week learning how to Ballroom dance. However after just a couple of weeks I was hooked and my weekly commitment started climbing. I was carefully partnered by the coaches and team captains and before I knew it I was dancing with my wonderful partner, Jo Buckland, at my first competition!

We were eased into the world of competitions at OTNT (Old Team, New Team) in Cambridge. We won best beginner Ballroom couple and from then on we practised more and more as we grew to love dancing. The social side of the club is strong too; there were regular social events both amongst the beginners and the whole team. As we moved into Lent term the team had bonded well and this was evidenced by the inter-team support shown at competitions.

The climax of the year was IVDC (Inter Varsity Dance Competition), my sixth competition, in Blackpool in February. There were over 230 beginner couples competing so a lot of rounds to dance though but we were overjoyed to win gold in both the Waltz and Quickstep. The rest of the Cambridge beginners did well or even better – often half the finalists were from Cambridge and Greg Aroutiunian and Nonny Jones won best overall beginners following their excellent Latin perfomances. We also won (not surprisingly) the best university beginners team trophy, which added to all the other team trophies won by Cambridge that day. It was an incredible day and I cannot wait to go back next year.

Since IVDC I joined the XS Latin formation team which is also based in Cambridge. This has been a great way to keep up my dancing over summer and formation dancing has been challenging in different ways.

Now I am waiting for the next academic year to start; there will be trials, partnering, new routines and many competitions down the line. I cannot believe how much CUDT, and dancing in general, has taken over my life, but I love every minute of it.”