Prologue Wednesday 5th December.
To arrive at a hotel beautifully decorated to celebrate the goodwill, the joy and happiness of Christmas is always special but when it is also linked to something so special as the WDC AL Open World Championship it is even more meaningful when you are a dance lover.
This the ELEVENTH GLORIOUS YEAR is something to celebrate! The growth and popularity are phenomenal. The Fairy Tale continues and all the doubts that so many felt in 2007 when the AL was launched are long banished and we can hail the success of a brave venture that brought Freedom and Choice to Competitive Dance. saved careers and gave hope. So many others have built success and careers on the back of this great event.
We are blessed that another year has passed and it is that so very special time of year again and the spine tingles as competitive dancers, their friends and family and dance lovers from around the globe arrive at The Newport Bay Hotel and Convention Centre, the setting of the Championships for the third time.
For the next 4 days this becomes the focus of attention, the very heartbeat of the dance world as the greatest ever and unique Dance World Championships takes place. New Records are set in both the for couples and the countries participating as more and more dancers wish to experience all they have heard about and join those who have loved “the Worlds” from the early years. The art of dance cannot better be served as the very finest couples in all age groups compete for the honour to be the World Champion in their classification with the Amateur Winners being able to claim they are the supreme, the ultimate World Champion as every dancer is eligible to compete regardless of their association, Every age group from Under 8 to Over 60 will cheer for their Champion in what are going to be such closely contested events.
One can sense the happiness, in the air as all ages, all nationalities, Amateurs and Professionals come together as one happy family and we are surrounded by hugs and handshakes as friendships are renewed or new begin. The “feel good” factor is in abundance. So many famous faces can be seen beaming and showing the pleasure at being pat of something so special.
The two ballrooms are starting to look great with all the preparation going on. The lighting is being installed, the music system is installed and tested, soon the floors are being laid. It is a hive of activity and with a real buzz. By tomorrow morning we will have 2 magnificent settings. The Vendors are busy building up their displays and it is all hustle and bustle.
The fantastic team of volunteers are on hand and although they will work long hours covering so many vital areas with little recognition they are vital to the overall success and assuredly they will have a happy smile and strive to ensure dancers and audience leave with good memories.
Our DJs Gerrit Wensink and Serge van de Rooij are going to have daunting tasks but their beautiful music will undoubtedly inspire and please and they have prepared new tunes as well as old favourites. The mind boggles just how many marks the scrutineering Team will handle over the next 4 days. Total accuracy will be demanded too so they will have massive pressures given the massive time constraints.
This is all like one giant jigsaw puzzle with all the pieces coming together to make one beautiful picture. One would like to think that after his many months of really hard work and planning our Superman Fred Bijster( and his wife Elsbeth and son Mas) with the Team would be able to put their feet up and relax but they will be working especially hard night to make sure everything goes perfectly for our wonderful couples.
Sammy Stopford, Donnie Burns, MBE and Fred Bijster value you each and everyone and they value deeply your trust and are grateful and l humbled by the support you the dancers have given to the event. Their mission is to serve you and your needs.
Together, united, believing in an even better future we can spread the good news enhance the reputation of our world and reach for greater success in the future.
The very best of Good Luck to every dancer here but most important enjoy your time and remember forever these 4 fantastic days.