Blackpool Dance Festival
The 8-day Blackpool Dance Festival is the world's first and most famous annual ballroom
Ballroom dance
Ballroom dance refers to a set of partner dances, which are enjoyed both socially and competitively around the world. Because of its performance and entertainment aspects, ballroom dance is also widely enjoyed on stage, film, and television....

 dance competition of international significance, held in the Empress Ballroom
Empress Ballroom
The Empress Ballroom is a 3,000 capacity entertainment venue, in Blackpool Lancashire, England. It is located within the Winter Gardens, a large entertainment complex in the town centre....

 at the Winter Gardens
Winter Gardens, Blackpool
The Winter Gardens is a large entertainment complex in the town centre of Blackpool, Lancashire, England. It has twelve different venues, including a theatre, ballroom and conference facilities. Opened in 1878, it is a Grade II* listed building, incorporating various elements built between 1875 and...

, Blackpool
Blackpool is a borough, seaside town, and unitary authority area of Lancashire, in North West England. It is situated along England's west coast by the Irish Sea, between the Ribble and Wyre estuaries, northwest of Preston, north of Liverpool, and northwest of Manchester...

, England since 1920. It is also the largest ballroom competition: in 2003, 1539 couples from 54 countries took part in the festival.

As of the early 21st century the festival is held in May. It covers Ballroom and Latin American dancing, and incorporates the British Open Championships in categories of adult amateur and professional couples and formation teams. In 2005 two new categories were introduced: the British Rising Star Amateur Ballroom and Latin Competitions. Two invitation events, the Professional Team Match and the Exhibition Competition, create much interest.

The Junior Dance Festival, Blackpool Sequence Dance Festival which incorporates the British Sequence Championships
British Sequence Championships
The British Sequence Dance Championships for adults are held annually as part of the Blackpool Sequence Dance Festival and have been running since 1949. This is held in the Empress Ballroom, Winter Gardens, Blackpool, England. Dancers compete in up to five sequence dances determined by the...

, and British National Dance Festival are also held annually in Blackpool. At fifteen years old, Julianne Hough
Julianne Hough
Julianne Alexandra Hough is an American professional ballroom dancer, country music singer and actress. She is most widely known for being a two-time champion of ABC's Dancing with the Stars. She earned a Creative Arts Primetime Emmy nomination in 2007 for choreography...

 became the youngest dancer, and only American, to win both Junior World Latin Champion and International Latin Youth Champion at the Dance Festival. After five years in London, Hough returned to the U.S., first living with her mother for a year and attending Las Vegas Academy
Las Vegas Academy
The Las Vegas Academy of International Studies, Performing and Visual Arts is a magnet high school located in Downtown Las Vegas, Nevada. Students are accepted through an audition process and claim a "major" pertaining to performing arts, visual arts, or foreign languages.- Las Vegas High School...


The annual World Professional Dancesport
Dancesport denotes competitive ballroom dancing, as contrasted to social or exhibition dancing. It is wheelchair dancesport where at least one of the dancers is in a wheelchair....

 Championship is often held in Blackpool (4 times between 1989 and 2005), but is not connected with the Dance Festival.

The world's largest amateurs' dance festival is the annual Euro dance festival
Euro dance festival
Euro Dance Festival is the biggest dance festival in Europe, attracting about 5000 visitors in 2010. The festival is best known for its wide range of music and dancing styles. These are Ballroom Dance, Argentine Tango, Swing Dance, Hip Hop and Breakdance...

 in Rust
Rust is a general term for a series of iron oxides. In colloquial usage, the term is applied to red oxides, formed by the reaction of iron and oxygen in the presence of water or air moisture...

, Germany, where shows of professional dancers are combined with workshops for a wide range of dancers from beginners to professionals.

Cultural references

It was depicted in the 1996 award-winning Japanese film, Shall We ダンス?, directed by Masayuki Suo
Masayuki Suo
is a Japanese film director. He is perhaps best known for his two Japan Academy Prize-winning films, 1992's Sumo Do, Sumo Don't and 1996's Shall We Dance?.According to Suo:- Life and career :...

 and again, in the 2004 U.S. remake Shall We Dance?
Shall We Dance? (2004 film)
Shall We Dance? is a 2004 American film. It is a remake of the award-winning Masayuki Suo 1996 Japanese film, Shall We Dance?. The film made its US premier at the Hawaii International Film Festival.-Plot:...

. Mai, played by Tamiyo Kusakari
Tamiyo Kusakari
is a Japanese dancer for the Maki Asami Ballet Company. In 1987, she made her debut as Odette in Swan Lake.From Toshima, Tokyo, Kusakari started dancing professionally at the age of eight and won the first prize at the Japan Ballet Competition of 1987. She received the Muramatsu Award in 1988, and...

 in the original film, and Paulina, played by Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Lopez
Jennifer Lynn Lopez is an American actress, singer, record producer, dancer, television personality, and fashion designer. Lopez began her career as a dancer on the television comedy program In Living Color. Subsequently venturing into acting, she gained recognition in the 1995 action-thriller...

in the 2004 film, competed in the Dance Championship when, together with their partners; both suffered a fall during the semi-finals, causing them to be disqualified.

External links

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