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GB take silver medal at Para Dance Sport Championship

More than 150 dancers from over 10 countries gathered in The Netherlands for the Dutch Open and Cuijk Para Dance Sport Championship 2017 last weekend.

Gary and Paula from Strictly Wheels club.

Cuijk, now in its 29th year, is the largest wheelchair dance competition in the world. Competitors at all levels from Debutante to Amateur and Para Dance Sport athletes come together to enjoy two full days of dancing.

This year, the popularity of the new Singles and Freestyle events saw the competition stretch to a third afternoon, with these new events taking place on Friday 14 April.

Singles and Freestyle

Great Britain’s Paula Moulton took to the floor in the Single Ladies 1 event, dancing five dances with grace, elegance and power to take fourth place behind Ukraine and Poland’s best.

Friday afternoon also saw the Single Men battling it out on the floor with a welcome return from Ukraine’s Ivan Sivak, who stole the gold medal from Poland’s Pawel Karpinski with some spectacular moves.

The Freestyle event gave equally great performances from the reigning European Champions in both Ladies Single Freestyle 2 and Combi Freestyle 2, with Olena Chynka’s performance to Bjork “It’s oh so quiet” taking gold. The Combi Freestyle 2 gold was won by a powerful contemporary dance from Poland’s Marek Zaborowski and Kasia Bloch.

Latin and Standard

The main Latin and Ballroom events took place over Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 April. Large numbers of Debutantes and Amateur level dancers danced their way through heats and finals to make their mark on the adjudicators.

Great Britain’s Latin Combi couple, Gary and Paula from Strictly Wheels Club, made their appearance on Sunday afternoon in the World Para Dance Sport Finals having been reclassified danced in Latin Combi 1 for the first time. They danced confidently, but were beaten to gold by Finland’s Timo Pyykkonen and Tuuli Harju, taking the silver medal for Great Britain.

Photos from the competition are on the Strictly Wheels Facebook page.

Next competition

Gary and Paula are now looking forward to their next competition in Denmark at the start of June followed by the World Para Dance Sport Mainhatten Cup in Germany two weeks later. For more upcoming para dance events, visit the Paralympics website.

Image and story via Strictly Wheels.