2020 Zahira Crystals Perth Ballroom Challenge
We begin most of the advertising for the Perth Ballroom Challenge with the following:
“The PBC is our attempt to capture the majesty and magic of Ballroom Dancing that has so captivated both of us during our career.”
Now having run our event for the third year we feel like we are truly starting to fulfil that vision. It goes without saying that 2020 posed the most unusual and difficult circumstances in which to be an event organiser and is certainly not what we were planning for in our preparations at the start of the year.
This year we had to contend with first finding a venue that was still operating to the public and then having to find a second venue once we were told by the management of the first that we could not have the capacity in the hall that we originally booked for.
Despite all of these trying circumstances we are so thrilled and somewhat shocked that this year we sold more entry tickets and were able to offer a record $4200 in prize money, sourced from private sector sponsorship.
One of our biggest regrets for this year is how much we had to restrict ticket sales in the final two weeks of the event in order to keep to venue capacity restrictions. Tickets in this time were only available to those who were competing or a single parent of a child that was. We lost count of the people that we had to tell they were not able to attend the event, and there were no door sales on the day; we had to turn people away at the door. Of course it is a fantastic problem for any event organiser to have however be assured that preparations are already underway to find somewhere larger for 2021.
We had a long day of dancing, with events commencing at 10am and the last presentations starting at 8pm, although the feedback appears to be that competitors and audiences do not mind the long day providing there is an engaging and exciting program of events throughout.
We operated with a single panel of adjudicators, almost all qualified in the three styles, throughout the day. All highly experienced and credentialed professionals, as event organisers we have found this single panel system is preferable for us, this group becoming a feature of the event itself and audiences connecting with the personalities and back stories of our judges. By having a smaller panel it also allows us to completely change the panel each year, not one judge from 2019 officiated this year, something which is often remarked and appreciated by the competitors.
A strength of our event is the private sponsorship we are able to attract. We believe this is in big part to our model of giving all sponsorship contributions back directly, dollar for dollar, to the couples. Our sponsors seem to be very pleased with the level of exposure the event provides and we have already been able to secure commitments from most of this year’s sponsors for 2021.
Although there were fantastic strong and numerous fields across many events this year, with several requiring a semi final round, we are particularly delighted about the Juvenile Latin section on the day. When the event was announced and 10 graded Juvenile couples took to the competition floor the response from the audience was atmospheric and almost brought a tear to the eye of some of the more invested members of the audience to see such a sign of strength in the future of our beloved form of dance.
As much as we would love to run events every weekend, staging such a feat takes an enormous toll on a person, on their physical well being, personal relationships and professional lives and so we wait until 2021 to bring to life the ideas cooking up in our head.
Until then there are many more fabulous Ballroom Dancing events on the WA calendar and if the 2020 Zahira Crystals Ballroom Challenge is anything to go by there will be no lack of enthusiasm and energy from the community to attend these events.
Jack Johnson & Joanne de Jager
Organisers | Perth Ballroom Challenge
To see how all the judges marked, you can visit the following link http://dancesportlive.net/dsl/results/2020/perth_challenge/