*Disclaimer: There was no one else from committee available during this interview to shut him up ….. warning …. this interview is an endurance trial!*
Course of study
MEng Mechanical Engineering
Position on committee
Male TC 2015!
How long have you been dancing?
I’ve had dance in my life since I was six or seven when I started ballet in a local class. Why? Not really sure! Probably had something to do with not wanting my elder sister being better than me at anything. I did ballet for about six years and had an amazing time. I danced with Wayne Sleep and performed for two years with the NYB. But when I was 13 I had to make a choice: I had a place both at a fantastic ballet school near the wondrous Cadbury’s Chocolate factory and also at a great academic school much nearer home, but still far enough away that I wouldn’t be able to continue ballet. I made the choice of a traditional education and am very glad I did, however I always wonder what my life would have been like had I gone down the other path. I did miss dancing, but as there was no ballet at school, I did the next best thing, and threw myself into musical theatre and the ADP, playing lead roles and chorus members alike in numerous shows. Shout outs to Matt Hawksworth and everyone behind “Let’s Make a Musical” for inspiring me to keep the dancing bug going! When I came to Southampton last year I knew I had to do some kind of dance and stumbled across SUBLDS at the bunfight. I’m sure you can guess the rest…
*Take a breath Bart!*
Best SUBLDS memory?
Such a tough one! The weekly lessons are great, but consistently so, the only one that really stands out was the amazing Christmas lesson (it turns out I can do a mean Charlston!) with the musical chairs/ quickstep/ hat race that hopefully will make a glorious return in a few months’ time! Of the socials, either the awesome film night where we commandeered the entire SUSU cinema for the evening or the Dinner Dance at the end of the year… or actually the hilarious Twister and BBQ afternoon.
… We asked for one Bart …..
As last year was my first at Southampton, it was also my first taste of Strictly Southampton, which was a brilliant evening, but that’s not mentioning any of the competitions! I’ve had such a fun year with all the competitions (many thanks Jess).The Bath Ball saw the most fantastic imitation Paso Doble (Charlotte is also to blame/thank for that). However, my favourite SUBLDS memory so far (knew we’d get there eventually!) must be IVDC 2015. Just all of IVDC. From pub billiards, a fantastic group meal out, the beginning of a “Die Hard” tradition (you know who you are, brah) and late night McDonalds, to the most splendid ballroom I have ever been in, let alone danced on, (with a name like “The Empress Ballroom” you can tell it’s going to be special) and spending ALL DAY dancing and cheering. A truly amazing weekend. Come on E Team!
We’re probably going to regret asking this …. so, from beginner to team captain all in one year? What made you want to get so involved?
Something that you’ll all soon realise about me (if you don’t know it already) is that what I may lack in technical ability I make up for in bountiful amounts of enthusiasm and confidence. (No kidding!) However, this time last year, I had absolutely no idea that I would be one of the Team Captains for one of the friendliest and most successful societies in Southampton. I fell in love with SUBLDS from the first session in Glen Eyre and threw myself headlong into every competition and social event I could fit in. Everyone was so friendly and it was really really fun! I quickly made some strong friendships and SUBLDS was instrumental to me really settling in to life at Uni and enjoying my time. I want to be able to get as many people as possible to enjoy these same great feelings too! I quickly realised that societies like this do not run themselves. They require a team of dedicated volunteers (your committee) to organise room bookings, coaches, competitions, socials, etc… and a lot of this goes unnoticed (well, hopefully – if everything is going to plan!). However I realised the efforts of the committee were the sole reason everything ran as smoothly as it did, and I really appreciated the effort they put in, so I decided to put myself forward for the beginner position of “Team Captain’s Assistant”. I learned the ropes of Team Captain-ing from the very best, assisting in any way they needed. I was inspired and was voted in as 2015/16 Male TC and I’m really excited to see how the year goes!
From a recent beginner, why should beginners think about getting involved in competitions?
Monday evening classes [8-10 pm in Glen Eyre hall] are fantastic social evenings where you can begin to learn the ropes of the four main Latin and Ballroom dances danced at beginner level in competitions. We attend many competitions throughout the year until Easter. There is no requirement to attend all competitions, or go to any at all, but I don’t see why you wouldn’t want to! At beginner level, Southampton dancers easily hold their own against many other universities and our couples do extremely well. In competitions, if it is your first year dancing at University, you will only dance against other beginners, so there is a level playing field for you lot to shine. You may think that ballroom dancing doesn’t really seem much like a ‘team’ sport, but how wrong could you be! Come along to competitions and you’ll see how loudly we can cheer! Competitions also provide a great incentive to improve your dancing, learn new things, and just have fun in a completely different way! I would recommend anyone who intends to dance to at least turn up to one competition, to see what it’s like. I guarantee you won’t regret it!
*By this point, we were pretty certain the rest of our questions didn’t have the same scope for such …. enthusiastic …. answers!*
What makes you and our female team captain Emma a good team to bring in lots of SUBLDS shinies this year?
Emma and I make a great team because she is so amazingly knowledgeable about all things Ballroom and Latin and really knows her stuff… and I can translate Essex for anyone who may be confused! I have the TC experience from assisting last year, so understand what hurdles there can be along the way. Emma and I get on really well, and she can act as a calming, no nonsense figure who has probably been there and been doing that for a dozen years or so. (Why couldn’t you bring your calming influence to this interview?!) We are both incredibly keen and will support everyone every step of their dancing journey! We will be there for you to make everything go as smoothly as possible and to keep everyone in great spirits! Everyone knows a smile makes all the difference!
Describe SUBLDS in 3 words …. 3 words Bart …. THREE!
WHO ARE WE??????
Team Fred or Team Ginger?