By Fiona Drummond
Rhodes University DanceSport travelled to Mangosuthu University of Technology in Durban to take part in the University Sport South Africa (USSA) DanceSport competition. The competition, which took place from 1-2 July, saw 19 tertiary institutions dance it off. Couples from Rhodes competed in both the Ballroom and Latin sections in levels one; two and three, as well as Novice Latin.
The competition was fierce as couples had to progress through elimination rounds before making it to a final. In level one Ballroom 58 couples competed. Rhodes dancers Thabang Seloma and Louise Endacott made the quarter-finals, while Haig Smuts and Phuttie Masenya came third. The level two section consisted of 36 couples and Hayden Searle and Donna Stevens made the semi-final and came 12th. In the final Damon Hook and Layla Radosavljevic placed fourth and Andreas Astier and Fiona Drummond took the bronze. The spotlight really shone in level three where Evan Miles and Samantha Hultum won all four of their dances to claim the gold, beating 25 other couples.
In the level one Latin section Haig Smuts and Louise Endacott, Hayden Searle and Donna Stevens as well as Thabang Seloma and Phuttie Masenya made it to the quarter-final. Damon Hook and Samantha Hultum made a level two final from a field of 34 couples, while Andreas Astier and Fiona Drummond; and Evan Miles and Layla Radosavljevic made it to the quarter-finals. For Novice Latin, Christopher Rafael and Candice Ryan also made a final.
Rhodes competed in the team category for the first time this year. The team category consists of four dances for both Ballroom and Latin where each dance is danced by one couple. Their points are then combined to give an overall score for the team. The Rhodes team was made up of level one, two and three couples who proved their worth against teams from the other institutions that mainly consisted of pre-championship and championship couples. The Rhodes team made it to a semi- final before being knocked out.
Overall Rhodes University placed seventh out of the 19 teams. This is big news for Rhodes Dancesport as they become only the second sporting side at the university to qualify for Varsity Sport level completion.
Candice Ryan also danced her way into the administration, being elected to the USSA DanceSport executive.