Dance festival entries soar!

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The show must go on... for longer than ever!

The success of Blackpool’s world renowned dance festival has seen the number of entries soar by two thirds.

Blackpool Dance Festival 2017 - Amateur Latin

Blackpool Dance Festival 2017 - Amateur Latin

And now bosses at the Winter Gardens say next year’s Blackpool Dance Festival will be extended by two days following the ‘remarkable’ success of this year’s event.

It means the 13-day extravaganza will be the longest dance festival in the world.

Michael Williams, manafging director at the Winter Gardens, said: “The festival was one of the busiest for many years and we have representation from 62 countries from across the world.

“Competitors’ entries saw a remarkable increase of 67 per cent on previous years, thanks in the main to the three new competitions that we held – the ProAm category, American Smooth and American Rhythm.

Following the launch of Blackpool Dance Festival China in 2016, we saw a rise of 24 per cent in Chinese competitors in last week’s Blackpool Festival

“Following the success of these additional categories, the festival will now start even earlier in 2018 on Sunday May 20 and will run for 13 days, making it not only the best dance festival but also the longest festival of dance in the world.”

This year’s festival, which ended on Friday, attracted thousands of competitors and was described as the largest in the event’s 92-year history.

And the success of show’s expansion into Asia was credited with a sharp increase in Chinese entrants this year, as it builds its global standing.

Mr Williams added: “Following the launch of Blackpool Dance Festival China in 2016, we saw a rise of 24 per cent in Chinese competitors in last week’s Blackpool Festival.

“This is testimony to the decision to launch the event in China where dancers in China experienced the unique elements of Blackpool – the amazing music of the Empress orchestra, the integrity of the adjudicators and the smooth and efficient running of a busy Festival.”

This year’s festival attracted a host of big names of the dancing world, including new Strictly come Dancing judge Shirley Ballas, who tweeted: “Congratulations to all the finalists and winners at the #BlackpoolDanceFestival.”