New Blackpool dance event at the Tower Ballroom will raise funds for Ukraine dancers affected by the war

A new ballroom competition is being held at the newly refurbished Tower in May to raise money for war victims.

By Lucinda Herbert
Thursday, 31st March 2022, 4:09 pm
Updated Friday, 1st April 2022, 5:08 pm

Dancers flock to the Blackpool Tower from all over the world, but this year will have no Ukrainian visitors.

So when Paul Killick started planning a new competition in the recently refurbished Tower ballroom, he wanted to help his fellow competitors in the Ukraine.

The Open runs on the 7 - 8th May 2022 - spectator tickets are available and all proceeds go to the Ukrainian Dancers Fund.

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A couple dancing at a previous competition in Blackpool

Retired Latin dance champion, Paul Killick, now coaches top competitors across the world.

Some of his students are from the Ukraine and had been planning to com to the two day event.

So they were upset that they would not be able to visit Blackpool.

He said: “It has touched a lot of us so I felt it was appropriate to do this as a fundraiser. Our industry needs to support each other in this devastating situation.”

Killick has been in contact with people who are helping his students and their families escape Ukraine.

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“They've been doing everything they can to keep them dancing just to keep them occupied and take their mind off what is happening.”

But some of the dancers he knows are unable to leave.

One of our championship couples went down into an underground station when it all kicked off and that was the only safe place. As far as I know, they are still there because they can’t get out.

The men can’t leave because they are given a ticket to go and fight.”

But there was another reason that Paul, who has organised numerous DanceSport events in the USA and Hong Kong, wanted to support the cause.

The tickets and entry processing for the event is being managed by Flymark - a company based in Lviv.

“I asked them if they wanted to leave it until another year but they begged me not to take this job away from them - they really need all the money and work they can get.”

The competition is also blocking any Russian entries.