GTea Break

The Pink Jukebox Trophy 2014

Mr Gay UK Stuart Hatton reports from the LGBT Ballroom/Latin dance contest

Deep in the heart of London, the lights are low and dim. There is tension in the air. Bodies rhythmically press against each other within the shadows of the lowered lights. Hearts pound and race as the bodies give into their passion. On the outskirts of the lowly lit room, onlookers watch with trepidation as they witness the bodies intertwine and move as one. What else could I be talking about… ballroom dancing, of course.

As a life-long Ballroom dancer, trainer of past British champions and the reigning Mr Gay UK, it was my honour and pleasure to be invited down from Newcastle to London to judge the World-Famous Pink Jukebox Trophy. For those of you not in-the-know, the Pink Jukebox Trophy is an International Ballroom and Latin Dance Competition for Same-Sex Dance Partners, in the hope of waltzing-off with the coveted title of ‘Pink Jukebox’ Champions.

Since the emergence of the hit BBC Show, Strictly Come Dancing, the world of Ballroom and Latin dancing has seen a rise in popularity of people who take up this skill as a chosen hobby and sport. Though ballroom and Latin dancing is strictly seen as a predominately heterosexual activity, the underground movement of ‘same-sex’ Ballroom and Latin dancing is taking the dance clubs by storm. I myself have seen a rise in the number of gay couples who come through my dance studio door and want to dance with their chosen loved one or friend.

And what better way than to show the best of the best of the same-sex dancing world than to invite couples from all over the globe to take part in the Pink Jukebox Trophy, held here on our very own British soil at The Rivoli Ballroom in London?

Dancers were asked to demonstrate the required five ballroom dances (Waltz, Foxtrot, Tango, Quickstep and Viennese Waltz) in front of a panel of five experienced international dance judges from Germany, Ukraine, United Kingdom, dance professionals from ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ and myself, a former British dance champion.

The eventual winners of the day in the all-lady Ballroom field were Caroline Privou and Petra Zimmerman from Germany and the all-male ballroom title going to Hungary who were represented by Csaba Csetneki and Balazs Gati from Budapest. Then the coveted Latin Trophy for excellence in all 5 Latin dances (Cha Cha Cha, Samba, Rumba, Paso Doble and Jive) went to Reka Fuleki and Batrix Rencsisovszki from Hungary in the all-lady competition and the All Male final was won by the UK’s very own Nejc Jus and Lemmington Ridley.

I would urge everyone, from all walks of life to take up Ballroom dancing. Not only is it proven to be medically good for your health, it is also a social experience that helps you gain new friends, learn a new skill while improving memory with dance pattern techniques. Dancing also helps you lose weight at the same time. What more could you want?

Make enquires for a class local to you that offers you that step into the world of Strictly Come Dancing and you never know, this time next year it could be you waltzing off with The Pink Jukebox Trophy.

Words: Stuart Hatton (@HattonDancer)
Photo: Oskar Marchock

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