Blackpool Dance Festival
|Location(s)||Winter Gardens, Blackpool, England|
|Years active||1920 - Present|
|Founded by||Harry Wood, Nelson Sharples|
|Date(s)||Annually, last week of May|
The 8-day Blackpool Dance Festival is the world's first and most famous annual ballroom dance competition of international significance, held in the Empress Ballroom at the Winter Gardens, Blackpool, England since 1920. It is also the largest ballroom competition: in 2003, 1539 couples from 54 countries took part in the festival.
As of the early 21st century the festival is held in May. It covers Ballroom and Latin American dancing, and incorporates the British Open Championships in categories of adult amateur and professional couples and formation teams. In 2005 two new categories were introduced: the British Rising Star Amateur Ballroom and Latin Competitions. Two invitation events, the Professional Team Match and the Exhibition Competition, create much interest.
The Junior Dance Festival, Blackpool Sequence Dance Festival which incorporates the British Sequence Championships, and British National Dance Festival are also held annually in Blackpool.
The world's largest amateurs' dance festival is the annual Euro dance festival in Rust, Germany, where shows of professional dancers are combined with workshops for a wide range of dancers from beginners to professionals.
It was depicted in the 1996 award-winning Japanese film, Shall We ダンス?, directed by Masayuki Suo and again, in the 2004 U.S. remake Shall We Dance?. Mai, played by Tamiyo Kusakari in the original film, and Paulina, played by Jennifer Lopez in the 2004 film, competed in the Dance Championship when, together with their partners; both suffered a fall during the semi-finals, causing them to be disqualified.