2017 Cuijk Para Dance Sport Championship
Cuijk is the largest wheelchair dance competition in the world, now having carried out its 29th year. Competitors of all levels from Debutante to Amateur and Para Dance Sport gather together for two full days of dancing in Holland. With the increasing popularity of the new Singles and Freestyle events, this year’s competition spanned three days to include these categories.
Singles and Freestyle
Representing Great Britain, Paula Moulton took to the floor in the Single Ladies 1 event, dancing five dances with grace, enthusiasm and strength to take 4th place behind Ukraine and Poland’s best.
Friday afternoon also saw the Single Men battling it out on the floor with a welcome return from Ukraine’s Ivan Sivak stealing the Gold from Poland’s Pawel Karpinski with some spectacular moves.
Pictured above: Gary Lyness & Paula Moutlon.
“This was our first competition of 2017 and the first time competing at the IPC level at this competition, so it was a challenging event. We have some new choreography, and it’s sometimes difficult to gauge how this plays out on the competition floor once you get other dancers on there. You might turn around and suddenly have 3-4 other dancers in your path, so have to think on your feet (or wheels!).” -Gary Lyness
The Freestyle event had equally exceptional performances from the reigning European Champions in both Ladies Single Freestyle 2 and Combi Freestyle 2 with Olena Chynka’s performance to Bjork “It’s Oh So Quiet” taking Gold. The Combi Freestyle 2 Gold went to a powerful, contemporary dance by Poland’s Marek Zaborowski and Kasia Bloch.
Latin and Standard
Saturday and Sunday the Latin and Ballroom events experienced considerable numbers for the Debutantes and Amateur level. Dancers danced their way through heats and finals to make their mark on the adjudicators.
Great Britain’s Latin Combi couple made their appearance on Sunday afternoon in the World Para Dance Sport Finals. Gary and Paula from Strictly Wheels club, having been reclassified danced in Latin Combi 1 for the first time. The pair danced confidently to win the Silver Medal for Great Britain. Finland’s Timo Pyykkonen and Tuuli Harju, won Gold with their cha cha.
Next on the Competition Calendar
Now, Gary and Paula are looking forward to their upcoming competitions in June. The first weekend, 2-3 June 2017, Gary and Paula will be in Denmark at the Danish Open Wheelchair Dance Competition competing in Select Latin, Ladies Singles, Senior Latin and Freestyle Combi. Then, the pair will represent Great Britain at the World Para Dance Sport Mainhatten Cup in Germany a couple of weeks later.