Same-sex international ballroom dancing championships are to be held in Blackpool this autumn.
Officially titled The Same Sex Open Dancing Championships, the event will be held at the city’s Winter Gardens in October and will be hosted the Sugar Dandies, who made a name for themselves as finalists on Britain’s Got Talent.
Bradley Stauffer-Kruse of the Sugar Dandies told the BBC: “Blackpool’s a wonderful world stage for dancing and a great Gay and Lesbian resort.”
The managing director of Marketing Blackpool has said the city is “thrilled” to be staging the championships.
This has come as good news for the city, particularly after the recent announcement that the BBC1 show Strictly Come Dancing would not holding its final at Blackpool’s Tower Ballroom this year.
Natalie Wyatt of Marketing Blackpool said: “I’m sure it will be a hugely popular event and one many people will want to enjoy.”
Mr Stauffer-Kruse said that technically there was no difference between same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples participating in competitive dancing: “We want to show two men and two women can dance together competitively. Most good ballroom dancers know how to take the lead and how to follow.”
Participating couples will come from across the UK and from countries including France, Greece and Hungary and will compete in the event on 27 October in the Spanish Hall.
The event will also feature classes for beginners and additional activities are also planned for the weekend, including a social dance on 28 Sunday October organised by London’s legendary lesbian and gay dance club, the Pink Jukebox. There will also be a tour of Blackpool’s ballrooms and ‘Palaces of Pleasure’, rganised by Professor Vanessa Toulmin.
Mr Stauffer-Kruse said: “We are very excited about launching this spectacular competition in Blackpool. Blackpool is the mecca for dancers so all our competitors are really looking forward to this.
“We personally love the town so we can’t think of a better place to be. It has the best structures for ballroom dance and it means so much to us to be welcomed in the world-renowned Winter Gardens.”