The Gibraltar National Dance Team has returned to the Rock after representing Gibraltar at the first ever IDO Commonwealth Cup Dance Championships 2017.
The event was staged in the iconic Suna Central Super Bowl, Sun City complex, Sun City, South Africa, with 1,889 dancers from five Commonwealth nations, over 80 dance teams, and 5 continents taking part. The event was organised by the renowned world governing body the International Dance Organisation (IDO).
In addition, Michael Prescott MBE, Honorary Lifetime President of the Gibraltar National Dance Organisation (GNDO) and international judge for the IDO, was selected as judge for this competition.
What made this competition unique, is that unlike World Championships, this was only available to Commonwealth nations, and the GNDO felt it was important for Gibraltar to be represented as part of the Commonwealth.
The competition was staged for a variety of dance disciplines, with workshops of various dance genres for the dancers to enjoy during the week, being led by Jordan Clark from The Next Step and the winner of So You Think You Can Dance Canada, Hope Maimane and Rudi Smit to name a few.
In addition, the categories were subdivided by ages rather than age range, therefore all dancers had competitors of the same age in their divisions, as opposed to other IDO competitions where, for example, a 12 year old Junior dancer would compete with a 15 year old Junior in the same category.
Gibraltar had an outstanding competition, achieving a total of seven Gold medals, five Silver medals, two Bronze medals, four Special Awards, and five routines placed Top 6. In addition, three pieces were amongst the top 30 scores of the entire competition, and performed at the Champions Gala.
In the Junior Jazz Solo section (aged 13/14), 13 dancers took part with Gibraltar been represented by Chenille Soiza Brown. Chenille placed 7th out of 13 competitors, just missing out on the Top 6 by one placing.
Gibraltar achieved its first silver medal with Nathan Villalba placing 2nd in the Modern/Contemporary section (aged 11/12), out of 11 entries with his piece "Dancing on my Own", choreographed by Nathan Conroy and Joelle Montegriffo. Gerald Rodriguez also assisted in coaching Nathan Villalba.
The first gold medal for Gibraltar was awarded to Caitlin Rodriguez in the Junior Modern Solo Division Aged 13 (Group 1). The piece "Darkness My Old Friend" was choreographed by Gerald Rodriguez and Paulette Finlayson Napoli, and came first out of nine competitors.
In the Junior Modern Solo aged 14 (Group 2), 9 dancers took part with Gibraltar been represented by Madison Baldachino, and she placed 7th out of 9 competitors, with her piece “Weight Off My Shoulders”, choreographed by Amy Parody.
The second gold medal for Gibraltar was awarded to Amy Avellano, who came first place out of 9 competitors in the Junior Modern Solo Division Aged 14 (Group 3). The piece entitled “Open", was choreographed by Jolene Gomez.
In the Junior Showdance Solo (Aged 13) section, Gibraltar was represented by Chenille Soiza Brown and Caitlin Rodriguez. Chenille was awarded the second silver medal for Gibraltar, with "Humanity Washed Ashore" choreographed by Tyron Walker. Caitlin was awarded 1st place, gaining the third gold medal for Gibraltar with "Turn To Stone" choreographed by Gerald Rodriguez
The fourth gold medal for Gibraltar was awarded to Amy Avellano, who came first place out of six competitors in the Junior Showdance Solo Aged 14 division. The piece "Poor Heart" was choreographed by Jade Federico.