Last Updated on 2022年4月20日 by tama


Blackpool Dance Festival






It is thought that the idea of a Festival came from either Mr. Harry Wood, the Musical Director of the Winter Gardens or Mr. Nelson Sharples of Messrs Sharples & Son Ltd., the music publishers of Blackpool who published all the sheet music for the Novelty dances invented by the M.C.’s in the Empress and Tower Ballroom’s. In those days the dances in the Ballrooms consisted mainly of Sequence Waltzes, the Lancers, Two Steps and many Novelty Dances.

The first Blackpool Dance Festival was held during Easter week in 1920 in the magnificent Empress Ballroom in the Winter Gardens. Modern Ballroom (‘English Style’) and Latin American dances had not yet evolved and this Festival was devoted to three competitions to find three new Sequence Dances in three tempos – Waltz, Two Step and Foxtrot. There was one Competition each day and on the fourth night, one dance was chosen as the winner, its inventor being presented with the Sharples Challenge Shield. The first Chairman of Adjudicators was Mr. James Finnigan, later to become the co-founder and first President of the United Kingdom Alliance of Professional Teachers of Dancing.
第1回ブラックプール・ダンス・フェスティバルは、1920年のイースターの週に、ウィンター・ガーデン内の壮麗なエンプレス・ボール・ルームで開催さ れた。モダン・ボールルーム(「英国式」)とラテンアメリカン・ダンスはまだ発展しておらず、このフェスティバルでは、3つのテンポの新しいシークエンスダンス(ワルツ、トゥー・ステップ、フォックストロット)を探す3つの競技会に専念していた。競技は毎日1回行われ、4日目の夜には1つのダンスが優勝者に選ばれ、その考案者にシャープレス・チャレンジ・シールドが贈られた。初代審査委員長は、後に英国プロフェッショナル・ダンス教師連盟の共同設立者であり初代会長となるジェームス・フィニガン氏であった。


This format of new Sequence and Novelty Dances continued until 1926, although in 1922 Stage, Country and Morris dancing were introduced. The Stage Dancing flourished but the Country dancing was dropped after two years.

Following a change in management at the Winter Gardens it was announced that there would be no Festival in 1927. ‘The Dancing Times’ stepped into the breach, however, and held the Stage Dancing section as usual, but only included a North of England Amateur Foxtrot Competition.

It was decided to revive the Blackpool Dance Festival in June 1929. The events included the North of England Professional and Amateur Championships, an Amateur Veleta Competition, a Veterans Waltz Competition plus an Original Sequence Dance Competition. The Sir John Bickerstaffe Shield was presented to the winner of the Original Sequence Dance Competition from 1929 to 1939. Mr. P.J.S Richardson became Chairman of Adjudicators and continued in that role until his retirement in 1960. He also became the first Chairman of the Official Board of Ballroom Dancing formed in 1930.
1929年6月、ブラックプール・ダンス・フェスティバルを復活させることが決定した。イベントには、ノース・オブ・イングランドのプロフェッショナルおよびアマチュア選手権、アマチュア・ヴェレタ競技会、ヴェテランズ・ワルツ競技会、オリジナル・シークエンス・ダンス・コンペティションが含まれていた。1929年から1939年まで、オリジナル・シークエンス・ダンス・コンペティションの優勝者にはサー・ジョン・ビッカースタッフ・シールドが贈られた。P.J.S リチャードソン氏は審査委員長に就任し、1960年に引退するまでその任に就いた。また、1930年に結成されたOfficial Board of Ballroom Dancingの初代会長に就任した。

During this time, dancing began to change and people became interested in the developing ‘English Style’ of dancing. The Blackpool Dance Festival finally relinquished its Northern image in 1931 with the inauguration of the British Professional and Amateur Ballroom Championships. For the Amateur event there were 250 preliminary heats held throughout the country with about 40 District Finals. The winners of these then had the right to dance at Blackpool in the Grand Final. In 1937, the Skating System for competitors’ marks was introduced at Blackpool and this is still used today in Blackpool and all round the world.


After war broke out in 1939, there was a very limited Festival in 1940 but then everything closed down for five years, re-opening again in 1946. Stage Dancing events were dropped entirely from this point. However, a new event, the British Amateur Old Time Sequence Championship was included for the first time, which was extremely popular.
1939年に戦争が勃発すると、1940年にごく限られた期間だけフェスティバルが開催されたが、その後5年間はすべてが閉鎖され、1946年に再び再開された。ステージダンスのイベントは、この時点から完全に中止された。しかし、新しいイベントとして、British Amateur Old Time Sequence Championshipが初めて組み込まれ、非常に人気を博した。

The same year Mr. Bunny Hayward died. He had been the resident M.C. in the Empress Ballroom and Compere of the Festival since 1929. He was also the Co-Principal with Mrs Ida Ilett of the Blackpool School of Dancing. This meant that Mr P.J.S Richardson became the Compere as well as the Chairman of Adjudicators for the Festival. Mr W.H.H. Smith became the Festival Secretary and in 1954, Mrs Ilett was made the first official Dance Festival Organiser.

Because of the popularity of the Sequence competitions, the Winter Gardens Company decided to hold an Old Time Ball in October 1950 and this was considered to be the 1st Blackpool Sequence Dance Festival.
シークエンス競技の人気から、ウィンター・ガーデンズ・カンパニーは1950年10月にOld Time Ballを開催することを決め、これが第1回ブラックプール・シークエンス・ダンス・フェスティバルと見なされた。

The original Blackpool Dance Festival continued to grow and in 1953 the competitions were the North of England Amateur and Professional Championships, a Ballroom Formation Dancing Competition, the British Amateur and Professional Ballroom Championships, plus a Professional Exhibition Dancing Competition.

As far back as the 1930s, there were strong ties with Denmark through inter-school activities with the Blackpool School of Dancing but it was in the 1950s that the influx of foreign competitors started. There was a special box reserved for the foreign visitors on the south balcony in the Ballroom. Patrons sat in this box until, by 1980, there were so many foreign competitors and spectators that the box had to be discontinued as it was completely impractical. In the last few years, there have been fifty countries represented at the Festival with large numbers from Japan, Germany, Italy and the USA.
デンマークとは、1930年代からブラックプール・スクール・オブ・ダンシングの学校間活動を通じて強い結びつきがあったが、外国人選手の流入が始まったのは1950年代であった。ボールルームの南側バルコニーには、外国人観客のための特別ボックスが用意されていた。1980年には、外国人選手や観客が増えすぎて、このボックスは実用的でなくなり、廃止さ れた。ここ数年は、日本、ドイツ、イタリア、アメリカなど50カ国が参加している。

The introduction of Latin American Dancing made a great impact on the dancing world. In 1961, a British Amateur Latin American Tournament was held, followed by a Professional event in 1962. These two events were upgraded to Championship status in 1964.
ラテンアメリカンダンスの導入は、ダンス界に大きな衝撃を与えた。1961年にイギリスのアマチュア・ラテンアメリカン・トーナメントが開催され、1962年にはプロフェッショナル・イベントが開催さ れた。この2つのイベントは、1964年にチャンピオンシップに格上げさ れた。

As more and more foreign competitors came to Blackpool, it was decided to organise a small Festival for British competitors only and in November 1975, the first British Closed Dance Festival was held in the Empress Ballroom. The name has now been changed to the British National Championships.

Tragically, Mrs. Ilett died in August 1978. She had developed the Festival into the most famous event in the World. Her husband, Mr Bill Francis, took over the organisation of the Festival but, with failing health, he retired in November 1980. He was succeeded by Mrs. Gillian MacKenzie, who retired after the Blackpool Dance Festival, May 2004. The Festival organiser is now Mrs. Sandra Wilson.

Possibly the event which has the greatest crowd appeal is the annual Professional Invitation Team Match, which started in 1968 and continues to this day. It started with two teams, Germany and Great Britain, dancing ten dances but for many years there have been four teams invited. Teams from Germany, Japan, Italy, USA, Australia, Russia and Scandinavia have danced in this Team Match. Neutral judges are always invited to adjudicate this event.