Dance festival draws thousands of competitors from 50 countries

By Tim Aldred

09 Jun 2023

Blackpool Dance Festival

The 97th Blackpool Dance Festival attracted 2,000 competing couples from 50 countries. Along with the 13,000 spectators in attendance, the event brought in an estimated £6m boost to the local economy.

The world’s largest and longest-running event took place in Blackpool’s Empress Ballroom at the Winter Gardens, while the full 4.9 acre site came alive with exhibitions, showcases three designated practice areas.

For the first time, a full-size dance floor was commissioned by the organisers and laid in the new £30m conference centre so that couples could put in some final practice.

Christopher Hawkins, president of the British Dance Council, said: "It was brilliant to see the packed audiences, with crowds on their feet and to hear the famous ‘Blackpool Roar’ in response to the spirited and passionate performances of the couples.

“It has been a festival to remember for years to come and everyone in attendance will be left with memories to last them a lifetime. It has been true inspiration for anyone who loves to witness dancing from the heart, the dancers danced with such courage and passion. What an incredible event."

Michael Williams, managing director of Winter Gardens Blackpool, said: "As the longest-running and largest dance festival in the world the event is a full year in the planning.

"This year was the biggest to date with extra days added to the schedule. A huge thank you to all the dancers, judges and everyone who makes it a huge success year after year."

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