A new BBC Wales documentary follows eight young dancers as they compete in the World Championships
A new BBC documentary follows young Welsh dancing talent as they prepare to compete in the World Championships, which take place in Swansea for the very first time.
Ballroom Dreams: Our Lives follows the dancers from Caerphilly’s Loren James Dance Company as they prepare to compete for the World title, detailing the dedication and hard work required to succeed in the world of ballroom dancing.
Loren James, a professional dancer herself, took a risk in 2016 when she opened her studio in Caerphilly because she wanted to give young people in Wales the opportunity to pursue their dreams of ballroom dancing without having to relocate to London.
“Caerphilly is literally like the dance hub, it’s like a hotspot for dancers,” said Loren, who was inspired by the “if you build it, they will come” line in the film Field of Dreams.
The camera follows eight of Loren’s best pupils as they compete at Swansea’s Brangwyn Hall. The dancers range in age from six to 18, and each pair will perform dances from the Cha-Cha-Cha to the Jive.
For some of the dancers, the financial burden of competing is a challenge. Phil works three jobs to fund his twins Kia and Tia’s dancing ambitions. And friends Alea and Jen find themselves moving up an age division, competing for the first time in the adult competition.
Loren says that in order to turn pro, the girls are likely to need to find a male partner. Out of the 300 pupils enrolled at her studio, however, only 11 are male.
Ellie Smith, who has won numerous solo titles, has been paired with male dancer Shay. Despite different personalities, the last few months have seen them working well together. This first competition as a pair will be a good indicator of how they may fare in the future.
Meanwhile, Lucy and Ellie Jones are looking to go out with a bang. They have won every competition within their category, except a world title.
Preparing for their last performance as a duo is emotional, but they are ready to move on and become professional ballroom dancers and become World Champions in their final performance?
Ballroom Dreams – Our Lives is on BBC One Wales on Monday, 2 October at 8.30pm.
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