Edinburgh College hosts ballroom extravaganza

Sequins, jazz-hands and twinkle-toed dance steps were on display at Edinburgh College’s Granton Campus as the college hosted its first ever Ballroom Factor.

More than 200 people filled the college’s campus to watch 18 members of staff take to the dance floor and compete in the ballroom extravaganza.

The event was a collaboration between staff and students from across the college’s four curriculum areas: Creative Industries; Health, Wellbeing and Social Sciences; Tourism, Hospitality and Business and Engineering and Built Environment.

Lecturing and support staff coupled up to learn and perform a 90-second ballroom dance routine, taught by student mentors from the college’s Dance courses.

The couples performed dances in the style of the tango, jive, charleston, samba, waltz, foxtrot, salsa, paso-doble, cha-cha and quickstep.

The evening was a celebration of the wide-variety of skills and talents of students and staff at the college. Theatre Costume students made the glitzy costumes, Engineering students designed and made the trophies, Acting students were the hosts for the evening, Food and Hospitality students provided canapes to the audience on the night, the Edinburgh College Big Band played the music, Broadcast Media students filmed the event and Make-up Artistry students gave the contestants their ballroom make-overs.

Dances were scored by the panel of expert judges consisting of Edinburgh College head of Creative Industries Jakki Jeffery, Dance graduate Charlie Young, and choreographers Rita Henderson and Neil Fisher. Audience members also voted for their top three performances.

The three couples with the highest number of votes danced again in a closely fought final. Head of Student Experience Monica Hoenigmann and Music and Sound Production technician Bruce Cassidy; Hair and Beauty lecturer Claire Duncan and Movement and Voice lecturer Diana Saunderson; and Technical Theatre lecturer Margaret Burgess and CRE:8 technician Steve Galbraith gave it everything as they danced off, with Margaret and Steve’s tango to The Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams coming out on top.

The night was in aid of the Edinburgh College Development Trust, the independent charity that supports the college’s students.

Edinburgh College Curriculum leader: Performing Arts Studio Scotland (PASS) Jo Turbitt said: “Seeing The Ballroom Factor brought to life thanks to the hard work and commitment of so many staff and students across the college was a really proud moment. The night was more than I ever expected when we first came up with the idea. The professionalism and joy in the room was clear to see. I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone that was a part of it or who came to support on the night – not only did we have a great time, we helped to raise money which will support our students with projects in the future. A big congratulations to our deserved champions, Margaret and Steve.”

Head of Creative Industries Jakki Jeffery said: “What a night! The whole evening was a fantastic celebration of the skills and talents we have across the college. Well done to everyone involved.”