Oxford University Dancesport Club

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Oxford University Dancesport Club (OUDC) is one of Oxford University’s largest sports clubs. Founded in 1968 it currently has an annual membership of around 800 members. It runs professionally taught classes in the following dance styles:

Its classes are open to all (including non-university members) and cater to all levels of experience. The Club also runs occasional workshops and a weekly social dance on Sundays in full term and on some Sundays out of term.[1]


Prior to the establishment of the Oxford Ballroom Dancing Club (OBDC), (later OUBDC and still later OUDC) undergraduates at the University of Oxford were not allowed to attend the popular Brett’s dancing school in the centre of Oxford, nor attend any public dance at the Carfax Assembly Rooms, Headington Hill Hall or Town Hall. Private dancing lessons were also not permitted. In a bid to provide students at the university with an opportunity to dance a meeting was held on Wednesday 8 May 1968 at the Iffley Road Stadium for all those interested in forming a ballroom dancing club. This first meeting was attended by just over 50 people.

The Club’s first coach was Anne O’Hagan, assisted by Lexa Duckett, with the Club’s first Senior Member, Dr. Acheson, and his wife helping out where possible. The Club received its University accreditation in 1969 and by 1971 had 143 members. Initially it was a purely social dancing club – it was only later that it started running medals examinations and competitions. The first competition in Oxford was held at Rhodes House on 8 March 1974. The competition was against Cambridge and Oxford won the competition by 106.5pts to 106pts. The judges were the Tanakas, an eminent ballroom dance couple who represented Japan. The two teams have been rivals ever since.

[2][3] Oxford won its first Inter Varsity Dance Competition in 1980, a year after Cambridge won their first such competition.[4][5] The Club was awarded Full Blue status for women in 1997 and discretionary Full Blue status for men in 2003.[6]


The Club's Main Team is one of the most successful university dancesport teams in the country. The Team, which usually consists of 24 couples, competes at a number of university circuit dancesport competitions during the year, including the Inter Varsity Dance Competition (IVDC) and is the reigning Inter Varsity Dance champion.[7] In 2004 and again in 2006 it won the Intercontinental Dance Festival team match competition, a title it still holds as the competition has not been run since that date.

Each year the Team competes in a Varsity dancesport competition against Cambridge . This consists of an A-Team match, a B-Team match, a Beginners Team match and a variety of other open events. Oxford and Cambridge take it in turns to host the event. Both the A-Team (Varsity) match and the B-Team (Challenge Shield) match are contested by 9 couples from each university. Each University splits its nine couples into three groups of three couples. Each of these groups of three couples then dances against each of the three groups from the other university in each of the four dances (waltz, quickstep, cha and jive). The results from each of these nine group-to-group matches for each of the four dances are then added together to determine the winning team. The Varsity and Challenge Shield match format is extremely unusual as it requires dancers to be good at both ballroom and Latin American style dances.[8][9][10]

Beginners team

The Club also has a Beginners Team. This consists of dancers who have not received professional tuition in ballroom or Latin American dancing prior to the Inter Varsity Dance Competition of the previous year. There are separate Beginners events at all the University circuit dancesport competitions and the Beginners Team has its own match at the annual Oxford Cambridge Dancesport Varsity competition. In 2010 the OUDC Beginners Team won the Beginners Team competition at the Varsity match and was 2nd at the Inter Varsity Dance Competition. In 2011, the Team won the Best Beginners Team trophy at the Inter Varsity Dance Competition.


Bruce Richardson

Bruce Richardson is the Club's Head Coach.[11] As such he has ultimate responsibility for all coaching within the Club (including the employment of other coaching staff) and for all trials and selections for the Team and Beginners Team. Bruce, who was trained by ballroom dancer Guy Howard, has been the Club's ballroom coach for many years and has a considerable record of success in university dancesport. Teams selected by Bruce have been victorious at the Inter Varsity Dance Competition on 11 occasions in his 40 years of Head Coach. In 2009 he reached the shortlist of three for the Ballroom, Latin and Sequence Teachers Award at the Carl Alan Awards after being nominated by his peers in recognition of the longevity of his coaching.[12]

Zoey Price

Zoey coaches the Club’s competitive ballroom technique classes and provides ballroom private lessons to Team members. A pupil of Marcus Hilton, she is an active competitor at UK and international ballroom competitions, and, with her partner Anthony, has won the United Kingdom Closed Professional ballroom competition. She continues to teach in Reading.[13]

Lee Williams

Lee Williams trains the Beginners Team in Latin technique and provides private lessons to Team members and others.

Bea Prentiss

Bea teaches the Club’s salsa and rueda classes. A specialist in Cuban style salsa she also directs the Club’s Komrades salsa display team.

Former coaches

Former coaches include Ian Waite.[14]

OUDC have employed many prestigious dancers to coach including Lorraine Kuznik and Neil Dewar.


The Club runs an annual inter-college dancesport competition called Cuppers. Colleges enter teams of four couples. Each couple performs one of four dances: waltz, quickstep, cha and jive. The highest scoring team wins their college the Acheson Shield. The College with the most points overall across all of the teams they enter takes home the Rob Stevens Memorial Cup. The rules of the competition require that at least one member of each partnership must be an ‘inexperienced dancer’. Hence, the success of a college depends as much on the beginners it recruits as on its established dancers.[15]


Inter Varsity Dance Competition

Year A Team Overall
2015 13th (joint) 3rd
2014 9th 2nd
2013 1st 2nd
2012 2nd 2nd
2011 1st 1st
2010 1st 1st
2009 2nd 3rd
2008 2nd 2nd
2007 2nd 2nd
2006 2nd 2nd
2005 2nd 1st
2004 1st 1st
2003 1st (joint) 1st
2002 1st 1st
2001 1st 1st
2000 2nd 1st

Oxford Cambridge Dancesport Varsity match

Year A Team (Varsity match) B Team (Challenge match)
2015 Cambridge Cambridge
2014 Cambridge Cambridge
2013 Cambridge Cambridge
2012 Cambridge Cambridge
2011 Oxford Cambridge
2010 Oxford Oxford
2009 Cambridge Cambridge
2008 Cambridge Cambridge
2007 Cambridge Cambridge
2006 Oxford Oxford
2005 Oxford Oxford
2004 Oxford Oxford
2003 Oxford Oxford
2002 Oxford Oxford
2001 Oxford Oxford
2000 Oxford Oxford

A Team

Year Best Oxford ballroom couple Best Oxford Latin couple Best Oxford couple
2015 Nick Li & Emily Sargeant (+) Tadas Temcinas & Anique Kruger Marek Buchman & Anna Schaupp
2014 Marek Buchman & Anna Schaupp Marek Buchman & Anna Schaupp Marek Buchman & Anna Schaupp
2013 Marek Buchman & Zoe Kelly (+) Alex Clibbon & Anna Schaupp Marek Buchman & Zoe Kelly
2012 Marek Buchman & Zoe Kelly

Nick Li & Sarah Glatte (+)

Ivan Lubenko & Helen Pearce (+) Ivan Lubenko & Helen Pearce (+)
2011 Oliver Zeldin & Haibo E (+) Ivan Lubenko & Helen Pearce (+) Ivan Lubenko & Helen Pearce (+)
2010 Oliver Zeldin & Marja Verbon (+) Peter Kecskemethy & Sarah Farrell (+) Ivan Lubenko & Helen Pearce (+)
2009 Oliver Zeldin & Marja Verbon (+) William Lee & Sarah Farrell (+) William Lee & Sarah Farrell (+)
2008 Ian Preston & Charlotte Woolley Ivan Lubenko & Pippa Underwood
2007 Ian Preston & Charlotte Woolley Ozzie Uhiara & Sarah Farrell Ozzie Uhiara & Sarah Farrell
2006 Sugata Kaviraj & Alice Pocklington (+) Matthew Jones & Pippa Underwood (+) Sugata Kaviraj & Alice Pocklington (+)
2005 Sugata Kaviraj & Andrea Zitna
Nicholas Faull & Ju Min Wong (joint) (+)
Nicholas Faull & Ju Min Wong (+) Nicholas Faull & Ju Min Wong (+)
Year Best Newcomer[16] Black Horse Trophy
2015 Tadas Temcinas & Anique Kruger (+) Marcin Sliwa & Paige Gibbons
2014 Marcin Sliwa & Claire Barnett Patrick Penzo & Katherine MacArthur
2013 Gahn Pakorn Aiewsakun & Veronika Kasparova (+) Alex Field & Hristiana Vidinova
2012 Marek Buchman & Zoe Kelly (+) Cedric Tan & Annie Ng
2011 Hsueh Qu & Sarah Glatte (+) Charlie Byers & Amanda Unsworth
2010 Melvin Chen & Patricia Waszczuk (+) Alex Grey & Tamasin Graham
2009 Joseph Chedrawe & Ginger Turner (+) Owen Chang & Joanna Bagniewska
2008 Oliver Zeldin & Francesca Barrow Mark Penwill & Wanzhen Tang
2007 Ian Preston & Charlotte Woolley
Alex Grey & Tamasin Graham
Alex Robinson & Mairi McGuiness
2006 Joseph Coulson & Ruth Westcott (+) William Chao & Sarah Ward-Jones
2005 Christoph Ortner & Kimberley Brownlee Ozekia Uhiara & Marianna Ofosu
2004 Ian Watson & Cécile Défossé
2003 Wolfram Schmitt & Emmy Spencer
2002 David Weston & Georgina Weeds
2001 Nick Faull & Erica Witherington

(+) indicates that this couple was also best overall across Oxford and Cambridge in their respective category.

B Team

Year Best Oxford ballroom couple Best Oxford Latin couple Best Oxford couple
2015 Christoph Weis & Pola Orlowska Dan Claff & Joanna Rachel Bell Christoph Weis & Pola Orlowska
2014 Dan Claff & Alexandra Damgaard Dean Thirlwell & Madeline Day Price Dan Claff & Alexandra Damgaard
2013 Artem Kadikov & Alice Clifford Dean Thirlwell & Colleen Curran Dean Thirlwell & Colleen Curran
2012 Luke Lishman & Harriet Czernobay Dean Thirlwell & Colleen Curran Luke Lishman & Harriet Czernobay
2011 Tom Perry & Wanzhen Tang (+) Tom Perry & Wanzhen Tang Tom Perry & Wanzhen Tang (+)
2010 Owen Chang & Joanna Bagniewska Joseph Chedrawe & Ginger Turner (+) Tom Perry & Wanzhen Tang
2009 Paul Dwyer & Haibo E (+) Nick Haines & Erin Lane Luke Johnson & Amanda Unsworth (+)
2007 Martin Bird & Vicky Stimson (+) Martin Bird & Vicky Stimson Martin Bird & Vicky Stimson (+)
2006 Ian Preston & Charlotte Wooley Bilal Khan & Alice Pillar Damien Vukcevic & Parvy Vis-Nathan
2005 Alex Hobbs & Karen Zieger Alex Hobbs & Karen Zieger (+) Alex Hobbs & Karen Zieger (+)

Acheson Shield

Year College
2015 Magdalen College
2014 Keble College
2013 Keble College
2012 Keble College
2011 Keble College
2010 Worcester College
2009 Hertford College
2008 Keble College
2007 Keble College
2006 Trinity College
2005 Trinity College
2004 Keble College
2003 Keble College
2002 St. Hugh’s College
2001 Merton College
2000 Merton College


Rob Stevens Memorial Trophy

This trophy was awarded for the first time in 2010.[18]

Year College
2014 Trinity College
2013 Keble College
2012 Keble College
2011 Wadham College
2010 Keble College


  1. "Timetable - Oxford University Dancesport Club". Oudancesport.co.uk. 2010-12-05. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  2. Sears, Neil (1998-02-17). "Strictly blackballed; Cambridge quickstepper floored by a protest from Oxford". The Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  3. "Universities get strictly ballroom". The Oxford Times. Oxford. 1998-02-17. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  4. "Microsoft Word - oudsfir~.doc" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  5. http://www.oudancesport.co.uk/images/1/14/Club_history_-_Founding_the_OUBDC.pdf
  6. Gledhill, Ruth (2003-03-10). "Oxford men get their chance to dance the Blues". The Times. London. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  7. "IVDC 2010 - Oxford University Dancesport Club". Oudancesport.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  8. "Varsity match - Oxford University Dancesport Club". Oudancesport.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  9. Welch, Julie (1989-08-13). "Last Tango in Cambridge". You.  Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (help)
  10. Gloria Cooper (Director) (1997). Ballroom Blues (Television). United Kingdom: Anglia Television (produced by Lester Millbank Productions). 
  11. Lightfoot, Liz (2005-09-26). "Strictly ballroom steps up to rival the Boat Race". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2010-01-02. 
  12. "Bruce Richardson - Head Coach - Oxford University Dancesport Club". Oudancesport.co.uk. 2010-05-21. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  13. Cesky. "Dance Profile of Anthony Price & Zoey Price". Dancesportinfo.net. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  14. Stretch, Rachelle (2005-05-13). "The 32nd Cambridge vs Oxford Varsity Dancesport match". BBC Cambridgeshire Sport Features. BBC Cambridgeshire. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  15. "Cuppers - Oxford University Dancesport Club". Oudancesport.co.uk. 2010-05-25. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  16. "Past varsity results - Oxford University Dancesport Club". Oudancesport.co.uk. 2010-06-24. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  17. "Acheson Shield holders - Oxford University Dancesport Club". Oudancesport.co.uk. 2010-05-25. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 
  18. "Rob Stevens Memorial Cup holders - Oxford University Dancesport Club". Oudancesport.co.uk. 2010-05-25. Retrieved 2011-01-02. 

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