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Ceroc Dance Champs Set to Rock on Saturday, 4 June 2005

Sally Woodfield - 13/05/05

More than 250 dancers from around New Zealand, Australia and the UK will be showing their hottest dance moves at the PPS Hairwear NZ International Ceroc Dance Champs in June.

The championships are held every second year and organiser Angelique Meyer says entries for the 2005 event have surpassed previous years.

“We started the competition in 1991 and it has grown in popularity every year. Dancers love it and so does the audience.”

This year’s event, which takes place on Saturday 4 June at the ASB Stadium, Kohimarama, Auckland, features demonstrations by US Open Swing champions Robert Cordoba and Deborah Szekely and well-known New Zealand comedian Te Radar will be MC.

Robert Cordoba and Deborah Szekely dancing
Robert Cordoba and Deborah Szekely dancing
Photo source SWPR
Click here to view a larger version

“We are thrilled to have Robert and Deborah coming out to our event. As well as demonstrating their champion dancing skills on Saturday, they will be conducting workshops for dancers on Sunday and Monday,” says Angelique.

Robert Cordoba
Robert is an inventive; professional swing dancer and instructor. A five-time US Open Swing Dance champion, he is a veteran dance competitor, first appearing on the swing dance circuit in 1990.

Robert capitalises on more than 20 years of training and performing in ballroom and Latin. He has performed in numerous shows and commercials, and continually travels and teaches nationally. After years of competitive dancing abroad, he has recently returned to London to teach West Coast Swing.

Deborah Szekely
Deborah is also a veteran dance performer with numerous stage and production credits. She uses high energy and power to create a unique and forceful Swing Dance performance.

Deborah is an invitational and two-time US Open Swing Dance champion with technique and ability accumulated and refined over 25 years of teaching and performing ballet, jazz and tap and now swing.

Deborah brings a phenomenal style and presence to social and competitive West Coast Swing. Her natural creative talents and years of training make her a remarkable instructor with the ability to easily relate the technique for mastering difficult moves and syncopations with ease in group and private lessons.

Robert and Deborah successful partners in competitions and teaching
Robert and Deborah are presently competing and teaching together. Their partnership, established in late 1997, has produced many impressive wins with phenomenal performances.

Since pairing up they came second at the US Open in 1998 for Classic and won the Showcase section in 1999 and 2000. They were the Grand National Champions for Classic and Showcase for 1990, 2000 and 2001.

They clinched the NASDE circuit for four years in a row from 1998-2001 and were undefeated in both Classic in 1999 and Showcase in 2000. Deborah won the 2000 Champion of Champions Phoenix Invitational and Robert was recently inducted into the California Dance Hall of Fame for the second time.

They taught Bridget Fonda her wedding dance in November 2003.

Robert and Deborah are based in California and when at home they teach at Let's Dance L.A, the studio owned by Robert’s brother, Enio Cordoba.

Origin of Ceroc
Ceroc has its roots in France where it was derived from the jive dance introduced to France by American GIs during World War II. The French adapted it and described it as "C'est Le Rock", hence the abbreviated Ceroc.

Ceroc is a funky partner dance generally done to chart, nightclub and swing music (you can also dance it to other music). It is a partner dance that you can dance at parties and nightclubs!

In January 1980 Frenchman James Cronin introduced Ceroc at a one-off fun event – it took off and today 23,000 Brits attend Ceroc dance nights every week. There are now Ceroc dance class branches throughout New Zealand, Australia and Europe.

Angelique Meyer, “hooked” on Ceroc, brings it to New Zealand
Angelique was living in London at the time and attended a few classes and was hooked! She trained to teach and introduced Ceroc to New Zealand in 1988. It is now one of the fastest growing dance forms in the country with dance classes throughout the country.

“Ceroc is fun, keeps you fit and is a great way to meet people. We’ve had students who have met through Ceroc and then got married,” Angelique says.

“Ceroc is great for people who have never danced before because it is so easy to learn the basic moves, then add more and more advanced techniques as you improve.”

Angelique says New Zealand is enjoying a real resurgence in dancing as a hobby.

“Television programmes like Strictly Dancing and TVNZ’s Dance With Stars have helped make dancing cool again. We’ve had a big increase in the number of enquiries about classes.”

Angelique adds that the dance champs offer dancers the opportunity to see different techniques and “have fun with other dancers”.

Categories at the champs include beginner, intermediate and advanced freestyle, showcase and teams and of course, there’s a ‘Best Dressed Couple’ award.

With several open dance breaks during the evening, audience members also have an opportunity to take a twirl on the dance floor.

“It’s a competition and a dance party!”

Book now for the PPS Hairwear NZ International Ceroc Dance Champs on Saturday 4 June at ASB Stadium, Kohimarama, Auckland. Doors open at 5pm. Book at Ticketek.


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