We spoke with our #IDSEliteTeam youngsters Maxim Morris and Olivia King, current British Closed Under 16 Ballroom Champions who are aged just 14 years old, about their preparation for the all important Junior Blackpool Dance Festival next month.
Firstly, welcome to the IDSEliteTeam! How do you find it dancing in International Dance Shoes, and what does it mean to you being part of our team?
Knowing other #IDSEliteTeam members, we realise how special it is to be included. It is a special honour to be given the opportunity of being sponsored by International Dance Shoes and since the right shoes are essential to give your best performance, not only do we love the way the shoes look, but they are so comfortable at the same time.
Junior Blackpool is just around the corner. What is your main focus in the run up to this major competition?
In the run to any major completion regular training is essential but we feel that mentally preparing ourselves is also important. We strive to win every competition but prepare for every eventuality.
Last year, in the Under 16 World Ballroom Championship at the Junior Blackpool Dance Festival, you finished in 15th place, being the highest ranked English couple. The semi-final and final were made up of only Russian and Ukrainian couples. Knowing you train occasionally in Ukraine, what do you think the reasoning behind this is?
Oh this is a tricky question... We feel that this is made up from passion, talent and also a well structured training regime. We do however believe that this can be achieved by any couple by just loving what you do and working super hard.
You live a
fair distance from each other and need to balance your time between still studying as well as trying to pursue your dancing dreams. Describe a “typical week” for you so
our readers can understand just how much commitment you put into dancing.
- Sunday - If we aren’t competing, we are training anywhere in the country as it is a weekend and we can spend more time travelling. We tend to see our teachers from further afield that we can‘t see on a weekly basis.
- Monday - School and our only day off from dancing!
- Tuesday - School and then we drive to collect Max from the train station before a 1.5 hour Latin lesson followed by a 2 hour practice usually getting home around 11pm.
- Wednesday - Max stays over at Olivia's on a Tuesday as he is online home schooled he does his school work from Olivia's then we both travel to Birmingham straight from Olivia finishing school for a 1.5 hour lesson where we both travel back to our seperate homes.
- Thursday - School and day off training to do homework etc. as well as physical training i.e. workout and a run.
- Friday - After school it's straight to a 1.5 hour lesson and onto a practice night until 10pm.
- Saturday - Once again as it's the weekend so we have around 3 hours of lessons or practice to work on what we‘ve learnt during our weekly lessons.
Is it possible that you will look to specialise in either Ballroom or Latin in the near future?
We are only 14 years old so at the moment we are enjoying dancing both Ballroom and Latin, so at this moment in time we plan to continue concentrating on 10 Dance.
Which dancers at present, inspire you?
In Ballroom our biggest inspirations are Igor Reznik and Maria Polishchuk & Artem Kuklin and Lika Dikaya. Salvatore Sinardi and Victoria Kharchenko & Stefano Di Filippo and Dasha would have to be our biggest Latin inspirations.
What are the three most important things you look for in your dance shoes and why?
Of couse comfort comes first and undoubtedly International Dance Shoes are amongst the top leading brands to provide higher standards and quality with years of experience and a dedicated team behind the brand. The ability to customise the shoes and the look is essential because couples must feel their best on the day. The look of the shoes is very important but at the same time we think durability is key and we find this a huge positive of International Dance Shoes.
If you could say one thing to try and inspire someone onto the competition floor, what would it be?
The love and joy we feel on the dance floor is a feeling we can not explain we would recommend everyone to give it a try and see and feel that feeling for yourselves.
We would like to wish Maxim and Olivia every success at the upcoming Junior Blackpool Dance Festival. Keep an eye out for them on the prestige Winter Gardens dance floor! Maxim wears our 'Contra Pro' in Ballroom and our 'Rumba XG' for Latin, while Olivia wears our 'ICS RoundToe SingleStrap' for Ballroom and our 'Elena' in Latin.
Click here to follow their journey on their Instagram page - if you're not already following our Instagram, click here.