Dancers demonstrate star quality



MOVE over Dancing with the Stars, because Ipswich is grooming its own national champions.

Four Ipswich ballroom dancers recently competed in the South Pacific Championships in Sydney, and won several events.

Dancers from Queensland Academy of Ballroom Dancing (formerly Jacaranda Academy of Ballroom Dancing), Antoinette Turner and Christopher Idzikowski and Neal Ellem and Melanie Sutherland impressed judges with their performances. Studio proprietor/coach Lin Zimmermann said the two couples, along with six other couples from the academy, will now travel to Melbourne in December to compete in the Australian Dancesport Championships.

Mrs Zimmermann is extremely proud of all her students and believes the star couples could reach the same success as her 2006 Junior Open New Vogue Australian Dancesport Champions, who were also from Ipswich.

"Champions are born in Ipswich," she said.

"They are going to do really well."

Couple Neal Ellem and Melanie Sutherland were first in the Swing Waltz, first in the Merrilyn, first in the Jive, second in the Cha Cha and fourth in the Waltz.

Antoinette Turner and partner Christopher Idzikowski were awarded first in the Waltz, first in the Quick Step, third in the level two New Vogue and sixth in the level two Ballroom.

Mrs Zimmermann, who is a former Queensland Professional New Vogue Champion, believes the much-loved Dancing with the Stars series, on Channel Seven, has helped broaden the public's knowledge of the sport.

She said ballroom dancing was suited to any age, with her eldest student aged 69.

"The most important thing is dedication," she said.



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