Melbourne’s Dance Cats burnt up the dance floor in Sydney last weekend, earning a stack of placing at the Southern Sydney Dance Spectacular.

Four Dance Cat pairs joined other same-sex partners from Australia and New Zealand to compete at Marrickville Town Hall on Saturday 21 July.

The Dance Cat couples collectively walked away with ten 1st places, seven 2nd places and four 3rd places from the more than 30 events ranging from waltz to jive.

Gender boundaries were pushed even further than the same-sex coupling; with some dances utilising female lead partners and male following partners.

Shane Ferguson from Dance Cats told the Star Observer the Melbourne dancers were fantastic over the weekend.

“They did extremely well,” Ferguson said.

“The spectators were really quite good… so I was quite impressed with that as well.”

Ferguson estimated about 30 couples travelled from as far as Western Australia and New Zealand to compete.

Melbourne dancers had been training very hard, at least three times a week, he said.

Ferguson and his business partner Claire Cutrupi only took over the Dance Cats and the Carlton-based studio from former owner and founder Anna Salerni in March.

Both Ferguson and Cutrupi have competed as Australian professional finalists in mainstream ballroom dancing.

“I’ve been dancing since I was 14 years old,” the 43 year-old said.

“We have a very strong background in it.”

In February, the pair heard Salerni was selling the business or possibly shutting it down and decided they couldn’t let it shut down.

“She had run it for 15 years,” he said.

“It was such a great community event that we thought ‘this can’t stop’”.

“So out of the blue, we decided to take over… about a month later we were sitting down with Anny and negotiating and decided we had to not have this stop.”

The next same-sex dancesport event is planned for Adelaide in November.

In Melbourne, the next dancesports competition will be held during the Midsumma Festival in February next year.

Dance Cats Studio is a LGBTI ballroom and Latin American dance studio in Melbourne.


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