TAG 2019 – A UK Perspective

Photography: Jonathan Alk

Between 27th – 30th March 2019 we saw host to the 2nd Tel Aviv Games in Israel and this year was a very special year for many of our supporters. For the first time Same-Sex Dancesport was part of the programme and the overall event had increased to seven sports, making it bigger and more diverse than its debut back in 2017!

We were delighted to be represented in Tel Aviv by three of our UKSSDC dancers, Graham Ashwell, Tim Regan and David Jameson. We’ve heard a lot of great feedback from them on their time spent in Israel and about an event that was very special to each one of them having all been part of La Danza with Heather and Hadass when they were previously based in the UK.

David and Tim told sent us a personal note on their experience of the very first Dancesport event in Tel Aviv:

“It was special to be part of TAG 2019 and the first ever same-sex dance competition in the Middle East. It was a small but friendly event, with the head judge from Israel’s “Dancing with the Stars” (Eli Mizrahi) judging us! He was very supportive and complimentary about our dancing and even asked for a photo of us at the end of the day. Hadass Armon and Heather Gladding put on a well-organised competition, and included some “fun competitions” which weren’t in the original schedule. We also have to thank the organising team and spectators who made this event so friendly, the support we received whilst in Tel Aviv and on the competition day itself was truly amazing – we’re going to go back for sure”.

Hadass Armon, Competition Chair – DanceSport TAG 2019 also told us:

“March 2019 marks a landmark in the development of Same Sex Dancesport. Three years ago I moved to Israel after more than 20 years in the UK. Whilst in the UK I served, for several years, as the Female Co-President to ESSDA… The timing of my return, was such that it was too late to organise a Dancesport competition for Tel Aviv Games (TAG) 2017. By the time TAG 2019 was on the cards, the organisers of TAG and I were able to look at the possibilities of running the first Same Sex Dancesport Competition in Israel and indeed in the Middle East. Even though we had time to build up to the competition, the publicity was rather last minute. As a result we had very few competitors, thus running each category with both Male and Female couples, much like when Same Sex dancing began in Europe.

The competition covered adult and senior competitions both in Standard and Latin. In addition the dancers were invited to participate in a fun one dance competition. All couples who entered joined with the fun competitions, which gave the day a friendly and warm tone.The success of the competition would not have happened without the endless support of Heather Gladding who took the roles of the compare and DJ of the event. It was a delight to see the joy and friendship along side the competitiveness throughout the day. And if asked what’s next? Well, in two years time TAG is planning to run the second Same Sex Dancesport competition. Put the date in your diary, March 2021. It will be great to see many more on the dance floor.”

TAG2019 was a great opportunity to see growth in this International Multi sport event and we hope that more of our UKSSDC and European dancers take part in 2021! For more information and results of the competition, please visit www.telavivgames.org