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Femke and Hanna Geared Up for the 2019 WDSF World Championship Disco Dance 10/09/2019

Femke Goovaerts (BEL)

With less than a month to go until the 2019 WDSF World Championship Disco Dance and WDSF Open Disco Dance this 4th of October in Belgrade, we reached out to two Disco Dancers set to compete in the Serbian capital to get their thoughts on the first edition of the WDSF World Championship and a range of other topics, including the core and essence, and prejudice related to Disco Dancing. 

Femke Goovaerts, from Belgium, has starting dancing at age of 3, and was introduced to Disco Dancing at a summer camp at the age of 9. She started taking Disco Dance lessons at a dance school immediately in the start of a next season and quickly, only three months later she was invited to a competition team. At the age of 10 she expanded her variety to Solo and Duo competitions. Femke will be representing Belgium at the 2019 WDSF World Championship Disco Dance.

Femke, 16, admits Disco Dance has become a real passion for her. ”I practise about 10 hours a week. On Saturdays, we practise with our coach for 5-6 hours. We train our solo, duo and small group. We practise our endurance and the choreographies together. During weekdays I practise alone or together with my duo partner for my solo and duo. I also try to do my stretching exercises as much as possible,” she revealed. 

Hanna Johansson (SWE) Hanna Johansson, 19, from Sweden, has also started dancing early, at age of 3,5. She had been dancing ballet, hip hop, contemporary amongst other displines when she got attracted to the speed and the cool jumps of the Disco Dancers at age of 12. ”I wanted to be like the other cool competition dancers”, she laughed. Nowadays, she practises several times a week, both by herself and with her students. ”I focus a lot on technique, fitness and strength”, she said. 

Many people, who are unaware of the core and essence of Disco Dancing do not realise how much athleticism it involves.

”I think many people do not know what Disco Dance is all about”, Femke agreed. ”You do not only need to dance fast, but it is also about applying the technique correctly for the jumps, the turns, the lines. In Disco you need to feel the music, and also have to put your emotions in it so that your expression during your dance comes naturally. The combination of all those things makes you a good disco dancer. And, most importantly, you have to love and enjoy it when you’re on the dancefloor,” she explained.

”Disco is a really fun and special dance, it is demanding and you need good fitness and a lot of strength. Many think that dance is something easy, but it is much harder than many realize”, Hanna summarized. ”In my opinion, a good disco dancer has very good charisma and good technique; it should not only go fast but also look nice and in control. Another important thing is to keep the rhythm and find the small hidden beats”, she added.

The generation which remembers movies like Saturday Night Fever might have prejudice hearing for the first time that a World Championship in Disco Dance will be held. The truth is far from the images of the 70’s.

”I would describe Disco Dance as a form of dance where you need a good condition and have to be flexible. You also need a good portion of muscle strength to be able to make high jumps and fast arm movements. Disco nowadays is nothing like in the 70’s because it has become a more acrobatic form of dance,” Femke explained.

”Compared to the 70’s Disco, today’s Disco is much faster with big jumps and rapid moves. The music is also much faster”, Hanna continued.

”The only thing left from the 70’s are the sparkles and stones on the dance costumes that make you shine on the floor,” Femke laughed.

Femke feels very excited about the upcoming World Championship, and is expecting the event most of all for all the opportunities it will bring: ”I feel really excited to be able to compete at the World Championship. It gives me the opportunity to have another great experience. It gives me more confidence, and I will also learn a lot because I’ll get to see and know other dancers from other countries,” she said, and continued humbly: ”I am very happy that I was given this chance, and that my parents and my coach always stand behind me and support me in my dancing.”

Hanna will be representing Sweden in the World Championship. ”It’s going to be really fun, I’m excited and feel more charged than ever. Of course, a bit nervous, but really pleased to be one of the selected competitors to represent Sweden. I have been in Serbia before on a few dance competitions and it is a nice country”, she said.

The 2019 WDSF World Championship Disco Dance and WDSF Open Disco Dance will light up the Belexpocentar in Belgrade (SRB) on Friday, October the 4th. Youth and Adult age groups compete for the World Championship titles in Solo and Duo categories.

In addition to the World Championship, WDSF Open competitions will be held during the same day. Adult and Youth age groups will have competitions in Small Team, Big Team and Mega Team categories. Juvenile and Junior age groups will compete in Solo and Duo categories, as well as the Small Team, Big Team and Mega Team categories.