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Editorial: Eurovision Young Dancers Explained

What Is Eurovision Young Dancers?
What Is Eurovision Young Dancers?

Eurovision Young Dancers 2013 takes place on Friday the 14th of June in Gdansk, Poland. Many may not have ever heard of this contest before, however do not worry, I shall attempt to explain the contest below.

So let’s start off with a quick history lesson. Eurovision Young Dancers started back in 1985 in Reggio Emilia in Italy. A total of 11 countries took part in the inaugural contest. The contest was held every 2 years after up until 2005 when the contest then took a break until returning in 2011 in Oslo.

The original contest allowed couples to take part in the contest. The dance had to be less than 5 minutes long for soloists and up to 10 minutes long for couples. The winner of the contest was then chosen by a jury made up of dance professionals.  Entrants had to be no older than 20 years old. By 1989 the age limit had fallen to 19 and the contest was split into classical dancing or contemporary, modern or jazz dancing.  In 1989 a semi final was introduced and held 2 days before the final to select the 8 countries in the final.

Over the years there have been a number of firsts for Eurovision that have taken place in Eurovision Young Dancers. In 1987, 1989 Canada took part in the contest, furthermore Belgium & the Netherlands sent a joint entry to the contest. Bulgaria made its debut in any Eurovision in the 1991 contest, the Czech Republic debuted in 1999 along with Latvia. Kosovo made its debut in the 2011 contest making its first appearance at any Eurovision event.

So what are the rules now?

  • Participants must be aged between 16 and 21 years old, and not be professionally engaged
  • Each act performs a solo act that they have prepared in advance of the competition in any style they choose
  • Each act is then part of a group dance which is choreographed during ‘Young Dancers Week’ by an independent, professional dancer
  • Two acts are selected to the final round by the jury, where they must perform a spontaneous dance
  • The jury chooses a winner from the final two

So who’s taking part this year?

  • Armenia – Vahagn Margaryan (Debuting)
  • Belarus – Yana Shtangey (Debuting)
  • Czech Republic – Adéla Abdul Khalegová (Returning)
  • Germany – Felix Berning (11th contest)
  • Netherlands – Sedrig Verwoert (10th contest)
  • Norway – Julie Dokken (8th contest)
  • Poland – Kristof Szabo (8th contest & Host nation)
  • Slovenia – Patricija Crnkovič (6th contest)
  • Sweden – Stephanie Liekola Isla (13th contest, been at every contest since the start)
  • Ukraine – Nikita Vasylenko (Returning)

So that’s quick round-up and explanation of this years Eurovision Young Dancers. On Friday we will be posting where you can watch the contest if you wish to do so. Whilst we’ll bring you all the other news during the week.

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