Joel Tongue and Cassandra Donnelly at the NSW Open DanceSportChampionships.

DanceSport coupleCassandra Donnelly andJoel Tongue were all smilesafter a recent bout ofsuccess at the NSWOpen DanceSportChampionships.

Held at Sydney OlympicPark, the pair competedagainst couples from as faraway as Iceland in AdultOpen and Adult B Grade,receiving third place in theAdult Open New Vogueand sixth place in the AdultOpen Standard.

“The couple that placedfourth [in the Adult OpenStandard] danced this yearin Paris – they were theAustralian representativesthere – so to come only twoplaces behind them wasawesome,” Ms Donnellysaid.

The championshipswere Ms Donnelly’s firstcompetition after taking 12months off to care for hernew baby.

Ms Donelly said thehardest challenge wasreturning her fitness to itsformer level, but said sheand her brother returnedseamlessly to theirpartnership.

“We both obviouslyhave the passion and lovefor dance. We’re very luckythat we have such a specialbond,” she said.

The pair danced everyday for three weeks straightto train for the event andMs Donnelly said they wereshocked to be awardedsuch high results.

As both a dancer and ateacher Ms Donnelly said itwas hard to choose herfavourite style.

“I love all of them, but Iwould probably have to sayfoxtrot. It’s a reallybeautiful dance. It’s sort oflike you’re floating on acloud.”

Ms Donnelly’s studentsNathan Coggan and AnnaSingle also performed inthe championships in theYouth and Adult C Gradedivisions and wereawarded second and thirdplaces.

Ms Donnelly saidcompeting in thecompetitions placed her ina unique position for herstudents.

“It makes it easier forthem. If they ask questionswe know the answerbecause I’m doing theexact same thing only at adifferent level.”

The DanceSport teachersaid all four of the dancerswould be competing in theWorld Dance Council’sLuna Park BallroomDancing Competition onAugust 23.

The competition is oneof the biggest DanceSportevents and will includehundreds of couples fromaround the world.

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