Two professional ballroom dancers from Bicester have ‘done the double’, winning both national and world dancing competitions.

Mark and Olga Elsbury waltzed their way to victory at the British National Championships at Winter Gardens in Blackpool, having won the world championships in Poland earlier this year.

Oxford Mail: Mark and Olga ElsburyMark and Olga Elsbury (Image: Tomasz Reindl)

The dancing duo performed the waltz, tango and other ballroom steps to a compilation of music from Romeo and Juliet.

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Mr Elsbury said: “We’re both delighted to become both world and national champions. We’ve both wanted it since we were very young.

“We’re over the moon. It’s great to have won in Blackpool too, it’s an iconic city for ballroom dancing.”

The competition saw hundreds of couples performing for the accolade.

Mr Elsbury added: “We were hoping after being crowned world champions we could confirm that success by becoming national champions.

“It’s all down to the performance on the day. We are delighted to have pulled it out of the bag. We knew we had a chance of bringing home the gold if we danced well.”

Oxford Mail: Mark and Olga Elsbury at the British National Championship ballroom dancing competition at WinterThe couple have a place in their living room where the two trophies sit. The world championship trophy is theirs to keep, however the national one is returned to the competition each year.

Mr Elsbury said: “We get to have our names engraved on it which is great, and it’s sitting with the world championship trophy.”

Dance teachers at Crystal Dance Studios in Bicester, the couple have both danced since they were young, and competed in many junior competitions, as well as national and international ones.

Mr Elsbury said a lot of his success comes from his parents’ positions as dance teachers.

He has been a national champion at juvenile level, which is under 12s, and national champion at junior levels, which is under 16s.

The couple won youth competitions together, for under 21s, and went on to win amateur and professional national championships too.

Everyone who would like to see them dance can do so at the English gala night event next year; a not-for-profit ballroom and Latin dance competition to help raise funds for British competitors.

Oxford Mail: Mark and Olga Elsbury at the British National Championship ballroom dancing competition at Winter

Mr Elsbury said: “Last year the event raised over £2,000 in scholarships for British ballroom up and coming dancers, and this year we hope to do even better.”

The event – a day of competition involving beginners right up to championship level performers and a gala evening showcase including Mr and Mrs Elsbury - will be held at the Kassam Stadium in Oxford.


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This story was written by Matthew Norman, he joined the team in 2022 as a Facebook community reporter.

Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on finding stories from diverse communities.

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