Blackpool Dance Festival
The 8-day Blackpool Dance Festival is the world's first and most famous annual ballroom dance competition of international significance. It has been held in the Winter Gardens, Blackpool, England since 1920 (except for war-time). It is also the largest regular ballroom competition: in 2003, 1539 couples from 54 countries took part in the festival.
As of the early 21st century the festival is held in May. It covers Ballroom dance, including Latin dances. The Festival includes the British Open Championships in categories of adult amateur and professional couples and formation teams. In 2005 two new categories were introduced: the British Rising Star Amateur Ballroom and Latin Competitions. Two invitation events, the Professional Team Match and the Exhibition Competition, create much interest.
The Junior Dance Festival, Blackpool Sequence Dance Festival, and British National Dance Festival are also held annually in Blackpool.
The annual World Professional Championship in either Ballroom or Latin dance is often held in Blackpool (4 times between 1989 and 2005), but is not connected with the Dance Festival.