The history of the Dance World Cup

In 1972, a young German dancer called Korinna Sohn arrived in London. During her stay she was told of an “All England” dance competition which took place for children every other year. Being a dancer herself she found this fascinating as she had never heard of such a competition before.

So in 1973, she decided to take two pupils from her mother’s dance school in Germany to London to participate in this dance competition. The dancers were very successful and their success made the headlines in Munich and all over Germany. Korinna was delighted.

Korinna decided to return to London again the following year, this time with four other pupils and again they were extremely successful at the event.

In 1980, Korinna decided to retire from her dancing career to take over as Principal of her mother’s dance school.

In 1982, Korinna and a small group of like-minded people got together and founded the “Ballettfoerderkreis Muenchen e.V” which is a charity association for the benefit of children. Their idea was to support children who loved to dance whether they were going to become professional dancers or not.

The first German Dance Competition took place in 1983 in the north of Munich. Korinna wanted to follow the same rules and regulations as the “All England” competition. Dance schools all over Germany were approached to take part in this event. One hundred and fifty children up to the age of sixteen years competed from twenty different German dance schools from as far north as Moelln and Hanover. This new dance competition was held every two years.

Eventually more dance schools entered the event and the German Dance Competition became well known within the country as well as attracting young performers from Austria, Switzerland and Denmark.

In 2000, one of the adjudicators at the German Dance Competition was a Greek dance teacher. She was so fascinated by the idea of the event that she asked the team to help her organise a similar competition in Greece.

Korinna and her team therefore organised the Hellas Dance Festival in 2001 which was an international dance competition for children in Athens, Greece.

The German Dance Competition continued to expand with participants entering from more countries including Russia and China. It had now become an international dance competition and in 2004 the first Dance World Cup competition was formed and the junior dance took place for the first time in the beautiful theatre in Fuerstenfeldbruck near Munich, Germany. Ten international dance schools took part that year including schools from Israel, Nigeria and Mexico.

After 2004 it was decided that Dance World Cup would now become an annual event taking place in a different country each year. Competitions took place in the following countries:

2005 Wroclaw, Poland

2006 Faro, Portugal

2007 Jalta, Ukraine

2008 Vancouver, Canada

The event continued to grow in size and young adults (who were not professional dancers) were permitted to enter the competition, it was no longer restricted to children.

The Dance World Cup competition was now also including entrants from Canada, Estonia, France and the Ukraine.

In 2009, John Grimshaw and Korinna Sohn organised the competition in Jersey, Channel Islands and the company DWC Ltd was formed. The event attracted just under 1,000 young dancers to the small island of Jersey.

2010’s Dance World Cup was held in the beautiful Island of Sardina, Italy where the participants had the opportunity to perform in the historical outdoor theatre in Porto Rotundo.

2011 saw Dance World Cup organised at the Newport Bay Convention Centre in Disneyland Paris. This competition attracted 1,800 children and young adults from countries as far afield as Australia, Japan and Malaysia. The participants also had the opportunity to perform in the theme park to an original piece of music which the young performers now know as the Dance World Cup theme tune.

In June 2012 Dance World Cup was hosted in the picturesque and beautiful city of Villach in Austria where 2,000 participants took part. The competition really highlighted the wonderful standard of dance of these international young performers.

The 2013 Dance World Cup was in Brighton, England with over 2900 participants from more than 25 countries. It was truely an amazing event and an experience that won't soon be forgotten.

In 2014, the Dance World Cup took place in the Algarve, Portugal. One of the greatest events ever with 2954 participants from 28 countries and a wonderful atmosphere of friendship.

In 2015 the Dance World Cup was hosted in the Bucharest, Romania. With over 2800 participants, it was truely a year to remember!

Dance World Cup is fast evolving into a fantastic international stage for the young dancers of the world to do what they love and to make some wonderful new friends along the way. We look forward to welcoming competitors old and new to our World Finals in 2016 in Jersey, Channel Islands and in 2017 in Germany.