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

2009  Jersey, Channel Islands 

2010 Sardina, Italy 

2011 Disneyland Paris, France

2012 Villach, Austria

2013 Brighton, England

2014 Algarve, Portugal

2015 Bucharest, Romania

2016 Jersey, Channel Islands 

2017 Offenburg, Germany

2018 Sitges, Spain

2019 Braga, Portugal

2020 ** Rome, Italy - Postponed due to COVID

2021 Telford, England

2022 San Sebastian, Spain

2023 Braga, Portugal


John Grimshaw - Chairman

John originally studied Music and Drama in London where he specialised as a soloist in the Baroque Trumpet and Organ recitals. It was whilst he attended this college and its association with the then Ballet Rambert his interest in dance began.

In 1995 after a successful period in the world of finance in Hong Kong, John returned to Jersey to continue working in the finance industry and he began supporting the local dance competitions and dance events held in the Island.

In 2004, whilst visiting Munich he watched the Dance World Cup competition and he was introduced to Korinna Sohn and it was through his continued discussions with Korinna that they formed a partnership for DWC Limited and the future events from 2009.

Dance World Cup 2011 was the first competition held under this new company structure and it was successfully staged at the Disneyland Paris Newport Bay Convention Centre.


Korinna Sohn - Founder

Korinna originates from Germany and she currently is principal of her own school in Munich where her students study the RAD and Vaganova methods.

In 1972 she visited London, England and attended the All England Dance Competition for the first time later entering her students achieving success in this competition.

In 1983 Korinna established a dance competition in Germany (now known as the German National Competition and the official German qualifier for the Dance World Cup finals). It was the creation of this annual event which led to the evolving of the first ever Dance World Cup competition which was held in Greece in 2001.

Korinna has managed to introduce children from all over the world to participate in the Dance World Cup competitions over the years.