Derby Day’s Actual Ballet Winners: UEA or Essex?

On the 25th of April, sports teams of University of Essex and University of East Anglia butted heads once again in the annual Derby Day.

It is the biggest sports event with around 60 matches happening in one day. The aim: to beat the opposing team and contribute a point to the overall score where winners bring home the trophy for a win.

In the dance event, 5 teams competed for 1 point in a best-3-out-of-5 situation. Advanced groups of ballet, jazz, contemporary, street and wildcard (commercial for Essex; tap for UEA) gave their all before four judges- one from Essex, one from UEA, and two being impartial to give everyone a winning chance.

180425 Derby Full Group

(University of Essex’s dance competition squads.)

Upon the winner’s announcement, UEA fell short of one win when Essex ballet, jazz and their wildcard earned their medals, leaving UEA with their wins in street and contemporary.

180425 Derby Dance Results

All was well until a vlog by the UEA Ballet team was found on YouTube, uploaded four days after the event, showcasing the team’s entire day from start to end.

As the channel was first and foremost of the ballet team, it was not a surprise to see their disappointment when the win was earned by Essex. However, it is to Essex’s surprise when the video took a turn as the video recorder began trash talking about Essex’s ballet routine, ‘‘Ballet was sh*t- Essex, that is- we can actually do fouettés and they can’t.’’

180425 Derby Ballet Sqaud

(Essex Ballet squad celebrating their win with a group hug.)

They followed by saying: ‘’[Essex] got the scores wrong and ballet won! We got our medals back!’’, followed by cheers in the UEA bus with ballet team members holding said medals in their hands.

Naturally, the situation was brought up to Essex’s dance committee and in turn they began talks with UEA Student Union and UEA Dance to get to the bottom of the situation.

The response was quick, and it cleared up any misconception of Essex ballet’s win- Essex won fair and square, and a prompt apology was sent from UEA Dance to Essex Dance, with hopes that next year’s competitors will hold no grudge against each other. The video that started it all has since been taken down.

While this situation was upsetting, both UEA and Essex deserve credit for dealing with the issue swiftly and maturely.

UEA had their 6th overall win in Derby Day with 17-14, but Essex has come a long way since 2017’s score of 55-15.


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