Surprise winners take the trophy
Olga Mayes and Richard Peters have only been dancing together for 10 months but are already wiping the floor with the competition.
Mrs Mayes from Bayview and Mr Peters of Pakuranga won the New Zealand National Open Ballroom Championships professional standard section.
The duo performed five dances - waltz, tango, Viennese waltz, foxtrot and quickstep - in just under 10 minutes, placing first in three.
But a slip-up meant one judge's score had not been counted and more than two weeks later Mrs Mayes and Mr Peters were awarded first place.
Mr Peters waited until Mrs Mayes turned up at the studio to tell her so he could witness her reaction.
"She kind of just jumped on me," he laughs.
It was an awesome feeling, Mrs Mayes says, but she feels bad for the couple who were de-throned.
"I kind of feel sorry for the other couple. It's hard for them. It's easier to not win it, then win it than the other way around."
They were awarded a trophy and prize money.
Mrs Mayes has danced ballroom and latin since she was five years old and developed a love for it.
"It's probably my biggest passion, it's everything for me. It's my life."
They train at Tempo Dance Studio in Birkenhead where studio principals Mike and Trish Whitsome paired them up.
"Olga hadn't done ballroom in years and I hadn't done latin in years," Mr Peters says. "So we had to swap codes.
"It took a bit of time but it ended up being really good. We both like to work hard, we both have similar styles, same likes . . . and both love what we do."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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