World cup in the ballroom

Israel, recognized as a growing center for dance, has been chosen to host this year's International Dance Union world cup.

ballroom dance 88 (photo credit: )
ballroom dance 88
(photo credit: )
In recent months, the Israeli spotlight has been focused on dance. "Born to Dance" and "Dancing with the Stars" have become two of the most popular programs on television. Passionate dancers have stolen hearts all across the country. Additionally, in the recent Winter Olympics in Italy, four out of five of the Israeli athletes were ice dancers, and Israelis watched intently to see if they would capture a medal. As Israel is recognized as a growing center for dance, it has been chosen to host this year's International Dance Union world cup competition in ballroom and Latin dance. In years past the competition has been held in China, Italy and Russia. Over 50 couples will be coming from abroad, along with 10 professional judges, including the president of the International Dance Union. Israel will be represented by 150 couples from dance schools all over Israel, including the winner of the "Dancing with the Stars" TV program, Oron Dahan. The two-day competition will include crowd-pleasing dance styles such as the waltz, the tango and the cha-cha. March 17-18, National Sport Center in Tel Aviv, Rehov Shitrit 2, Hadar Yosef. Tickets, NIS 60-200 depending on seats, at (03) 524-7373. Interested in more than just watching? You're in luck, because some of the most successful branches of the famous Arthur Murray dance studios are right here. Known for one-on-one dance lessons that turn people with two left feet into butterflies on the dance floor, the Ra'anana branch is starting a weekly dance night on Saturdays in conjunction with the (kosher) Cup 'O Joe Cafe to help foster a community of social or even competitive dancers. Arthur Murray believes anyone can dance, and sees dance as an incredible tool for confidence building as well as pure fun. Starting Saturday night at the Arthur Murray studio in Ra'anana, ballroom and Latin tunes will be played all night to let locals dance to their hearts' content. Saturday, 8:30; Arthur Murray Studio; Rehov Achuza 128, Ra'anana; NIS 60. Tel. (09) 740-3545 or click on