Picking up her dress for the Internationals the beautiful and bubbly Joanne Zhong took the time to have a chat with us with partner Philip Peng ….
How was your dress fitting for your new dress?!
I feel my dress is really gorgeous and I cannot wait to wear it for the Internationals!
Can you give us a little sneaky inside into what your dress might look like?
I can't give too much away but it is a colour I have never had before, possibly a new Chrisanne Clover colour … a blue tone, and maybe some feathers 😉
How has your year been so far since last year's Internationals?
With dancing we have been working so hard, for some reason our results are going a bit up and down and we are just trying our best to stabilize and better our results.
Are you looking forward to the Internationals? Do you feel prepared?
We are so looking forward to the Internationals it is such a prestigious venue and it is amazing dancing to a live orchestra 😊
Do you have any plans to move to Professional?
At the moment no lol definitely in the future but at the moment we are not finalists, we were finalists last year but currently we are working hard to try and get back there comfortably.
Is the Internationals your favourite competition?
Actually I think our favourite is the Blackpool Dance Festival..
Philip: I think all dancers favourite venue is the Blackpool Wintergardens! It is such a stunning venue, great floor to dance on, amazing space and top high-level judges. Many Chinese couples love Blackpool. The Internationals is quite a different feeling. There is definitely a lot more buzz about going to the Blackpool Dance Festival.
Joanne: For me the floor at the Albert Hall is a lot smaller and round. There are no corners lol so every year we have to change our choreography to fit it around the circle shaped dance floor. For some reason at the Internationals I always get lost lol! I go upstairs and see the band, then when I go downstairs, I’m thinking where is my luggage?! Maybe it's just me haha
Do you feel the lighting in the venue plays a huge part in the colour you will be wearing on the dancefloor?
Actually, every time we dance at the Internationals, I will change my dress colour. Normally my dress design and colour will be designed by my teacher Amanda Dokman, she really helps me with the look of the dress. For Blackpool I will mainly wear for example White and Red, but for the internationals this time the colour will be different which I think will be enhanced by the lighting in the Albert Hall.
Red seems to be your signature colour. Do you like to be bold with strong dominant colours, or do you secretly love shades of pastel?
Normally for me I really like soft blues and pinks, but in competitions bold colours like black and red look more dominant and stronger on the dancefloor, a bit more professional looking. Amanda likes to design 2 colours together to create a striking contrast, such as red and white, black and white, black and red, these look really stunning on the dancefloor.
What Chrisanne Clover dress would you say has been your favourite?
At the moment it is this one I will be wearing at the Internationals! I have always wanted to wear a blue dress and I have never had one lol! Ever since I was little, I always wanted a blue fairy-tale dress, but a blue dress has always been seen as not a strong colour for the floor, however this dress is gorgeous! With its mixture of feathers and intricate crystal embellishment I think this is a real showstopper and I cannot wait to wear it!!! 😊
What would you say is your highest achievements in dance so far?
Last year was a great year for us placing 6th place at the Blackpool Dance Festival and then placing 5th at the Internationals. At the Internationals that was the time Sara and Charles moved from Amateur to Professional lol!
Do you think this time you might move up to 4th place?
Nooo I don’t think so. After our success at the Internationals we were no longer a finalist this year in the UK. I don’t know what happened, but we are working so hard to get our finalist position back and that is a priority for us. Fingers crossed we can get back on track!
Have you changed the way you train compared to the Internationals last year?
Yes, most definitely it is completely different. The month before we came to England our teacher has made us dance 10 rounds each day to build up our endurance... it's all about practice, practice and more practice.
What are your plans after the Internationals?
After the Internationals it will be the London Ball then back to China. China then has the big Cimen championships at the end of November. Then it is the CDBF Ranking and Grand Slam Championships. It is one of the biggest competitions in China.
What are your plans for Chinese New Year?
We will take about 2 weeks off and as we don’t live together, we will go back to our hometowns and celebrate with our families.
What do you do in your spare time when you are not dancing?
For me it is important to learn English, so I study the English language and dancing history in my spare time. I also do a lot of Yoga at home.
Your English is actually really good!
Thank you so much! I feel I have improved so much, before I couldn’t speak, and I really needed to be brave to speak haha now I feel much more confident!
It was lovely to catch up with Joanne and Philip and we wish them all the best for the Internationals! We are all keeping our fingers crossed you achieve your place back in the finals!
You can shop Joannes collection of couture dresses here >
Read more about Joanne here >