May 26, 2021

IDO ONLINE CHAMPIONSHIPS

- PRESS RELEASE 83/2021

The International Dance Organization IDO Online Dance Championships continues this weekend. The IDO Communications Department caught up with the brainchild behind the project IDO Vice-President and IDO Sports Director Fiona Johnson:

How did the IDO Continent v Continent initiative begin and what were the objectives in creating this online competition?

The initiative to start this project was given by Bonnie Dyer. The project was sent to me in October 2020 under the name Battle of the Continents. Reading the first of many documents, I found it remarkably interesting and wanted to support it, so Bonnie and I spent many nights due to time difference and wrote the project in the form that it is now. The Presidium and later our members at the online forums gave the green light and we started. It is a new territory for all of us! We were used to face to face competitions and now the world of online has its own rules and traps.

The purpose of the project was to present the IDO to the online dance world and in the spirit of unification, openness, accessibility to attract new dance schools to join our national federations. To give motivation and support to our National Members in these strange times, to give dancers an opportunity to dance even online, to find a way to send out a message to the World that no one can take away our spirits and willingness to dance, to gather all our IDO members from all Continents in a competition without any extra costs, visas etc. So, many objectives all in the spirit of World of dance to survive. Honestly, this project is part of a larger program called RESTART PLAN during and after Covid-19 epidemics.

There are different teams that are part of this project that I work together hand in hand, so what you see is a very small picture. As a project manager of such a huge project, I had to distribute work and duties to competent and trustworthy people. We have Regional Directors that are taking care of different parts of the World (Americas-Bonnie Dyer, Asia-Aleena Tan, Australia-Julie Green and Wendy Dalton, Africa-Fiona Johnson, Europe-Kirsten Dan Jensen, Dragan Veselinovic, Ralf Josat, Oleg Yazvin). We have technical support by Web Dance, front face Azra Selimanovic that takes care that all is technically prepared for the online competitions. Without Gaynor Johnson and her 1,5 months of research and taking care ever weekend in front of the laptop, we would not be able to have quality free livestream. And last but not least we have launched also the second project simultaneously-IDO WEB TV with huge teamwork of Milana Tomic and Pedram Zamani. We are all working on this project that is the next step in the new reality very, very hard.

How has the IDO CvC Competitions gone so far and has it surpassed all your expectations?

We are all very exhausted after the first 3 competitions, but very happy. It is just a start and we still have much more quality dance to see. Cannot wait to see the next regionals qualifiers and what will be at the finals when all continents join.

I would like to thank all the countries that have supported the project as we all know that it is not easy, as conditions change sometimes every week. My biggest respect to all dancers that have found a solution and dances outside, in front of railway tracks, in a castle, etc. You all inspire me!

What are you looking forward to in the next couple of months with these online competitions and leading up to the World Gala in December?

I cannot wait for the Continent versus Continent finals where we will see the diversity of styles, colours and characteristics of each continent, character of different choreographers, innovation, love, and expressiveness of dancers of all ages…As to the Gala, I will not say a lot, just that it will be a surprise!

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