FRESH from the British Open 2018: Blackpool Winter Gardens 

Jovan Tan and Yang Jiamin does Singapore proud by clinching top 85 and 100 positions in the Standard Ballroom Amateur Rising Star and Amateur Open respectively in the British Open 2018. A first-time for Singapore and Singaporeans.

Refreshed from their well-deserved break at London, we managed to snag a short interview with them over burgers and fries at Shake Shack, Dubai International Airport.

Photo credits to Photography

  1. Based on our knowledge and information, both of you are currently the only Singaporeans who have made it thus far in the Amateur and Amateur Rising Categories in the British Open – Blackpool 2018 Championship. How do you feel about it?

Jiamin: The results were unexpected, because we didn’t think we would have made it (this far).

Jovan: Honestly, we never expected to make it past the first round actually. Especially amidst the expectations and predictions of seasoned eyes.

Jovan, we understand that it’s your first time here also, what’s it been like for you?

Jovan: It’s been a good experience. I feel good and motivated just by being around better couples. Which is something that is hard to get in Asia and Singapore itself.

For Jiamin, it’s your second time returning to Blackpool to compete, how is it for you this time round?

Jiamin: It wasn’t as unnerving as the previous time. Actually, I hardly felt nervous as I took it as a performance without expectations.


  1. We also understand that Jovan is currently in the fourth year of his secondary school education and Jiamin runs her own successful yoga business, how do you both juggle your personal responsibilities and commitments with training leading up to this championship?

Jiamin: As a freelance yoga instructor, it gives me the freedom and bandwidth to schedule my classes according to our dance schedule. We had to work with whatever timing was mutually available. There were also sacrifices and opportunity costs along the way, but it was all worth it. Also, thankfully, Jovan was focused enough during this period. *Laughs*

Jovan: Manage your time wisely and prioritise your activities.


  1. Competing on the Blackpool Winter Gardens dance floor has always seemed like an impossible, if not, unreachable dream for Singaporeans, what are your thoughts on this?

Photo credits to John & Josephine Dance Creative

Jiamin: For me, it’s more about the quality of dancing, thus, it is important to ensure that we are well-prepared. It is definitely not an impossible dream, you will just have to sacrifice time and money, give up on certain things to focus on making it possible. When I first started, I never thought I would be dancing on the Winter Gardens dance floor one day, but as time went by, my hunger to improve and dance amongst the other top dancers grew. At the end of it, I would like to one day, dance amongst the best.

Jovan: Financial support is an important factor to consider. Above that, you need to have a firm goal to focus on and work towards.


  1. As they saying goes: “Getting to the top is hard, but staying on top or going even higher is harder”. What are your thoughts on this?

Jiamin: I think what I can most relate to, is the lesson we had with Leonid Pletnev, one of our teachers, because dancing is not just about who you are on the dance floor, but also who you are off the dance floor as well. To grow together as a dance couple and to reach greater heights. *Hints at Jovan and laughs*

Jovan: In terms of improvement, you won’t be able to feel them within a short period of time. It comes after awhile. There will be periods of bottleneck, plateau and stagnancy. It’s like the story of the Chinese Bamboo Tree, there’s a long period of “stagnancy” and little visible growth, and all of a sudden, it shoots up. So, it’s much about the process and the building of foundations, you have to trust it, persevere.

Jiamin: There will always be someone better than you, what matters is that as long as you feel good in the moment, you’re doing it right for yourself.


  1. Most importantly, who would you like to credit and thank for your success thus far?

Jiamin: I would like to thank my parents for being my biggest support and pillar of strength. For supporting me financially and always being there for me.

Jovan: I would like to thank my entire family, my grandparents, and parents and my friends for supporting me. All this wouldn’t have been possible without them.


Such sweet and concise thoughts from these budding dancers! We certainly are appreciative of their recount on this recent successes before they scurried off for their flight.

Indeed, there is certainly much more to see from this young duo. For now, it’s time for their well-earned break as they take time off to focus on their academics and yoga. What will they do next and where will they go? Stay tuned to their activities and show them your support through their social media platforms on @jovanntan and

Here’s a dedication made by Jovan to his partner and loved ones!

On a side note, we too have had the opportunity to witness the stellar international talents from all over the world, coming together to share and show each other their interpretations of ballroom dancing.

It is no wonder that many ballroom competitors and enthusiasts make their yearly pilgrimage to the holy grail of Ballroom Dancing or what is more familiarly known as “the Mecca of Ballroom Dancing”: Blackpool.

Keep a lookout for our upcoming Blackpool Winter Gardens Survival Kit and trinket give-away! does not own any of the above photos unless otherwise stated. All photos belong to their respective original owners.