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Bryan Watson

See also: Categories: Instructors, Adjudicators, Dancers

Born: April 18, 1969
Hometown: Durban, South Africa
Current location: New York, NY
Current status:

Bryan Watson is a former 9-time Professional Latin World Dance Champion and is currently one of the most sought-after instructors and lecturers in the DanceSport industry. Along with Sam Sodano, Hans Galke, and Carmen Vincelj, together they organize the prestigious competition known as The NV Ball.


In 1974, Bryan's parents decided to take their five year old son to a dance school, a school of Ballroom Dancing which became Bryan's first ever institution of education. There, Bryan began training, as is customary, both the Standard and the Latin American programs at the same time. Soon, due to the fact that the boy stood out among the other students for his outstanding flexibility of movements as well as high speeds, preference was given to the Latin American program.

In January of 1988, Bryan began dancing with Leonie Claudia in the Amateur Latin division, and in October of 1990 in London, England, they won their first major victory as the Amateur Latin International Open Champions. This accomplishment was covered in pages of various newspapers and magazines. The couple represented Italy.

The greatest success for the couple was their victory of the 1992 British Open Amateur Latin Championship.

After 5 years of working together, on January 1, 1993, Bryan and Leonie transitioned from dancing as an Amateur couple to a Professional couple. Not too long after this switch did the couple split. Bryan and Claudia ended their partnership with a last performance at the 1993 Professional Latin British Open Championship.

After this split, Bryan had a short break but was shortly back on the dance floor training with Karen Hardy in January of 1994. Their first competition was the WDC World Professional Latin Championship hosted on January 2 of 1995.

The best result of Bryan and Karen was winning first place in the Professional Latin Jive at the 1998 British Open Championship in Blackpool, England.

Bryan and Karen danced their last performance on January 21, 1999 in England at the Professional Latin UK Open Championship where Karen announced her retirement. Bryan was back in the search for a new partner.

Carmen Vincelj

A month later, Bryan Watson partnered with Carmen Vincelj. On March 17 of 1999, the couple registered as Professionals and began to represent Germany, starting their long and successful journey together.

The first competition for the couple was the 1999 British Open Championship, and their greatest achievement was winning the Professional Latin at the Blackpool Dance Festival in the year 2007 for the seventh time in a row. From 1999 to 2007, Bryan Watson and Carmen Vincelj were leaders in all tournaments and competitions, becoming nine time Professional Latin World Champions.

The last competition of Bryan and Carmen was the 2007 Blackpool Dance Festival. After that, by mutual agreement, they announced their resignation from competitive Ballroom Dancing at the peak of their career in the spring of 2007. They decided together to focus on other non-competitive dance activities such as performances in the dance show programs.

Life After the Competitive Floor

Shortly after retiring from the sport, Bryan and Carmen toured, also visiting Russia.

In 2008, they performed in collaboration with William Pino and Alessandra Bucciarelli, renowned Standard performers. The two duos joined their programs and presented the finished outcome to an audience, showing the purity and integrity of various areas of Ballroom Dance.

Carmen and Bryan took part in The World Super Stars Dance Festival. Carmen said that she was in complete tranquility because after much pressure from competitions, there was now a great opportunity to relax.

Even after the termination of their competitive dancing career, Carmen and Bryan appeared in New York at the Dance Legends Festival.

Along with Carmen Vincelj, Sam Sodano and Hans Galke, Bryan Watson became one of the organizers of The NV Ball, a prestigious DanceSport competition hosted in Las Vegas, Nevada (USA).


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