Same-sex couples show off their ballroom skills at London’s Pink Jukebox

Russian men compete in the Pink Jukebox Trophy
Russian men compete in the Pink Jukebox Trophy in London (Photo: Cactus Capture Photography)

The annual Pink Jukebox Trophy took place in London over the weekend. The Pink Jukebox ballroom dance event has been running since 1996, and it’s held an annual dance competition since 1997. It takes place at the gorgeous Rivoli Ballroom in Brockley. 

The Rivoli is one of London’s few remaining ballrooms from the earlier half of the 20th century. Dance halls such as this hit a peak in popularity in the 1950s, and the Rivoli has been preserved as an homage to that era. 

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The Pink Jukebox is co-organized by Jacky Logan – who has been running the long-running Jacky’s Jukebox gay ballroom event at the Rivoli since the early 90s – and Ralf Schiller. Together, Schiller and Logan oversee the twice-monthly Pink Jukebox gathering that takes place at London’s Bishopsgate Institute. 

Reigning champions Caroline Privou and Petra Zimmerman at the Pink Jukebox Trophy
Reigning champions Caroline Privou and Petra Zimmerman at the Pink Jukebox Trophy (Photo: Cactus Capture Photography)

Saturday night’s Trophy event was split into men’s and women’s ballroom and Latin sections. All levels of dancers are welcome to compete in several divisions within these categories – from professionals to relative beginners (levels A, B, C and ‘starter’). This year’s event attracted around 130 participants. 

Some return year after year. Indeed, dance partners Caroline Privou and Petra Zimmerman won their section of the women’s ballroom competition for the 17th year running.

Announcing the men’s winners (Photo: Cactus Capture Photography)

Participants travel from far and wide, with dancers this year coming from the US, Hungary, Holland, Germany and Russia, among other destinations.

Logan tells GayCities that the build-up to the event is always a bit nerve-wracking. ‘But our competition is renowned all over Europe for running really smoothly and being the friendliest competition in Europe because we encourage people to social dance and mix together,” she said. “We go all out to make people feel welcome.

Pink Jukebox gay ballroom contest in London
(Photo: Cactus Capture Photography)

Logan has become one of the world’s most renowned ambassadors for same-sex ballroom dancing. She was even awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) in the Queen’s recent New Year’s honors list, and is looking forward to attending Buckingham Palace in April to receive her medal. Last Saturday evening, dance bodies UKEDC and ESSDA also paid tribute to her for all she has done to promote and foster same-sex ballroom dancing. 

Pink Jukebox
Jacky Logan receiving recognition from the UKEDC and ESSDA for her contributions to same-sex dancing (Photo: Cactus Capture Photography)

Check out a video clip from the competition below.