Klaipeda University formation team “Žuvėdra”
6 times world and 7 times European champion, the dancesport formation team Žuvėdra of Klaipėda University was founded in those times (1965-1967) when ballroom dances were not a mass phenomenon in Lithuania yet. However, in Klaipėda there were people passionate about ballroom dances. Namely Skaistė and Romaldas Idzelevičius, ardent enthusiasts and propagators of such dances. At that time Skaistutė Idzelevičienė was invited to lead the ensemble of folk dances at Klaipėda Centre of Culture. Included into the repertoirs of the National Song and Dance Festivals were ballroom dances created in Lithuania, Rylio and Banga. This was how formation dancing originated. Along obligatory dances for the song festivals, dancers were encouraged to master Latin American dances.
At that time in Europe and worldwide, championships of European and Latin American dances were already organized. Teams from the Soviet Union were sent to those championships, too. When in 1989 Žuvėdra formation team showed itself very well in the qualifying tournament, it was sent for the first time directly to the world championship in Stuttgart (Germany). Then the formation team took the seventh place only, but the dancers were not dissappointed about that. Their genuine success was the Lithuanian tricolor displayed in the cloakroom. This was how a 'new' state appeared at world championships, and in short run its team became a rival of the strongest European and world formation teams, because at the 1994 world championship in Bremen (Germany) Žuvėdra won the bronze medals!
The formation team was subordinate to various institutions: Klaipėda Centre of Culture, the House of Culture of the Construction Assosiation, until it finally found 'a permanent roof' at Klaipėda University. At the Department of Dancesport of its Faculty of Arts, Prof. Skaistutė Idzelevičienė and Assistant Prof. Romaldas Idzelevičius train specialists of dancesport. Their students make up 'the backbone' of Žuvėdra formation team. However, the old dancers leave and the new ones come to the formation team. It is necessary to train new dancers capable of coping with high physical and emotional loads, who could refuse all the temptations that the youth life offers. The positions attained at European and world championships oblige the dancers and their coches not to lower their standards. New, only six-minute long programms are prepared for nearly every championship. The programmes require new costumes (they are made by Aina Zinčiukaitė, a former formation team dancer) and new music; Audrius Balsys, a composer from Vilnius, mixes medleys suitable for Latin American dances in accordance with the set rhythms of samba, rumba, cha-cha-cha and other dances with an accuracy of several beats.