Last week's British national championship of professional dance sport was held in a ballroom in Blackpool, England, but for Donna Shingler, it might just as well have been staged in a mosh pit. Donna and her husband, Alan, who were among the favorites in the competition, had just swirled into a waltz when Donna collided with another couple performing a high-speed stationary spin and sustained a concussion and a dislocated jaw. After a valiant attempt to dance on—"She survived the tango, but went down at the end of the quickstep," Alan told The Times of London—Donna collapsed on the dance floor. She was given oxygen and rushed to the hospital, where she received treatment and was released the next day.
The Shinglers won't be sitting out any competitions, but their accident suggests that in dance sport—which has been granted recognition by the International Olympic Committee and could become a medal sport in the 2008 Games—the white gloves may be off for good. "It was rough out there," said Alan. "All anyone speaks about now is energy, energy and more energy. I am just afraid that we're in danger of sacrificing beauty for speed."