Author Archives: Robert & Louise

Whitby

IMG_1322It seems like a long time since we had a school outing and so it was with great excitement that some of our couples set forth to Whitby to gain some pre Blackpool experience. Many of our dancers look forward to the competitions at Whitby, held in the fabulous Spa ballroom perched high on the cliffs overlooking the sea.

We had five couples competing: Andy and Dawn, Dennis & Sue, Paul & Karen, Josh & Grace and Craig & Lydia. Unfortunately Louise and I were adjudicating near Durham so we didn’t arrive until later in the day, just in time to see the Latin.

Josh and Grace, dancing in their first competition together since Grace turned 16 in August, had an exceptional day winning all five of their competitions. We look forward to their continued success in the future. Andy & Dawn were placed first in both of the senior finals with Dennis & Sue placed second. Paul & Karen made all of their finals receiving 2nd, 3rd, two 4th’s and a 5th placings.

Unfortunately a few days before the competition Lydia tore a muscle in her shoulder. However she was still keen to compete although the injury naturally impaired their performance. Nevertheless they still made all of their semi finals and managed a 5th place in the Samba competition. It just goes to show the dedication of all our dancers and their determination to not allow set backs get in the way.

An enjoyable and successful day was had by all and of course a trip to Whitby would not be complete without a visit to the Magpie Cafe for local fish and chips!

Of course we have many activities on the horizon and Boris and the Bears have been busy making sure that all preparations are complete for the coming weeks. Firstly we have the British Sequence Championships at Blackpool followed two weeks later by the ISTD Grand Finals also in Blackpool, in which most people are involved either as competitors or supporters. I am sure both will be great weekends and we hope to be able to report further achievements.

We then have the Medal Day in December followed quickly by Strictly George Spencer and then the Christmas Party to round of the year.

There is plenty to look forward to, so watch this space for further reports.

Pudsey

It was a grey and wet morning which greeted us as we set forth to the last qualifier before Grand Finals at Blackpool in October and therefore the last chance for some to qualify in all their events. Our spirits were not dampened however and we had almost a full turnout of competitors and bears for the occasion. David even came along on his Birthday to see his grand-daughter, Grace S, who still needed to qualify in her Latin event which, happily she did. Also completing their qualifications today were Iris and Karen C so a huge well done to you all.IMG_1246

As always their were many highlights but to report a few:

Luke finishing 2nd in both his Ballroom and Latin events competing in the Under 8 years category and wowing the crowd with his Samba in the 3 dance event.

Leila taking 1st place in both her ballroom and Latin events, finishing 4th in the Sequence and winning both Ballroom and Latin couples events with Jack.

Karen H and Allison both completing a hat trick of wins in their Ballroom, Latin and Sequence events.

Grace P winning both her Ballroom and Latin events and also winning both Ballroom and Latin couples events with Olivia who also made both her Ballroom and Latin Finals.

Molly making the final of the Sequence event as well as her Ballroom and Latin Finals.

Leila, Miriam and Grace S all making their Latin final with Grace S also making her Ballroom Final.

Craig winning his ballroom event, making the finals of his Latin and also the couples Ballroom and Latin events with Lydia who also made the final of her Ballroom and Latin events.

IMG_1257Chris, Serena, Neil and Dawn all winning both their Ballroom and Latin events as well as making their Sequence finals.

Josh and Sarah D winning their Ballroom couples event.

Christine and Carla both winning their Ballroom events and making the final of their Sequence events with Carla also making the final of her Latin event. Christine did not compete in the Latin section

Paul, Hazel, Sue, Dennis, Geraldine, Iris, and Karen C all made finals too so great day was had all round and the encouragement from our band of supporters was fantastic as usual.

We must also record a huge thank you to our partners on the day namely Luke and Liam who come along especially for this sole purpose. Thanks also to Josh for his contribution and to Karen H for resuming her partnering together with the added responsibilities of looking after Olivia.

For some the excitement of the day was just all too much!IMG_1248

Boris Bear sends his congratulations to everyone and says it has been a privilege seeing all your performances over the last few months, a view echoed by all his co-mascots. He now heads off on his own Summer break to Bearmuda and is looking forward to a bit of R and R before the hard work begins in earnest in September. He hopes you have a pleasant holiday season and looks forward to seeing everyone again in Blackpool if not before.

Supadance

Following on from an exhausting day the week before some of our intrepid dancers were once again in action at the Supadance Championships, a pretigious sequence event held at the lovely Walsall Town Hall. Liam and Alex and Stuart and Andrea were in action in the Amatuer and Senior Classical Sequence Championships respectively. I am pleased to report that Liam and Alex won their event and Stuart and Andrea were placed third, a position they also secured in their Modern Sequence event.

Andy & Dawn, Neil & Carla and Dennis & Sue were all in action too and all three couples made the final of their Modern Sequence event against a strong field.

Andy & Dawn and Neil & Carla also made their Classical Sequence final with Andy & Dawn finishing 3rd and Neil & Carla 5th. In the Open Saunter Together event Andy & Dawn and Dennis & Sue both made the final finishing 3rd and 4th respectively.

Everyone rose to the occasion and gave a great performance with some noticeable improvements. Well done to you all.

Guest Blogger – Long Eaton

Apologies for those who have been waiting to read the report from our own competition which was delayed for a number of reasons and thank you for “bearing” with us. Needless to say it was a fantastic day with a great atmosphere and support throughout. Thank you to all those who helped in any way. Luke and Ruth for partnering along with those of you who partnered as well as competed, Andy on the music, Paula for helping with the scrutineering and Maria, Beverley, Anita and Janet for helping with the door and raffle.

"The crowd were exhausted after such a hard day's cheering"

“The crowd were exhausted after such a hard day’s cheering”

As a special treat we have a report from a guest blogger (do you know who it can be?)

“As the sun rose on the longest day for the revellers at Stonehenge, our dance school made their way to one of the best competitions of the year. Long Eaton was the destination and West Park leisure centre was the venue. Following on from a slightly extended warm up (which everyone was grateful for) the shoes were brushed, the tans were glowing and all the outfits finished ready for the competition to begin. From the moment the first dancers took to the floor the lively and supportive crowd cheered on all of the competitors and on occasions sang like a (slightly out of tune) choir to a fantastic range of music. It was nice to hear so many new songs played at the competition and was a real pleasure to dance to this really exciting selection.

This competition is always a good one for a range of competitors and it was great to see so many starters taking their first steps. For more experienced dancers grouping the competitions by age ensured the chance for recalls and for less experienced dancers to nip at the toes of some of our more experienced dancers. Everyone danced well, with this blogger’s highlight being the duels between Paul and Karen and Lydia and Josh and also the Viennese Waltz selection. John Williams’s Harry Potter theme tune is such a lovely song to do this dance to and there was some real magic on the dance floor throughout the day.

The day was also nicely broken up by the raffle (I won nothing) and a barn dance managed to wake the room up and stop the thoughts of the post chicken mid afternoon snooze. As the sun began to set and the nights begin to draw in again our dancers left with smiles on their faces and bags which were slightly heavier due to all of the trophies making their way home. Well done everyone!”

Thank you for that ………????

There were many highlights of course but here is the Hall of Fame of our winners and finalists:

Couples Winners and Finalists:

Jack and Leila – winning all their events

Emily and Madeleine – winning three out of their five events

Josh and Lydia – winning their ballroom events and being placed 2nd in their latin events

Paul and Karen – winning their latin events and being placed 2nd in their other events

Dennis and Sue – winning their ballroom event

Andy and Dawn – winnng their sequence event

Serena and Allison – winning their latin event

Grace P & Olivia – winning the Viennese Waltz

Individual Event Winners:

Luke

Miriam

Leila

Molly

Allison K

Rebecca (entering her first competition)

Individual Finalists:

Fearn

Grace S

Eleanor

Grace P

Olivia

Sarah D

Karly

Craig

Sarah S

Karen C

Serena

Chris

Geraldine

Keshni (finishing with a 2nd and 3rd in her first competition)

Debbie

In many cases our finalists were only beaten by other team members from the school. Well done to everyone it was a great day. We now take a small breather before the final Blackpool Qualifier at Pudsey. Don’t miss it!!

Sequence Festival

The team was out in force for the annual Sequence Medallist event organised by the ISTD. For some it was another opportunity to qualify for the Blackpool grand finals and of those still needing to qualify I am delighted to report that Iris, Karen C, Hazel, Sarah D, Elizabeth and Luke all managed to achieve just that with both Iris and Elizabeth winning their respective events.IMG_1220a

The classical sequence events came first and there were winning performances from Molly, Chris, Serena, Josh and Elizabeth, for whom this was her first competition for over 2 years so a welcome return to the fold. Molly, Grace P and Olivia took 1st, 2nd and 3rd a feat they repeated in both the modern and Latin sequence sections although Olivia came 2nd and Grace P 3rd in the later event. Elizabeth, Allison, Karen H, Andy, Neil and Christine completed a clean sweep of the final in over 35 years event which also had the largest entry of the day.

The Junior and Juvenile couples followed with a very respectable 5th for Leila and Miriam against some experienced opposition. Molly and Emily S came 3rd in the Tango Serida and Grace P and Olivia came 4th again dancing against seasoned competitors.

In the modern sequence events again we had a clean sweep, with Elizabeth, Karen H, Allison, Andy, Iris and Neil completing the final of the over 35 years bronze/silver event. Chris and Hazel came 1st and 2nd respectively in their event as did Christine and Serena. Grace S Leila and Miriam all made their final and Karly (who was a first timer at this event) backed up her 5th in the Classical with a 4th in the modern sequence and a respectable 3rd in the Latin sequence.

The New York Quickstep event for the under 40 years couples was next and this dance is a recent addition to the Championship list for open competitors and so provided a challenge for some of our dancers. Nevertheless Josh and Lydia, Craig and Charlotte and Paul and Karen took up the challenge and aquitted themselves very well with Josh and Lydia being placed a highly creditable 4th.

The highly contested three dance events followed and making the final of the Junior section were Grace P, Molly and Emily S and Paul and Josh made the final of the under 35  years event. In the over 35 years section, Karen H was placed 1st with Serena and Neil 2nd and 3rd. Carla came 5th and Chris 6th. Christine won the over 50 years section followed by Allison in 2nd, Andy in 4th and Dennis 5th.

The Latin section was the last section of the day and Luke led the way with an excellent 1st place in his Jive. Christine completed a near perfect day for her with another 1st in her section and Karen H took 1st in her event which also saw Elizabeth, Allison, Andy, Dennis and Carla filling the remaining final places. Whilst Charlotte and Leila and Chris took 2nd places in their respective events.

The final event of the day was the over 40 years Paso Petite competition and since only 7 couples entered (all from our school) it’s no surprise that we took all 7 places in the final. Nevertheless it was a good way to end the day and well done to all the couples who took part, especially those who formed impromtu parterships in order to be able to take part (Hazel and Karen C, Chris and Christine and Geraldine and Iris). The top three places were taken by Neil and Carla in 1st, Andy and Dawn 2nd and Dennis and Sue 3rd.

Of course we must thank all the partners for their invaluable assistance: Luke, Ruth, Alex and Liam as well as those who took up partnering duties alongside competing themselves: Karen H, Josh, Emily S, Grace P, Molly and Paul. Finally a big thank you to those members of the school who assited in helping the day run smoothly, particularly Jean and Maria.

The dust will harldy have settled before our next big event which will be our own competition on June 21st. Make sure you don’t miss it – Boris will be taking note!!!

 

Dancing at Dudley

Dudley 2Yesterday was an outing to Dudley for adult sequence couples competitions. The team consisted of Neil & Carla, Andy & Dawn and Stuart & Andrea.

A slightly less imposing venue than some we visit therefore creating a warm friendly atmosphere. Although of course we always like some challenges and today’s was the shape of the floor. It was ovalish so no straight sides and corners to plan routines around but everyone did very well navigating their way around.

Attendance at these local events is very important as it gives the all important match-practice and ensures results and positions gained at previous events are consolidated. This was certainly achieved.

Neil & Carla won the Classical Improvers, were 2nd in the Latin Sequence and 3rd in the Over 35yrs Classical and Modern Sequence. Andy & Dawn were 1st in the Latin Sequence and Over 35yrs Classical and Modern Sequence. Stuart and Andrea were 3rd in both the Senior Classical and Modern Sequence.

Well done to you all. You all looked as if you were enjoying your dancing and as always were beautifully attired.

 

 

Teddy Bears Picnic – Daventry 2015

Boris and the Bears were all looking forward with great anticipation to their annual outing to Daventry. Not only are there the usual competitions but also the team match and keenly contested Ragtime Swing competition.IMG_a1197

We kicked off with the ballroom events and Luke and Fearn were first into action. There were three heats in the first round and after five rounds, Luke made it to the final finishing 2nd overall. This was a great achievment since he had just moved into the 6-8 year category for the first time. Next came Grace S who won both her ballroom and latin events closely followed by Leila and Miriam who were placed 1st and 3rd respectively in their ballroom events and 2nd and 4th in the Latin. The Juniors continued the winning trend with Molly and Olivia taking 1st and 3rd in their ballroom events and tieing for 4th in the Latin, then Grace P and Emily S took 1st and 3rd in their balloom with Grace P also finishing 6th in the Latin.

The pressure was then on the adults but they didn’t disappoint, Craig, Chris, Carla,  Josh, Andy and Neil all took 1st place in their ballroom events, Andy and Neil adding to this with 1st place in their Latin events also  and Allison completing the hall of fame with 1st place in her Latin.  Karly had 2nd in both her ballroom and Latin events in only her second competition with us, whilst Debbie and Tony were placed 3rd and 4th in ballroom and 4th and 5th in Latin in only their second ever competition. In fact out of the 13 ballroom events we contested the team finished up with 10 first places, a great acheivement.

We then came to the eagerly awaited Ragtime Swing events which are run annually in memory of Jean Johnson, a greatly respected teacher, promoter and ambassador of dance. There is one event in each age division, Juvenile, Junior and Adult and the first time these events were run in 2011 we managed to win all three trophies, would history repeat itself today?

The Juveniles were first up with Leila and Miriam and Luke and Grace S in action along over 30 other couples. After four rounds, both couples made the final which was terrific and Leila and Miriam emerged IMG_a1208victorious. The pressure was then on the Juniors with Molly and Emily S and Grace P and Olivia taking up the challenge, again both couples made the final and Grace P and Olivia were placed 1st with Molly and Emily S 3rd.IMG_a1209 Two down one to go. The pressure was then on the adults and again there were over 30 couples in action. Represeting us this time we had Josh and Lydia, Andy and Dawn, Neil and Carla, Craig and Karly, Chris and Alison, Allison and Serena and Jean and Hazel. Josh was particularly keen to do well as he had won this event with different partners every year since its inception, first as a Junior and then as an adult.IMG_a1212 After four rounds we reached the final with Chris and Alison having made the second round and Craig and Karly reaching the semi-final. IMG_a1217Josh and Lydia were announced the winners with Neil and Carla 4th, Andy and Dawn 6th and Allison and Serena 7th. Fantastic results everyone you made us all very proud.

The Team Match followed and we were represented this time by Leila and Miriam, Molly and Emily S and Josh and Lydia. There is always IMG_b1203a great atmosphere during this part of the day with each school cheering on their representatives. Only the winners are announced and unfortunately it was not us on this occassion but nevertheless our team gave a brilliant account of themselves and no doubt ran the winners very close.

The couples events rounded off the day and again we had many successes with Leila and Miriam taking 2nd in the Juvenile All Girls CCC, Grace P and Olivia taking 5th in the Junior All Girls CCC and Serena and Allison taking 4th in the All Ladies CCC. In the Adult Man/Lady Samba Andy and Dawn finished 6th and Josh and Karly, who hadn’t really danced together before came 2nd.

It was quite a long day, as they often are, but your hard work and dedication is appreciated and the rewards were well desreved. Thank you once again to all partners as well as family members and supporters, together we make a great team.IMG_a1218

Next up is the ISTD exam session and then we have a busy June in store. Boris will be kept busy but will be ready for the challenges that lie ahead!!

A Day At The Seaside

IMG_a1177Following the recent spell of warm sunny weather we had high expectations for our trip to Whitby and had thoughts of paddling in the sea! In the end however it turned out to be wet and windy, just as well really since most of the day would be spent inside the lovely Pavillion ballroom. We were only a small contingent, Dawn and Andy, Dennis and Sue and Craig and Lydia for whom it was their first outing together at this event.

The adult events seemed to have the highest entries of the day, unusually, and all of our couples had several rounds in each of their events. Whilst we may have been few in number, it did not diminish our haul of trophies. Craig and Lydia had an exceptional day making all five of their finals, taking three 4th places, one 3rd place and a terrific 2nd place in the the under 35 ballroom event. Dawn and Andy took three 1st places, a 2nd and a 5th in the open Salsa event (a new addition this year). Dennis and Sue had two 2nd places a 3rd and a 4th with some particularly good results in the open events.

Following the days activities we ended with our traditional visit to the Magpie Cafe for fish and chips, some might say the best bit of the day! Well done to everyone involved, we hope Daventry proves to be as sucessful in a couple of weeks time.

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Southport Easter Festival

It’s Easter so we must be at Southport for the annual Easter Sequence Festival. Over the three days of competitions we had five couples competing this time. For three of them it was only their third time at this event but all knew better what to expect this time and were ready for the challenge both mentally and physically. Friday saw Andy and Dawn, Dennis and Sue and Neil and Carla all in action with all being recalled to the semi finals with Andy and Dawn making the final. image 7

Saturday saw everyone in action with Andy and Dawn again making the final of their event and Dennis and Sue and Carla and Neil reaching the semi final. Stuart and Andrea were placed 3rd in the senior modern sequence event and Liam and Alex came 2nd in the Latin sequence event.IMG_1125

Sunday was the main day of competitions and once again all couples were in action. Andy and Dawn made the finals of all their events, Dennis and Sue made the final of the modern sequence and intermediate events and Carla and Neil also made the intermediate event final. Stuart and Andrea finished 4th in the Senior Classical Sequnce Championship and Liam and Alex completed a great set of results by winning the Amatuer Classical Sequence Championship once again. Congratulations to you all, you all showed great improvements over last year both in technique and performance.IMG_1131b

With the serious business out of the way it was time for the annual Team Match. This year’s theme was “Famous Families” and we were the Von Trapps. Our team consisted of Louise and I, Liam and Alex, Stuart and Andrea and Neil and Carla and we were up against the Adams Family and the Royal Family. It is always a fun way to end the festival and of course the entertainment is more important than the winning, but of course we all wanted to win and so we did. Again it was a great performance by everyone in the team who entered into the spirit of the event with great enthusiasm.IMG_1137IMG_1156

As we bask in the afterglow of our successes and contemplate what is next we rest assured that next year we will aim to do even better and look forward eagerly to next Easter.IMG_1163

Couples Competition at Friesland

Yesterday was couples events only at Friesland Leisure Centre in Sandiacre. We were a select team but what we lacked in quantity we certainly made up for in quality.

IMG_1116Madeleine and Emily S led the way in the 12-15years age category by winning all three of their ballroom events, their sequence event and two out of three of their Latin events. What a very impressive set of results achieved in a mix of rhythms. They had to perform all four ballroom dancers – Waltz, Foxtrot, Tango & Quickstep. the Tango Serida and then Cha Cha Cha, Rumba, Paso Doble & Jive in the Latin. Well done not just on your performance and results but also the mental challenge of remembering all of those routines.

The adult team consisted of Dennis & Sue, Neil & Carla and Andy & Dawn. In their age group events they took 1st, 2nd and 3rd place positions in both ballroom and latin. With Dennis & Sue coming out on top in ballroom and Andy & Dawn in Latin, In the Open Adult Sequence Saunter Together all were recalled to the final with 1st, 2nd & 5th places being achieved. Again, in the Open Adult ballroom and Latin events all were recalled to both finals with 1st, 3rd & 5th place positions in ballroom and 3rd, 4th & 5th in Latin.

Thank you to all of you who went yesterday. We were proud of you all, apart from your dancing achievements you were also the best presented and dressed team.