Author Archives: Robert & Louise

Pudsey

We are in the midst of a very busy period for competitions and last weekend the outing was to Pudsey in Leeds. It was a large turn-out with nearly a complete squad, eager to get valuable qualifying places.
IMG_1585
The day started with the children’s sequence events. In the Juvenile section Grace S came 5th and in the Junior’s Olivia and Jack made the semi-final and Molly came 6th in the final. Both these events had large entries, so very well done to everyone.

In the children’s ballroom and Latin events everyone qualified in their events. In their respective age groups in ballroom Luke came 2nd, Grace 2nd, Leila 1st, Olivia 2nd, Jack 3rd and Molly 2nd. In Latin, Luke won, Grace S came 2nd again, Leila 1st again, Jack 2nd, Olivia 3rd and Molly 2nd again.

As many of them as possible paired up for the couples and with very little practice very good results were achieved. Luke & Grace won the Jive, Jack & Leila also won their Jive & came 5th in the Quickstep. Olivia & Molly decided to reverse roles this week in the Quickstep and came 4th and 2nd in the Jive.

As we were running to time the organiser decided to add a fun event, you had to have a partner with at least a five year age gap and the test dances were determined as the event progressed. Not sure what they were letting themselves in for, Jack & Karly, Olivia & Grace S, Sarah & Leila and Luke & Molly took to the floor. By the end of the final they had danced a Waltz, Cha Cha Cha, Tango and Paso Doble, both dancing Man and Lady roles. Along with a Freestyle dance. IMG_1588The very delighted winners were Luke and Molly. Whilst great fun to watch, it’s one of those experiences which I define as ‘character building’ for those taking part. So very well done to you all.

It was now time for the adult events, which started with the sequence and there were more competitors in these events than I have seen for some considerable time. In the under 35 years we had eight dancers of which Emily and Josh made the semi final and Grace P, the final, with a well deserved 4th place. In the over 35 years, Karen won with the remaining places going to Serena, Carla, Neil and Chris respectively. In the over 50 years, semi final places went to Sue and Hazel. In the final Andy came 2nd, Allison 3rd, Christine 4th and Dennis 6th.
IMG_1593
In the individual ballroom and Latin sections there were wins for Grace P, Chris, Lydia, Serena, Carla, Karen H, Neil, Andy, Geraldine, Christine, Karen C and Allison.

We also had success in the couples with a few new pairings – Craig & Lydia, Chris & Sarah, Karly & Emily, Dennis & Sue, Serena & Allison, Paul & Karen, Josh & Grace P and Neil & Carla. All danced their routines well and all performances were lifted by our vocal supporters group.

As always, we were very proud of the whole team. You all looked delightful, tried your hardest and had an immaculate floor presence. Once again a big thank you to everyone who helped with partnering, especially Liam and Alex. Praise also to those of you who work just as hard in the background – chauffeuring, cheering, dressing, feeding, encouraging and nurturing – you are all essential members of the team.

We now have a two whole weeks before the next outing, which is our competition at Long Eaton.

See you there.

St Valentines Day – Competition

IMG_1572a14th February might mean Valentine’s Day to most people but this year, for our team, it meant a trip to Whitwick for valuable sequence qualifying opportunities.

This competition is slightly different to most because it is purely for the sequence three dance events and also there is an audience of dancers who just go along for the day to support the events.

Whilst our team was missing a few regular members we saw the welcome return of others and we were very proud of the overall display you all put on, both in terms of your dancing quality and beautiful appearances.

The results were also excellent. Grace S achieved a hard fought 2nd in the Juvenile event. Molly a 2nd, Leila a 3rd and Olivia 5th in the Junior. An excellent achievement, especially for Leila who was dancing in her first junior event since reaching the age of 12.

In the under 35years, Emily S had an excellent result by winning, with Lydia 2nd, Sarah 3rd, Paul 5th, Craig 6th and Karly 7th. In the over 35years we had a clean sweep with Elizabeth, Karen H, Serena, Neil and Chris respectively making the line-up. In the over 50years Allison was 1st, Iris 2nd, Geraldine 3rd, Karen C 5th and Hazel 6th.

Overall, we are almost there in terms of the whole team being qualified for Blackpool in the sequence events – and it’s only February.

A big thank-you must also go to those who partnered, many as well as competing for themselves, Luke, Ruth, Claire, Karen and Molly. It couldn’t happen without you.

No time to rest, this Sunday sees a drive North to Pudsey for both individuals and couples in ballroom, Latin and Sequence. IMG_1576a

Medal Presentation Goes With a Bang Bang!

The end of January usually brings our medal presentation dance following our NATD exam day last December and this year was no exception.IMG_1568

It is great to see how dancing brings together people of all ages, from 2 years to over 80 years, to enjoy a social afternoon. There were some delicious cakes available, made by the FroGS together with a mix of ballroom, Latin, sequence and line dancing hopefully to suit all tastes.

One of the highlights of the afternoon is the display provided by the children and young adults. First to perform were the younger children, Grace, Emily R and Fearn, partnered by some of the older children, who showed us their Paso Doble and Jive. Then followed a routine by the older ones with a demonstration of Quickstep, Tango, Gavotte, Waltz, Viennese Waltz and Two Step all choreographed to music from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. They all performed brilliantly especially since it was a challenging routine and they had barely had more than five hours of rehearsals in which to learn it!

IMG_1565The school award this year was presented to Joshua Horsley for his commitment and dedication over a period of years leading to some excellent results in both examinations and competitions. A deserving recipient I am sure you will agree.

We have a very short break now before we launch full steam into the competition season with three events in quick succession commencing on February 14th and culminating in our own competition on March 6th. Make sure you don’t miss out.

First ISTD Qualifier of the New Year

The new season usually kicks off with a visit to Kettering and that usually means snow. This year was no exception albeit with only a small amount (although Boris was glad to have his jumper) and certainly not enough to cool the enthusiasm of our dancers who were keen to get the New year off to a good start.

Kettering always brings some tough competition and is usually a long and busy day. The Sequence events are made more difficult as most dancers have had only a short time to learn and perform three new routines and this is the first time they have danced them in competition.IMG_1535a

Grace P and Emily had moved age groups and Luke and Leila were unable to attend so we only had three of our younger members in attendance. Nevertheless they did not disappoint, all making their ballroom finals with Olivia having the honour of claiming the first qualification slip for this year. Also in the Sequence they were all finalists with both Grace S and Molly awarded 2nd place a tremendous achievement in these hard fought events. Molly and Olivia also came 4th in their couples CCC event not really having danced much together before.IMG_1540a

The adults therefore, as usual, had a lot to live up to but once again delivered in all categories. Grace P, Chris, Serena, Iris and Geraldine were all placed 1st in their ballroom events, Dennis & Sue and Dawn & Andy were 1st in their couples events and almost everyone else reached the final. Craig & Karly and Chris & Sarah all made their ballroom couples finals which was a great achievement as they had not really danced together much beforehand.IMG_1543a

In the Sequence, Grace P and Josh both reached their hard fought final with Grace taking 2nd place on her first attempt as an adult competitor. Karen H won her event as did Christine. In fact in the Over 50 year’s section we had five of the six finalists: Christine, Andy, Allison, Sue and Dawn.

The Latin events continued to bring successes, again with most dancers reaching the finals. Karen H, Iris and Geraldine all won their events as did Serena and Allison in their couples CCC event.

All in all then we had a great day out against some tough opposition and it was a tremendous start to the year. A big thank you to Liam and Alex for coming along to help with the partnering, also to all of our supporters.IMG_1550a

The next few weeks will be busy with the medal presentation dance followed by three more competitions in quick succession. Boris will be busy!!

A Christmas Message From Boris

IMGP4144bBefore departing for his well earned break to spend the festive season with family and friends in Bearmuda, Boris would like to take a moment to reflect on what has been a very busy, but highly successful and enjoyable year. There have been many highlights along the way, as well as many moments to look back upon with pleasure and if next year is anywhere near as good it will be an exciting 2016.

Boris and the team are very proud to support such a friendly and dedicated group of people and as Christmas approaches he would like to wish you and your families a very happy Christmas and a peaceful, healthy and successful New Year.

See you all again soon.

 

Party Party!

Following swiftly on from the excitement of Strictly George Spencer was the Annual Christmas Party. This time the venue was the Holiday Inn at Sandiacre. It gives us a chance to unwind, catch up with freinds and re-live the events of the night before. Dancing was to a DJ and a live duo,IMG-20151213-WA0023 IMG-20151213-WA0022IMG-20151213-WA0020IMG-20151213-WA0019Picture 1 keeping us entertained with a range of music to suit all tastes. What a great way to kick start Christmas and judging by these photos a good time was had by all.

Strictly George Spencer Season 3

IMG_1439Once again we introduced eight students and four members of staff from George Spencer Academy to the world of Ballroom dancing. They receive 45 minutes of training for 10 weeks and are expected to learn 3 routines. The contestants this year were: Staff, Phillippa, Jane, Adam and John whilst the students were: Emily, Emma, Kerryn, Emily, Hayden, Ethan, Archie and Fenton. This was the first time that we had had two brothers (Hayden and Ethan) involved and no doubt there would be some sibling rivalry. John had been involved in the two previous events but as the sound and lighting technician but having been so taken with it previously decided he would like to particpate this time.

Once again the hall was packed to capacity and the audience were treated to a fantastic show with everyone performing to levels they had not previously attained, lifted by the enthusiastic crowd.

This year the standard was extremely high with almost everyone having the potential to reach the final and this gave our Judges, Claire, Andrew and Mary a real headache in selecting the six that would go through.

The selected six were Emily, Emma, Emily, Phillippa, Hayden and Ethan and they were all potential winners. Dancing once again in the final all six performed brilliantly and surpassed their previous performances. In the end the audience voted the winner as Hayden partnered by Lydia who also scored a maximum of 30 from the judges.IMG_1444

Of course all the contestants were winners in the end having been inspired to achieve something beyond what they thought possible. The event continues to be a resounding success both with George Spencer and our own dance school and we can’t wait for next year.

A huge thank you to all who were involved particularly: Chris for his organisation and continued committment to the project inspite of no longer being at George Spencer, Debbie for picking up many of the administrative tasks which Chris could no longer perform and acting as liaison with the school, all the staff, FROGS and students at George Spencer who help the event run smoothly and professionally, the sponsors and of course our Judges.

Most of all however, thank you to our partners: Luke, Liam, Alex, Karen, Paul, Neil, Lydia, Josh, Emily, Molly, Grace, Craig who give up their time to come along to training and also on the night. Thank you for your committment, dedication and conduct, we are proud to have you representing our dance school and helping to introduce others to the fantastic world of ballroom dancing.

Picture 6 Picture 7 Picture 5Picture 4Picture 3Picture 2Picture 9Picture 8Picture 1

 

NATD Exam Day

The NATD exam sessions usually take place at the beginning of December and this year was no exception. It was going to be a long day with over 140 medals being taken and our examiner, Mrs Burnett, was prepared for almost a ten hour session with few breaks. Everyone was extremely well turned out as usual and all were determined to give their best.

There were a few minor hiccups along the way but everyone gave a good account of themselves and the examiner was very complimentary about the ovreall standard of presentation and dancing. Thank you all for your efforts, you are a credit to the school.

Don’t forget the presentation dance is Sunday 31st January at Geroge Spencer Academy. Make sure it’s in your diary!

NATD Sandiacre

IMG_1434Apologies for the late blog but we had a few issues which have now been resolved.

Boris had “bearly” recovered from Blackpool before we were once again in action on the competition floor. The occasion was the local NATD event which we have supported for many years but which had a different format to usual and involved a mixture of couples and individual events. We had four couples in action: Madeleine & Emily (dancing as adults for the first time) Lydia & Craig, Grace & Josh and Carla & Neil. In the individual Latin events all of our dancers were placed either 1st or 2nd which was great.IMG_1422

In the couples events all performed brilliantly once again with Emily and Madeleine taking 2nd in one of their events and Josh and Grace, Craig & Lydia and Neil & Carla placed 1st, 2nd and 3rd respectively in one of theirs. In the over 35 years section Neil and Carla took 1st place and in the under 35 years section Josh and Grace won followed by Craig and Lydia in 2nd and Emily and Madeleine in 3rd.

IMG_1428There were two Special Events today which were open to all comers. Josh and Grace won the Sally Ann Cha Cha Cha trophy which was given in memory of Roy & Dorothy Moxon and then in the Rose Bowl event Josh & Grace won yet again with Carla and Neil 2nd, Emily and Madeleine 3rd and Craig & Lydia 4th so we could not really have done any better.

A great day for all concerned and well done to you all.IMG_1433

Of course we still have the NATD medal session to come followed by the eagerly anticipated Strictly George Spencer and then the Christmas party, before Santa comes calling, so plenty still to keep us all busy.

Watch out for future reports and also the list of diary dates for next year.

Latin Workshop

We had barely paused for breath after Grand Finals before we were on with the next activity which was a Latin workshop for some of our competitors and medallists. We had invited former World, European and British Latin Champion, Matthew Cutler, who also featured on “Strictly Come Dancing” winning the show with partner Aleisha Dixon.IMGP6060a

 

This was something new which we had not tried before within the school and so we were not quite sure how it would be received. Nevertheless it was greeted with great enthusiasm and anticipation as many of our dedicated dancers gathered, eager to learn what Matthew had to say. IMGP6065aHe started by explaining in detail some of the basic techniques and fundamentals of Cha Cha Cha, Jive, Samba and Rumba and went on to explain how some of these could be developed to improve Latin styling and presentation, all of which had helped him to become a Champion. Matthew explained that it was important to show clarity in what you are doing be that in terms of leg action, foot IMGP6061bplacement or arm placement as well as giving tips on how this could be improved. I am sure that our dancers appreciated not only what Matthew was telling them but also seeing these basic figures and actions demonstrated so beautifully.

 

Of course time was short and some of the principles he explained will take much practice to be able to replicate but there was plenty, I am sure, for everyone to think about and take away to practice in their lessons and classes. Hopefully everyone found it a worthwhile exercise and one which they may be interested in repeating in the future.IMGP6077aIMGP6074aIMGP6069a

 

For the rest of this term we will be working hard towards our medals at the beginning of December followed closely by Strictly George Spencer, an event not to be missed but unfortunately now completely sold out! Following that we have the annual Christmas party and then the big day itself. Plenty to look forward to therefore – so watch this space for further reports.