Christmas Card raises over a hundred pounds

The group Christmas Card raised a massive one hundred and one pounds. Thank you to everyone who supported this worthy cause.

We decided to support the World Vision charity, which provides help and support in the form of food, medicine and education to poorer, less fortunate communities around the world. They produce a catalogue of gifts to enable you to select how each donation is used. On your behalf we have chosen the following items :

A goat – to provide milk for a family and extra income when it’s bred.

Bees – where employment opportunities are few, selling honey can provide employment as well as food

Chickens – eggs are good for the diet and can be sold along with new chicks. Looking after the chickens is a task the children often carry out to help the family

Seeds & Fertilizer – crops will help feed the family and sell their way out of poverty

Thank you once again for your support

More information about the charity’s work can be found on their website


A Christmas Message from Boris Bear

IMGP5124aIt’s the time of year when we reflect on what has been achieved over the last year and look forward to the next.

What a year we’ve had too. There have been many successes and highlights (too numerous to mention individually) but as Chief Mascot, on behalf of the Supporters Club, I would like to congratulate you all on a fabulous year.IMG_0701a

The year began with a qualifier at Kettering, the first of many competitions which we attended. This was followed by the Medal Presentation dance in February and the ISTD exam session in May and culminating with two highly successful visits to Blackpool in October and November. Finally to round off the year we had the NATD exam session, the amazing Strictly George Spencer and Christmas Parties.

As I head off to spend time with friends and family over the festive season I feel proud to be your mascot and look forward to another exciting year. Of course it will be hard work and there will be disappointments along the way, as well as joy, but just being part of such a great team is an immense privilege.

Merry Christmas to you all and a successful and fun filled New Year.


Christmas Party

Following the success of Strictly George Spencer it was nice to be able to unwind a little at the annual Christmas party. This year we had a change and decided to try Risley Hall which most people seemed to agree was a good choice. It was a chance to dine, catch up with friends and dance the night away. Judging by the pictures a good time seems to have been had by all!!

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Strictly George Spencer 2014

It was billed as the event of the year and so expectations were running high, particularly after the success of last year. Therefore, we were all a little apprehensive beforehand but we need not have worried, it turned out to be a fantastic evening which I am sure was enjoyed by the capacity audience. The comments we have had so far all seem to suggest that it was better than last year.IMG_0948

Alongside the new contestants of eight students and four members of staff were a number of our dancers who were also having their first “Strictly” experience: Molly, Grace P, Allison and Craig.

Craig was one of the contestants last year and having enjoyed dancing so much decided to come along to class and also have lessons. He has made remarkable progress in that short time having done a number of competitions and also the ISTD Grand Finals. Now was a further milestone in being able to partner, as one of the experienced dancers, and he did superbly well, as did all our other dancers.

The standard of dancing on the evening was terrific, with all contestants performing better than they had during rehearsals. The Judges (Claire Hall, Andrew Field and Julia Gillard) had the unenviable task of selecting six couples to dance in the final. This must have been a difficult task  and I am sure that any of the twelve could have been chosen. Nevertheless, the six couples who were chosen to dance again were: Liam and Hannah, Alex and Jack P, Lydia and Jack S, Paul and Rebecca, Andy and Debbie and Molly and Jack H. Having overcome the nerves all six gave better performances than in the first round and all received great ovations from the appreciative audience.

IMG_0955Whilst the judges scored the finalists, the ultimate winners were selected by the audience and they chose Molly and Jack H (who had also received a perfect 30 from the judges). They both danced really well and the win was thoroughly deserved.

We must therefore record a huge thank you to all of our team for your dedication and willingness to give up your time (and even take time off work) to come along to rehearsals and training sessions: Luke, Liam, Alex, Allison, Lydia, Emily S, Grace P, Molly, Paul, Neil, Andy and Craig. We would also like to thank those parents who bring their children to rehearsals and support in many other ways. We could not possibly do it without you all.

Finally a massive thank you to Chris Haggett who puts in a tremendous amount of work to help make this event the success that it is. I think he has already had some applications for next year’s event so make sure you have the date in your diary as you won’t want to miss it!!!


Strictly George Spencer- Pairings Announced

The first group practice session took place last Saturday where the teachers and students from George Spencer Academy got to find out and meet their partners. The Pairings are as follows:

Luke and Frankie

Alex and Jack P

Liam and Hannah

Paul and Rebecca

Neil and Natalie

Andy and Debbie

Allison and David

Lydia and Jack S

Emily and Zak

Grace P and Steve

Molly and Jack H

Craig and Keshini

This time last year Craig was one of the contestants and so has made remarkable progress to become one of the partners this year. The event promises to be one of the highlights of the year and is expected to be a sell out once again. If you haven’t already got your tickets act now before it’s too late.

NATD Trophy Day

It was a select group of us who attended our final competition of the year, the NATD Trophy day at Sandiacre. Nevertheless what we lacked in quantity we certainly made up for in quality. Madeleine and Emily dancing in the All girls and 14-15 years categories won three out of their four events with a display of assured dancing and finished runner up in their other event.  IMG_0924 Emily also won the Adult and Child Quickstep event with Neil and Allison also made the final dancing with a girl from another school. In the Adult and Child Waltz we didn’t have any younger children and so our adults partnered children from other dance schools and both Neil and Serena made the final  being placed 3rd and 4th respectively.

IMG_0922Neil and Carla won both of their events with Allison and Serena being placed second in these same events. In the Open Adult section Neil and Carla finished second in both the ballroom and Latin events an excellent result.

Congratulations to everyone who took part. Our next event will be the NATD exam session on 7th  December followed closely by the eagerly anticipated Strictly George Spencer event to round off the year.

ISTD Grand Finals Weekend

Can it really be a year since we were last at the ISTD Grand Finals in Blackpool? Yet here we all were once again at the world famous Wintergardens, Twenty eight dancers supported by an entourage of family, friends, well wishers and bears. Just to qualify to dance at Blackpool amongst some of the countries best medallists is a major achievement and anything else is a bonus. It was fantastic then that almost all dancers got at least one recall with most making the semi final of their event and fourteen of them made at least one final with some making more than one.

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We had six first timers this year: Olivia, Grace P, Chris, Craig Topham, Craig Taylor and Hazel. Blackpool can be daunting, especially for anyone who has not competed there before but all coped magnificently under the pressure. Hazel reached her ballroom semi final and Olivia and Chris both made their ballroom finals finishing 3rd and 2nd respectively. Grace P went one better with a 6th place in her ballroom and a 3rd place in her Latin events.

photo 9In the other Junior events Grace S made the semi finals of both her photo 5ballroom and Latin events, Lydia earned a 4th place in her ballroom event and Molly was runner up in her ballroom event. All of the competitions started with 40 or more competitors all of whom had had to qualify to be there so these results were terrific and well deserved.

photo 7Sunday morning brought the Sequence events and most of our dancers were in action from 8.30am. Again competition was intense. Allison, Carla, Serena and Neil all made their final as did Christine, Sue, Dennis and Andy, with Andy photo 8winning the event for a magnificent 4th time and Christine being placed 2nd.

The rest of the day was devoted to the Adult ballroom and Latin events and Serena, Paul, Allison and Neil all reached their ballroom finals with Serena winning her event. The end of the day saw the couples events with Dennis and Sue, Andy and Dawn and Neil and Carla all in action. All of them made both their ballroom and Latin finals with two 2nd and one 3rd places in the ballroom and two 5th and one 6th place in the Latin.
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After starting at 8.30am Saturday morning we finally finished at 10.30pm Sunday evening, a very long and tiring weekend for all concerned but very enjoyable and 4 Well done to photo 2everyone who took part, you were magnificent whatever your results and we are proud of you all

A huge thank you must go to those who give up their time to come along and partner for us: Luke, Ruth, Liam and Alex. Not only at Blackpool, but at lessons, and also the qualifying events throughout the year. Thank you also to those of you who have partnered as well as competing yourselves throughout the year, in particular Josh, Emily, Charlotte and Karen. We could not do it without you all and it is very much appreciated by everyone. photo 3

Many thanks also to all the parents, family, friends and supporters who come along to support and cheer us on, and finally to Boris and the team who attend every competition and sit patiently for many hours never once complaining!

We now look forward to the Medal Test session at the beginning of December followed the week after by Strictly George Spencer, which once again promises to be an event not to be missed. We then have a short respite over the Christmas period before we swing back into action once more in January.

Blackpool Sequence Festival

Once again we ventured North to the spiritual home of Ballroom dancing, Blackpool. This time for the Sequence festival which takes place each October. Luke, with his new partner, Sophie were competing in the Professional Classical Sequence Championship, Liam and Alex were competing in the Amateur Classical and Modern Sequence Championship, and Dawn, Andy, Sue, Dennis, Carla and Neil were all competing in the Social Dance Classical and Modern Sequence competitions for the first time.

First out on Sunday evening were Dawn, Andy, Sue, Dennis, Carla and Neil who all danced well considering it was their first outing at this event, attracting the best sequence dancers in the country and some from overseas. Dawn and Andy and Carla and Neil all got recalled which was a great achievement.  Next up were Liam and Alex for the Modern Sequence in which they were placed second. IMG_0823

Monday sees the inventive dance competition in which we entered three dances, one in each section, and we were delighted to win with our Rumba Missouri. This takes our tally of wins in this event to 13, equalling the current record. Also dancing this evening were IMG_0835Dawn and Andy and Carla and Neil in their Social Classical Sequence, with Dawn and Andy making the final, a fantastic result and well deserved.

The excitement and anticipation increased on Tuesday evening with both the Amateur and Professional Classical Sequence Championships. Liam and Alex were first to take to the floor to defend the title they won last year. By giving the assured performance of reigning Champions regaining their title with some ease and a lovely, stylish display of Classical Sequence. Following on from this was the eagerly awaited Professional final in which Luke and Sophie were placed third. They gave an excellent and refined performance showing great togetherness and technical accuracy which was terrific considering they have only been together about two months and this was only their second competition.Blackpool 2014

Congratulations to you all we are proud to be associated with you. Having all returned home somewhat bleary eyed we now have only a week or so to recover for what will hopefully be another successful visit to Blackpool.

Fish & Chips

Last Sunday a few of us took a trip to the seaside at Whitby to sample the local cuisine at the famous Magpie Cafe, oh! and whilst we were there Sue and Dennis and Dawn and Andy decided to enter a dance competition!

The Pavilion ballroom is a lovely venue, spacious with a large wooden floor and a great view over the bay. It is one of the nicest places for dancing and usually attracts a good crowd.IMG_0817

All our dancers had a great day making all of their finals with Dawn and Andy taking first place in both of the senior events and Sue and Dennis taking second place so we really could not have done better. Dennis also took first place in the adult and child event and they were all placed in the open events which was a fabulous achievement.

The next outing will be the British Sequence Championships at Blackpool  and competing in that we have Luke and Sophie, Liam and Alex, Andy and Dawn, Dennis and Sue and Neil and Carla. We wish them all the very best and hope to return with some silverware!

Following closely behind that will be the ISTD Grand Finals also at Blackpool. It seems some time since we had a team outing and we look forward to having a great weekend. Boris sends his best wishes and looks forward to being re-united with old freinds.