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.

Spooky Happenings at Blackpool

Blackpool can be a scary place at the best of times and there were definitely some strange characters roaming the streets this Halloween. Sometimes it was hard to tell if some were actually in fancy dress or not!!IMG_1343a


Nevertheless this Halloween marked the start of the ISTD Grand Finals weekend in which we had 28 dancers competing, supported by an army of parents, grand parents, family, friends and well wishes. Grand Finals are always a major team outing and this year was no exception with almost 90 of us in total, all providing terrific support to each other through the highs and inevitable lows (of which there were few thankfully) of the weekend.IMG_1345IMG_1350


Everyone was immaculately turned out, many of the ladies particularly, sporting new dresses and all looked fantastic, upholding the traditions of the school. Grand Finals are a tough business however where dancers are pitched against some of the best in the country at their particular age and grade, who have also qualified to be there by beating others at events held all over the country. With some 1400 competitors over the two days, getting a recall would be an achievement let alone making a semi-final or final!



The weekend begins with the children early on Saturday morning and first in to bat for our team was Luke in the under 6 year’s section. Luke is new to the team this year and this was his first Grand Finals. Seemingly unfazed by this however he went on to finish 3rd in his Waltz and 5th in his Cha Cha Cha, a great result. The Juniors may be low in numbers but this is certainly not the case in terms of their dancing ability, all receiving at least a recall in one of their events. IMG_1360Molly recorded our first victory of the weekend, winning with her Waltz and Grace P made it a one, two by being awarded 2nd place in the same event, a fantastic result from both. Grace also reached the semi-final of her Latin event and reached her ballroom, couples semi-final with Olivia. Well done to all our dancers: Luke, Leila, Grace S, Olivia, Molly, Grace P and Emily S. It was a great start to the weekend.IMG_1356


Although the weekend runs at break neck pace there is a brief moment to unwind a little and following the end of the juniors events is the evening dance, this year with a Halloween flavour. Some had dressed up and gone to town on their outfits, in our party we were joined by Count Dracula and his bride as well as a couple of black cats and an assortment of other misfits. There was the usual dancing and demonstration and a brief moment of relaxation was enjoyed by all.


IMG_1364All too soon, 8.30am to be precise, it was time to begin once again this time with the Sequence events. These events are in age groups but ungraded and so are particularly keenly contested. Once again our dancers proved themselves up to the challenge with Leila taking 3rd in the juvenile section and Josh, a 4th in the Under 35 years section. Grace P once again made the semi-final and in the Over 35years event IMG_1369Elizabeth, Karen H, Serena, Neil and Carla were all in the final placed, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th and 7th respectively. In the Over 50 year’s section Andy won once again IMG_1371making it a hat trick of wins in this event and five times in total. In this event Allison was also placed 2nd, Sue 5th and Dawn 7th. We were therefore off to a flying start.


Also competing today for the first time was Karly and she made the semi-final of one of her events, a great result for the first time out.


Elizabeth, having recently returned after a break from competing for a couple of years whilst having Isabella, set the bar with a win in her ballroom event. A result she repeated in the Latin. Craig followed this up with a win in his ballroom event, which is amazing since he only started IMG_1375dancing less than two years ago at our Strictly George Spencer event.

Josh won his ballroom event and also made all of his finals both, individual and couples. Serena and Karen H IMG_1381made both of their respective ballroom and Latin finals, Dennis came 2nd in his ballroom event and Karen C came 3rd in her ballroom event beating former Business Secretary, Vince Cable into the bargain! In the Latin events Neil also added to the list of finalists with a 5th for his Samba.



Chris, Sarah, Sue, Allison, Geraldine, Andy, Paul and Carla all reached semi-finals in one or more of their events and everyone else got one or more recalls. Some fantastic results all round, well done everyone.

The couples events followed and Josh and Sarah were placed 2nd and 4th respectively in their IMG_1409ballroom and Latin events, Andy and Dawn 4th in both of their events, Dennis and Sue 3rd and 7th in their events, Neil and Carla 2nd and 3rd in their events and Allison and Serena 7th in their ballroom event. Paul and Karen made the semi final of the very difficult Under 35 ballroom section of their event. Again some great results.IMG_1411


And so we departed the ballroom fifteen hours after we had arrived, a little tired but very satisfied. Boris and the mascots did a fine job supporting us through every step from start to finish and have now gone to lie in a very darkened room.


We owe a massive thank you to those who came along just to partner: Luke (along with Julie and Charlie), Alex and Liam. We could not do it without your dedication and willingness to give up your time to support the school’s success. We also must thank Ruth for helping to keep us in order during the busy periods on Sunday and making sure we were all in the right place at the right time with the right partner.


Well done to everyone involved whether as dancer or supporter you all help to make it a terrific weekend to be involved in.


There is little time for the grass to grow however, we have the Latin Workshop next weekend followed by medals and then Strictly George Spencer. See you there!!!