NATD Trophy Day

It may only be a week after Blackpool but we were on the road again. Although, for some of us it was only a very short journey, this time to South Normanton.

It was the NATD North Midland area couples competition. This event has resided in several locations over the years. Originally it was at Burton Upon Trent, then more recently Friesland in Sandiacre and this year at a new venue in South Normanton.

It was a lovely venue with a smooth wooden floor and very tasteful decoration and lighting. The only problem was that the day attracted a few too many dancers and therefore we were rather a tight squeeze. Let’s just say we all knew each other a little better at the end of the day!

Couples in attendance today were Jack & Leila, Emily & Madeleine, Craig & Lydia, Chris & Karly, Andrew & Dawn and new to the team Paige & Wafiya.

Paige & Wafiya started the day off for us with a tie for 2nd in the 12-15yrs Beginner’s Ballroom, which was later followed by a 2nd place in the Beginner’s Latin. They also scored a 3rd in their All Girls Ballroom and 4th in the equivalent Latin event.

One of the special attractions of this event is that the major events are trophy holder events, where the winners retain a trophy for the following 12 months before it is competed for again. These trophies have over the years been donated and one of them is the Duesbury Aldred Trophy. This is competed for in the Boy/Girl 12-15yrs Ballroom event therefore Jack & Leila were under a certain amount of pressure to try to bring the trophy home. Of course, they rose to the challenge by winning this event and also the equivalent Latin competition and both the 12-13yrs events. A very proud day for their Mums, Dads, Grandmas, Grandad and Teachers.

Unusually for this day, the Adult events had the largest entry, with two recalls being needed to make a final. In the Open Adult Ballroom this was achieved by Craig & Lydia, Andrew & Dawn, Emily & Madeleine and Chris & Karly. Being placed 1st, 3rd, 4th and 6th respectively. This was a huge achievement especially as Craig and Lydia beat some regular winners and also it being Chris & Karly’s first competition together.

In the 16-35yrs ballroom again everyone made the final and Andrew & Dawn won the Over 35yrs event.

We then had some ‘serious fun’ in the Adult & Child events. As we had more adults than children in the team today, we were very much in demand with children from other dance schools. These competitions help to create a friendly atmosphere to the day. In the Adult with a child under 12yrs, all our Adults received at least one recall and after four rounds Craig and Andrew, with their partners, came 4th and 5th respectively.

In the Adult with a child aged 12-15yrs we had a duel on our hands as Jack danced with Karly and Chris with Leila. It was a very closely fought battle with Jack & Karly winning the event and Chris & Leila a very close second. Andrew & Wafiya and Paige & Dawn also joined in the fun. With Andrew & Wafiya coming 4th and Paige & Dawn getting two recalls to the semi final.

Overall, it was a lovely day, slightly shorter and less intense than the previous weekend although all have an important place in our dancing calendar.

On we go, exams next and then Strictly George Spencer.

P.S. Boris has some exciting news he wishes to share – although his species of bear has been extinct for some while now, he has managed to track down some closely related cousins who will soon be relocating to this area and are looking for good homes. Watch this space for an update.

ISTD Grand Finals – 2016

Blackpool in numbers: 35 competitors, 55 supporters, 7 bears, 30 hours spent in the ballroom, 67 semi-finalists, 36 finalists, 4 winners, 1 fantastic team.

It hardly seems like a whole year has passed since we were last at Grand Finals and yet here we were again ready to go again. The day began at 8.30am with the Juvenile and Junior events in which we had Luke, Grace S, Leila, Jack, Olivia and Molly participating, along with first img_1773timers at this event; Kaitlyn, Chloe and Isobel. Blackpool is always a high standard and, we say it every year, but the numbers and standard seemed higher than ever. img_1782img_1784Nevertheless our dancers performed magnificently as always and held their own. Everyone received at least one recall and most made at least one semi-final. Olivia, Leila and Jack all made a final and Luke reached both his finals, being placed 2nd in his ballroom event. The couples events followed and Luke & Chloe, img_1788Molly & Olivia and Jack & Leila were all in action. Again they all had at least two recalls with Luke & Chloe finishing 4th in their ballroom event and






Jack & Leila a terrific 3rd in their Latin event from an initial entry of 55 couples. Some great performances from everyone and the bar had been set for the adults.

The day ended just after 8pm and there was barely time to eat before it was time to return to the ballroom for the evening dance. This gives people a chance to socialise and relax a little ahead of day two.
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The Sunday at Blackpool sees the sequence three dance events and all the adult competitions. Again we began at 8.30am with the sequence events and as there are no grades in these competitions, competition is always fierce. Most had at least one recall and 19 out of our 30 dancers got as far as the semi-finals with 9 of those going on to reach a final. Well done therefore to Grace S, Josh, Carla, Serena, Elizabeth, Christine, Sue, Andy and Allison.

img_1806 img_1808img_1809Next came the adult non-qualifying events and joining us for the first time at these events were Libbie, Debbie, Tony, Peter and Carol. All of them got at least one recall and Libbie, Peter and Carol made their ballroom finals and Libbie and Carol also made their Latin finals. Dawn was also placed 3rd in her ballroom event. In the ballroom Qualifier events, again almost everyone got at least one recall and eight dancers reached the semi-finals. Four went on to reach their finals: Geraldine won her event (a feat she repeated in her Latin), Craig finished 3rd, a great achievement as he had had to move up a grade this time after winning his event last year, and Iris and Karen C also made their finals finishing 6th and 5th respectively.

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The Latin events followed and this time Craig, Serena, Carla, Karen H, Iris and Geraldine all made their semi-finals with Serena, Iris and Geraldine going on to make the final.



After twelve hours in the ballroom the couples events began with the added excitement of having two floors and two competitions taking place at the same time. In spite of the potential for confusion all went smoothly and Josh and Grace P, Neil & img_1860 img_1857Carla and Chris & Serena all made their ballroom finals finishing 1st, 4th and 5th respectively. In the Latin events Dennis & Sue came 2nd in their event as did Neil & Carla. Josh & Grace P came 4th and Peter & Carol finished 6th.

Another exhausting day finished just after 11pm and we all retired to the bar in the hotel for food and alcohol to reflect on the day’s highs and lows. The overall view was that it was another great weekend even if all the results didn’t always quite go our way. You all looked amazing, gave great performances and showed your commitment and dedication.img_1832

Thanks once again to our loyal supporters and our fantastic team of partners: Luke, Ruth, Alex, Liam, Karen and Josh, we couldn’t manage all that we do without you and your generosity in giving up your time both during the weekend and for practising.



Boris doesn’t have much time to recover as some of you will be in action again this weekend but he did have a great time meeting up with his chums and watching you all perform.

Next we have the NATD exam session and the much anticipated 4th series of Strictly George Spencer. Make sure you get your ticket as they will sell out quickly.

Blackpool – News Flash

The team has just returned from the annual trip to ISTD Grand Finals in Blackpool and what a weekend it proved to be. As always there was a mix of jubilation and disappointment but thankfully more of the former. The numbers and standard increase each year so just getting a recall is an immense task but everyone involved did just that. In total our dancers reached 35 finals and included some winners, a tremendous achievement not just from the competitors themselves but all the many supporters, partners and mascots of course.

Well done to everyone, a full report will follow.