Medal Presentation and Social Afternoon

Yesterday was our medal presentation dance for the NATD (National Association of Teacher’s of Dancing) examinations which were taken in December last year. There were over 150 examinations taken in Ballroom, Latin American, Sequence and Line Dancing. All dancers achieved more than the basic pass, with a few commended and the majority achieving highly commended.

It is so pleasing when the majority of these dancers along with supporting parents, grandparents, friends and wider family come along and join together in our social dance and awards presentation ceremony.

All too often we are busy at events and competitions, whereas yesterday allowed time to have a chat and catch up with fellow dancers in a relaxed environment.

Although, there was plenty to occupy everyone, with lots of general dancing, dance displays, a charity raffle and of course the awards ceremony. Not forgetting or course time for tea and homemade cakes.

All the medallists took part in a display. They showcased their current work in waltz, quickstep, tango, cha cha cha, jive and rumba. With the more experienced dancers partnering those less experienced. It was then the turn of these more experienced dancers to provide their own cabaret. This year the theme was Mary Poppins and they danced a fusion of waltz, foxtrot, tango, quickstep and viennese waltz. It was a very tricky routine which they all pulled off brilliantly.

This year the raffle was in aid of Cancer Research. Thank you to those who bought tickets and donated prizes. In total you raised £105 – thank you very much.

The school award, this year, was awarded to someone who has been with us for about five years. They take all NATD and ISTD examinations and compete both at the medallist competitions and on the open sequence circuit. Aside from being a keen, enthusiastic and helpful member of the school she achieved success in all her exams and competitions over the last year. Therefore the school award for 2017 was awarded to Grace Phipps – many congratulations.

Thanks must go to the FRoGS (Friends of George Spencer) for providing lovely homemade cakes and refreshments, to Chris for enabling us to use George Spencer and to everyone who attended for making the afternoon a most enjoyable success.

Next for the medallist competitors, we have the second qualifying competition of the year at Castleford. For the sequence competitors, they have a very busy few weeks with competitions at Walsall Town Hall, The Tower Ballroom Blackpool and Dudley College. Then before we know it, it will be our own competition at Long Eaton in March. We hope to see you at one (or all) of these events.


ISTD Kettering

For once the weather was kind to to us as we made our way to the first ISTD qualifier of the year at Kettering. This is always a busy event being the first of the year and being fairly central it attracts some of the southern schools who we don’t normally meet other than at Blackpool. Final places are therefore tough to come by, often a number of rounds have to be fought through to get to a final, particularly in the Juvenile and Junior events.

Our under 16 years contingent was smaller this year as both Molly and Olivia have turned 16 and so now join the adult ranks. Nevertheless our younger team members put in some sterling performances with Kaitlyn qualifying in both her ballroom and Latin events, Jack qualifying in both ballroom and Latin (having moved up a grade this year) and also in sequence, Grace making the final of both her ballroom and sequence (having to dance through three rounds of both) and finishing 2nd in the latter event. Chloe and Isobel also made the sequence final so we had all three of our dancers in that final. Paige (also moving up a grade) came 3rd in her ballroom event which was an excellent achievement. So all in all the day got off to a very good start with everyone making at least one final.

The adult events followed and whilst there wasn’t quite the same volume as with the children’s events there were still many quality dancers. In the sequence events: Josh, Grace, Molly and Olivia all made the final from one of the largest entries in the adult field, Chris and Serena came 3rd and 1st respectively in their event and Andy, Allison, Dennis, Dawn and Sue all made the final of their event.

In the ballroom events there were final places for Charlotte Brightwell, Olivia, Craig, Grace, Molly, Chris, Libbie, Serena, Josh, Allison, Dawn, Andy and Geraldine together with wins for Charlotte Bennett, Hazel and Sue. Reaching the Latin finals were: Charlotte Bennett, Charlotte Brightwell, Craig, Grace, Chris, Hazel, Serena, Josh, Allison and Geraldine, with Sue treating everyone to a solo demonstration of her Cha Cha Cha to win that event!

Naturally there is much work still to be done and the next opportunity will soon be upon us at Castleford in February. Boris enjoyed meeting up with his chums once more and exchanging stories from the festive season and of course a huge thank you once again to our partners, Luke, Alex and Liam without whom it would be difficult to achieve as much as we do.

Next up is the NATD presentation dance in two weeks so make sure you have your tickets.

Champions of Tomorrow

The year has barely begun and we were once again off to Blackpool, this time for the Champions of Tomorrow Sequence events in the Empress Ballroom of the Winter Gardens. Sadly the scaffold is still a prominent feature but this did not diminish the event in any way. In action this time were Josh & Grace, Stuart & Andrea, Neil & Carla and Andy & Dawn. Dennis & Sue were also due to take part but sadly had to withdraw due to illness but still came along to give everyone else their support.

This was the first outing for most of the dancers so time to blow away the January blues and shake off the excesses of the festive season. Following even a short time away you can quickly get out of shape and loose that competitive edge without realising it. Nevertheless all of the couples gave an excellent account of themselves with all of them making all of their finals.

Josh & Grace consolidated their position in the Amateur field securing a 3rd and two 6th placings in their events, building on their success at the British Championships in October. Whilst Stuart and Andrea were runners up in both their events once again consolidating their position in this field.

Neil & Carla won the over 35 years event and Andy and Dawn were runners up in the same event. In the open events Neil & Carla also had a 2nd, two 3rds and one 4th place whilst Andy and Dawn won the open Latin event and finished 3rd, 4th and 6th in their other events.

Therefore, a good opening to the new term and it’s now full steam ahead to the next event, which will be the ISTD qualifier at Kettering on Sunday. This always proves to be a tough event with it being the first qualifier of the year and everyone keen to secure their place at Grand Finals. Watch out for the report soon.