Never Give up Dancing
I’m as high as a kite after my first dance ‘weekender’. My dance weekend at Ceroc Scorch Southport exceeded my expectations and I’m not sure what they even were. Having heard about these for years, I’d always wanted to try one but living abroad and busy being a mum to little ones, it just wasn’t possible.
So here I am back in the UK and after pulling out of one in November. I was determined not to give up on attending a weekender again… Even though I had a horrendous eye infection the week I was going, nothing was stopping me. I even bought an eye patch just in case it hadn’t cleared up on time!
I’d initially bought my train ticket but last week decided to drive half way to my friend Andy in Rugby. He drove us the rest of the way. When asking what the main tips were to make a successful weekend, I was told to make sure to bring my own bedding, take food and be prepared for the basics in the chalet!
Pace yourself, do two workshops in a day, have a dinner, take some sleep and don’t go out before 10pm. (Dancing was until 6am in some dance areas, actually it could have gone on longer!)
On arrival I walked straight to the front of the queue as key and wristband issue were by surname. Obviously S wasn’t a very popular letter! Our apartment was surprisingly spacey and there was electricity in the metre. I walked out of the chalet and randomly called across to a lady on the other side of the balcony, her name was Stacy. I told her how excited I was and it was my first weekend and that I was pleased with my spacious chalet. She came across to see it and it turned out she knew my roommate Andy. Actually, as the weekend progressed lots of people knew him.
Once unpacked we headed for the main venue, the sun was shining and we began dancing outside which was sublime! No dance shoes were needed on the plastic laminate floor – everyone was arriving and the positive dancing vibes were building the atmosphere so beautifully…
I loved dancing with a variety of dancers and striking up random conversations with people about where they had travelled from, how long they’d been dancing. Everyone was so friendly and happy to be there. I felt we were all joined in our love of dance; I attended a few workshops, they were running most of the day, but there’s only so much information you can process.
We saw people having chalet parties, barbecues, even a Karaoke – groups of friends were dressing up in themed outfits such as brownies, police, scouts and having such fun. The age range was 20-75 and there was something for everyone…
There were four different dance areas. The big ballroom with modern jive. The Queen Vic with smooth/silk jive and swing hour. There was the Lunar which had Tango early evening. Then Blues later and the Cube which has West Coast Swing. During the day three of the areas had lessons going on each hour but there was freestyle dancing in the Queen Vic, which also had the outside area to dance.
Saturday evening, there was a dance competition and a cabaret with a variety of dancers both professionals and non-professional.
What makes a fabulous weekend for one person is different for another! I observed some people happy to chat to the people they came with and not socialize with others. Others like myself were happy meet new people and share stories and talk about their dance journeys.
For instance Dan from Manchester was eating chips on the pin ball machine as I was walking from one room to another. I commented that sometimes chips were the only answer. He offered me one and we went on to have a lovely chat about the dance world. I talked to Colin from Liverpool who had been dancing only 10 weeks and had decided to attend the weekend, which I thought was incredibly brave.
Fay was from Leicester who said dancing was life changing and how her social life had never been better. I chatted with Jonathan from Dublin who had flown out with his mum and friends, it was their fourth time. Tom from Waterford goes on lots of weekenders because their isn’t much modern jive dancing in Ireland. From competitive dancers to social dancers, there were people from all walks of life.
Dancing in Wellies
Rain on the Sunday did not deter me and I walked around the complex with my wellies which definitely made a few people chuckle and even had a go dancing in them which wasn’t so easy!
Swing Hour was wonderful, and I was invited down to the pier at Southport to dance to a live band. This was one of the absolute highlights. Many of the men were dressed in military uniform and the girls in flamboyant swing dresses. We danced and got the public involved, passers by on the bridge stopped to watch and the warmth and the delight of the people shone. It was heartwarming to see a couple of male dancers dressed in their military take the hands of some very elderly ladies to dance, and watch the sheer joy in their faces – apparently they go every Sunday to hear the band.
When talking to my lovely neighbour Stacy, I asked her if she’d had a good weekend and met anyone special. She replied, “Yes you!” I was completely taken aback, she said, “I think you’re crazy and brilliant and I’m glad I met you.”
So all I can say is that it was sheer Dance Utopia, a truly wonderful experience. I feel like the whole weekend gave me a master class of personal dance development. Suddenly I feel enriched as a dancer. I’m incredibly grateful to have met so many lovely people who share my passion for dance. I am so looking forward to the next one.