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Llandudno Weekend



June saw our annual trip to Llandudno with a weekend of fun, games and dancing at the Kensington hotel, on the beach front.





The weekend got off to a great start on Friday night with a show dance being performed by some of our regular attendees at the school. The performance was a smash hit, with a perfect mixture of sequence dancing Viennese Waltz style and comedy timing where the ladies played lead and the men played follow. It was a show dance to be seen to be believed!





The Sun Gods shined upon us during the day-time, allowing time to get out and about after our technical lessons. This meant trips up the Great Orme, visits to nearby Conwy and even a bit of impromptu dancing on the pier. Saturday night was our dinner dance giving everyone a chance to get their best clothes on, enjoy a 3 course dinner and more dancing with great company.





We ended the weekend with our 1920’s themed party. Everyone looked stunning in their flapper dresses and gangster suits. We were able to practice the Charleston moves that we had been taught in our technical lesson earlier that day and with the fab games played throughout the night it was a great way to end a fantastic weekend. Everyone left for home on the Monday tired after a jam packed weekend but looking forward to going back next year for another brilliantly organised, entertaining weekend.







Pen Portraits



Lorraine





Lorraine has been learning to dance at Keeley’s for about 2.5 years. She started coming with a friend under protest, but has continued to come to classes and now regularly attends 3 classes a week, both ballroom and sequence. She is one of a number of volunteers, dancing with other learners that come to class without a partner and enjoys attending the regular social events and weekends away. She can usually be found at the events sitting with friends that she has met since starting to come to class including her new best friend, Cheryl. Her favourite dance is the Mambo Marina, a sequence dance. She likes this dance because it’s lively and she can remember it more than any other dance.



Cheryl





Cheryl has been coming to Keeley’s for about 18 months and was initially anxious coming by herself because she didn’t know what to expect or if she would have anyone to dance with. However, she found Keeley very welcoming and soon gained confidence and made good friends in Lorraine and their regular dance partners, Stan and Wayne, although she often dances lead or follow with anyone else who wants to dance. Cheryl now attends regular classes as a student and a helper and continues to love dancing as a way to socialise and to keep fit. Her favourite ballroom dance is foxtrot because of its elegance, her favourite sequence dance is either the Midnight Jive or Brazilian Samba because of the carefree feel about them.



Rob and Sue





Sue and Rob have been coming to Keeley’s for about 3 years. Their favourite dance is the Waltz and Rob has said he would love to learn the Rock and Roll as a blast from the past, whilst Sue would love to learn a ballroom foxtrot being a very beautiful and elegant dance. Rob also enjoys dancing some of the solo dances.



Chris and David





Chris and David are new to the school and, have completed a 12 week Confi-dance course and are taking the follow on Step up class. They came to a Saturday evening social event, watched the sequence dances and wanted to learn these so they could join in. They have now started attending the beginners Sequence dance having learned the Rumba 1, and Valentino Jive. They both like the faster dances such as the Valentino Jive and the Cha Cha Cha because they are fun to do and are looking forward to learn more.



Katrina





Katrina took dance lessons a few years ago and has been dancing at Keeley’s on and off for about 2 years. Katrina not only loves the dancing but also enjoys the social aspect and atmosphere at the school. She likes to learn both lead and follow so she is never short of a dance partner. She enjoys getting to know all the other people who come to the lessons and the socials and finds the way Keeley teaches very easy to follow. Her favourite dances are the Latin dances such as the Samba and Cha Cha Cha because of the music and that the dances are more upbeat. In sequence she loves the Brazilian Samba and the Caribbean Samba which she is currently learning in her Sequence 3 class on a Sunday.



Christine and Bernard



Christine has been coming to Keeley’s for about 18 months and Bernard for about 16 months. They met in class and soon partnered up on the dance floor, becoming friends. This blossomed into a romance that all their dance family have loved to watch, and in July Keeley’s dance school had its first engagement. Bernard said that they knew there was something special when they went on their first date, almost a year ago and feels like they owe it all to the dancing. They are both in agreement that their favourite dance is the waltz, its elegance and sophistication makes it a lovely dance. No dates for the wedding yet but we could be on a safe bet for a waltz as their wedding dance. We will have to wait and see. We hope to catch up with Bernard and Christine in our next news letter to see how their plans are shaping up. Congratulations on your engagement you two from all of your dance family!





Speciality Classes



We have had an amazing time learning a range of new dances in the speciality class this summer. Some have been challenging, but we've got there with great teaching and lots of laughter. Here is a look at some of the dances we have been learning:



The Hustle



Synonymous with the 1970’s film Saturday Night Fever, the Hustle is a disco-based dance which can be enjoyed with a partner or as a solo. The partner version consists of a basic step, side breaks, turns and the characteristic ‘Wheel’, danced to the Bee Gees song More than a Woman. The solo dance was made famous by John Travolta with its ‘disco points’, danced to the theme tune. Both versions are danced to a fairly quick tempo and are popular social dances, recreating the feel of discos and disco-dancing experienced at the height of the 1970s.


Energy Level = Medium



Lindy Hop



A member of the swing dance family, Lindy Hop was developed in Harlem, New York City in 1928. Popular during the swing era of the 1930s and 1940s, it is based largely on jazz and Charleston; a high energy, circular, rotating and fun social dance. Characteristic steps include the ‘Swing Out’ from both open and closed positions and the flexibility of figures such as ‘Heels’ or the 'Kick Away’ danced either simultaneously or individually.


Energy Level = High



Bachata



A social dance created for Bachata music originating in the Domincan Republic in the 1960s, the Bachata is a fusion of various Latin dances. Danced in a square pattern in a close embrace, with soft hip movements and a signature exaggerated ‘hitch’ or ‘pop’ of the hip after the basic side close side step, the Bachata has evolved to be danced to increasingly faster music. Turn patterns and dips from Salsa have been incorporated to into the modern version of this Caribbean dance.


Energy Level = Low/Medium



Mambo



Born in Cuba in the 1940s the Mambo is another discipline within the Latin partner dance genre which was further developed in Mexico. Consisting of 'Swivels’ and ‘Twists and Pop’, the Mambo is now a structured dance which was adapted by dance teachers to make the original ‘freely expressive’ version danced in Cuba and Mexico more accessible to ballroom dancers.


Energy Level = Medium



Pasadoble



Initially developed as a fast-paced march for the Spanish military, this dance has evolved and is now synonymous with the Spanish bullfight; the dancer being the Matador using his cape to intimidate and anger the bull. Usually danced competitively, this dance requires a lot of space, is heavily choreographed and requires sharp, quick movements. Characterised by strong, very specific lines, figures are danced to ‘highlights’ in the Pasodoble music and are held and exaggerated for the duration of the highlight.


Energy Level = High