Ceroc, Dancing

Summer Freestyle – Ceroc Thetford

After a slightly tumultuous day which we won’t waste time and energy focusing on, we decided we would go to the Summer Freestyle which was being held at Carnegie Room, Thetford. We had already danced a few times during the week at venues in  North Walsham, Thetford and Great Yarmouth,  so what harm could one more night do to us when we love dancing so much?

We were so glad we went as it was a truly fabulous freestyle with so many wonderful dancers from near and far. The far included dancers from Gloucester and Brighton and some from just over the border in Ely. Nearer ‘locals’ visited from Attleborough, Bury and Norwich to name only a few.  It was lovely to see many new faces along with the regulars from the area. As I have mentioned in previous posts, we don’t attend freestyles to meet with only one group of friends, instead we go to the freestyles which are convenient to us, to meet up with any number of a huge number of Ceroc friends and have a great time with whoever is there, as is the norm with Ceroc venues across the country.

Anna was putting on the tunes and Kayleigh greeting the dancers on the door. At this stage I have to mention that I really didn’t eat ALL of the sweets on offer on the greeting table. I may have plunged the scoop in a few times as I passed and for this I hold my hand up, guilty as charged. Baiba was extremely busy as always,  behind the bar but, as ever, served everyone with her infectious smile.  Matty kept tabs on the tables of fresh fruit platters which Anna had painstakingly (quite literally) chopped up earlier in the day.  The fruit was a very welcome treat, along with the air conditioned hall, as the temperatures outside had started to climb once more.

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I lost count of the number of people who were complimentary of the music and can only agree, wholeheartedly. When dancers travel from far and wide to be with fellow dancers and friends, the music is always a possible game-changer with the DJ facing the difficult task of keeping everybody happy. With the diverse range of dancers by both age, taste and style, it certainly takes more than a passing thought to get it just right! The mix was  a blend of modern and funky with some old favourites and a cleverly choreographed combination of tempos to suit all styles and energy levels. With approximately a hundred dancers turning out this evening, it was refreshing to see the dance floor full at all times with only just enough space to avoid collision.

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The Carnegie Room is one of my personal favourite venues with its air conditioned hall,  high ceilings and a fresh, new beech wood dance floor but without the friendly staff and dancers, these events would be nothing at all.

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Ceroc, Dancing, Places to write, Writer's Blog

Reading, writing and rhythm – all in one weekend!

As the blog title suggests, these are my three great loves – aside from my husband and children which goes without saying. I was lucky enough to have last Friday afternoon off and a whole day yesterday, which constitutes a long weekend.

Suffice to say, when I have booked a long weekend off, the heatwave has long-since disappeared and we are left with drizzle, thunderstorms and heavy rain, the sun having long since chosen to grace us with pleasantly warm rather than heatwave hot rays. I am sure I would be complaining if it had continued to be too hot but a little less of the damp stuff would have been gratefully received.

I was lucky enough, however, to enjoy all of my favourite pastimes during my days off this weekend, beginning with an evening of dancing at Great Yarmouth on Friday night. Quite a few dancers turned out, a bonus of the weather cooling down, for a lesson with Steve, music from DJ Robert and a greeting from Anna on the door. I love our nights at Great Yarmouth because everyone is friendly and welcoming, always asking when Steve and I will be back again. Well, they are in for a treat, if that’s what you would chose to call it, as Steve is covering holidays and will be teaching next week and two weeks after that, with a Beach Party freestyle on the Friday in between. I think they should be sick of us by then!

Dancing, as always on a Friday night, ended at eleven and, with a cheeky stop off for a McDonald’s on the way home, we were home just in time to avoid the car turning into a pumpkin.

Saturday morning was spent visiting my very sick mother who has decided the most important thing in her life right now is to change her lounge curtains. We have ordered various styles from online sources and had to send them back and this week was no different. These ones were chosen by her, were excellent quality – I wouldn’t have even had to get the iron out – and went really well with her room. She didn’t like them. Oh joy! And so begins the process again! She can’t leave the house apart from each time she is admitted to hospital, and we are tied to online viewings and, as such, I think this saga may drag on a while yet…

Saturday afternoon was far better. We had dancing friends over who, for one reason and another, we had not entertained for some time. It was so good to see them and we enjoyed a hearty barbecue, the only appearance of the warm sunshine this weekend, and spent six or seven hours chatting as if there had not been an interlude. One of the best afternoons we have had for some time and we plan to do it again, soon.

Sunday was a day of reading and coursework. I am way ahead in my Creative Writing course as I am loving it so much, but I really wanted to get the TV Drama out of the way as I have never written anything in this format before. I was excited to get an ‘A’ for a radio drama which I sent in for my last assignment. I genuinely did not expect that! Maybe that’s my calling? I say that with every good mark I have had from my tutor so I have lots of ‘callings’ to chose from! Before I settled down to write, we did go out for breakfast with my daughter and her husband at the local garden centre. The rest of the day was dull and damp so I holed up in my writing room and motored through my work.

Monday was quiet. My husband was working in the morning so I wrote some more, submitted a story, or was it two, for publication and signed up to an agency who want writers – they contacted me so I had to read the small print carefully! They had seen examples of my work online and have asked me to submit a couple of specific pieces before making a definite decision but I could have a little freelance number if I play my cards right.

Not sure how writing can make a person feel so tired, but we couldn’t be bothered with dancing last night. I am demoing on Wednesday and Friday nights this week and we have a freestyle on Saturday night which is more than enough for my tired head right now.

 

 

Ceroc, Dancing

Ceroc at The Carnegie Room, Thetford

It’s not often I feel the need to write about a standard Ceroc class – I covered the format  of classes in general in earlier posts on my pages dedicated to Ceroc, which you can find here Rhythm – Ceroc

However, while the country has been experiencing a heatwave over the past six to eight weeks, Ceroc in general has been suffering a bit of a drought of its own. Dancing uses up plenty of energy, causes plenty of sweat and increases your overall body temperature – plenty! So, faced with the choice of whether to dance or whether to sit on the patio soaking up the last of the evening’s sun with that second glass of Prosecco, some dancers have naturally opted for the latter. You really can’t blame them for wanting to enjoy the sun. After all, we see so little of it in Great Britain that its a craving we need to satisfy whenever we have the chance.

But fellow Ceroc dancers, and prospective new beginners, I think we have seen enough of those harmful rays now and the excitement of getting an actual suntan without leaving the country has dwindled into normality and it is time for normal service to resume. That is not to say that normal service has not continued. Ceroc Fusion have continued to offer classes to those die-hard dancers who want to sweat it out on the dance floor whatever the weather – yes, they make it to classes through rain, hail, snow, ice and (more recently) heatwaves. Its just that numbers may have been a little lower than usual, combined with the standard holiday season of course.

Many of the Ceroc Fusion venues offer air conditioning, some are only able to offer fans but copious numbers of them are drafted (see what I did there?) in for the warmer evenings, and what better way to actually cool down than to dance in the chill of a welcome air-conditioned venue? Either way, the staff do their utmost to help the dancers to remain cool. Recently, the franchise owner of Ceroc Fusion, Anna, has been offering iced lollies and slices of cooling watermelon after the intermediate class, to refresh the dancers who are heading into the remainder of the evening’s freestyle. Needless to say, there are very few leftovers at the end of the evening.

I digress. I wanted to talk about a particular evening, yesterday evening in fact, at the Carnegie Room in Thetford which is in the county of Norfolk but its expanse of forest straddles the border and into Suffolk. The air conditioning had been switched on early. On entry to the hall we were greeted with a refreshingly cool, albeit gentle, blast of air. Per the above, and the return of the heat after a short thunderous break, nobody knew whether to expect thirty or sixty dancers but all were prepared to enjoy, whatever the turnout.

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Following a recent discussion about the introduction of new members, last night at Thetford introduced the trial of member-led introductory leaflets. Ceroc information and event leaflets are, without fail, on display on the front desks of Ceroc venues but this time, a small white sticker was added to the corner, upon which members were asked to write their membership number before handing a leaflet, or ten, to prospective  new members. Dancers were encouraged to do this because if a new member came along and handed the leaflet to the staff on the door, the dancer who had passed on the leaflet would be entitled to a free night of dancing. This would be added to the system whether or not that dancer was present when the new person joined. This would not impact on new member joining offers either, such as the ever-popular six lessons for the price of three if you sign up on your first night. Plenty of dancers took leaflets and it remains to be seen whether it is successful.

The dancers piled in last night. Tables soon filled and the lesson began as usual. Steve, the dancer teacher, noticed that everyone was bubbly and chatty in the lesson (which is always encouraged as dancers are getting to know other dancers) and there was a general good vibe around the hall. The intermediate lesson was fun, with one slightly challenging move in the middle, but the dancers embraced the challenge and lots of laughter could be heard around the hall as they were determined to master it. There was such a feel-good vibe around the room, it was infectious. The dance floor was kept full throughout the classes and freestyle and Steve played a selection of newer and older tracks to suit all tastes – which is never an easy task. With almost eighty dancers at the venue, it couldn’t have been easy to cater for all but, with dancers in all age ranges in attendance, he pulled it off seamlessly.

As always, he offered to allow intermediates to record us dancing the intermediate lesson moves when the lesson was finished, for their own learning and not to be shared publicly.

With such a happy, enjoyable evening, you just don’t want it to end but its great to know that when it does, there are classes all over our area on various nights of the week so the next night of dancing fun is never far away.