Dancing, Writer's Blog

Lava – Ceroc Fusion’s hot new freestyle

It’s always a gamble to try something new, but unless something new is offered, nobody will ever know if taking a chance is going to pay off. Ceroc Fusion have been running themed freestyles for many years now, often focusing on older eras such as 60’s vs 70’s or 80’s vs 90’s and Motown and film-themed nights, but there has not yet been a freestyle catering for those who enjoy music from the most recent decade. That is, not until the idea of Lava was born.

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Making the most of the most recent, active, addition to Ceroc Fusion’s venue list, Acle Recreation Hall was booked and the planning of the newest freestyle theme began. Steve was the DJ for this event and his playlist combining a mix of funky and upbeat to smooth and flowing tunes of the most recent era was soon in full flow.

Anna made plans for a buffet table and, with the kitchen facilities perfect for such an event, also made provision for teas and coffees to be available. The event followed a closed staff workshop so there were plenty of Ceroc Fusion staff on hand to assist with the setting out of chairs and tables before the freestyle began.

Dancers started to arrive before the advertised start time of four o clock, eager to check out this new event, and seats were soon filling up, additional chairs squeezed in to allow dancers a resting spot when needed. The first hour soon passed and it was time to brew teas and coffees and prepare the buffet table, which became full to bursting with savoury treats including a variety of sandwiches, crisps, cheese straws and sausage rolls to name a few, with mini muffins and brownies, Victoria sponge cakes and chocolate fingers among the sweet treats at the other end of the generous table.

With so many buffet choices on offer, it was great to see so many people enjoying Steve’s top tunes, there certainly being an excess of calories to burn off after indulging in the gorgeous refreshments.

Despite the extensive buffet, the floor remained continuously full throughout the three hour event, the funky tunes were clearly a great success. I was pleased to have the opportunity to dance with some partners I have never had the pleasure of dancing with before, even though I was helping with the refreshments and buffet.

Steve’s on-point playlist consisted of possibly the most supreme mix of explosively funky and silky smooth tunes from recent years and dancers enjoyed the diversity and mixture of fast tempo flowing seamlessly into smoother, more soulful tunes.

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The event finished at seven, after three hours of solid dancing for many, with lots of dancers taking the time to compliment Steve for his awesome music and Anna for her well-received buffet and refreshments. This gamble most certainly paid off, with more than seventy dancers leaving the venue on a Sunday evening with smiles, many asking if Ceroc Fusion would be running a similar event in the future. I am confident they will take a chance on another later in the year!

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Credit to Dennis Briggs photography for the buffet pictures and the picture of me dancing with Clive at the end of the evening.

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Ceroc, Dancing, Writer's Blog

Ceroc Fusion’s newest venue in Acle

One thing you can never guarantee is the weather and last night was no exception. Cold, verging on, but not quite, freezing, misty at the start and, irrelevantly, dense fog by the end of the evening. But Ceroc Fusion’s keen dancers are a hardy bunch, not to be deterred by a drop in temperature or dampness in the air.

The evening commenced for us with the Sat Nav which we programmed on a ‘just in case’ basis, but it wasn’t needed. The new venue, Acle War Memorial Recreation Centre to give it its full name, was no effort to find with a spacious car park onsite.

We arrived early enough to help Anna, Robert and Carol set out chairs and lighting and were greeted with a slightly flustered, but smiling,  Anna who, naturally, wanted everything to be faultless. The hall itself is perfect for the purpose, spacious and with a good-sized stage for the teacher and DJ. The floor itself, a sports hall style with badminton court markings, was very comfortable to dance and spin on. While obviously not a sprung floor, there was no pressure on the knees and it can be compared to the floor at the John Innes Centre for those who have danced there on a Wednesday night.

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The hall at its most basic – before we added chairs and lighting, a DJ and a class.

As you arrive, the toilets are on the right and to the left is an indoor bowls green. Following the corridor around there is a members-only bar on the left hand side, where dancers are able to purchase drinks and snacks throughout the evening. Opposite to the bar door, on the right, is the door to the dance hall. The overall feel of the venue was amiable and welcoming.

By the time we arrived, the others had set a number of chairs and a few tables around the edges of the hall. We focused on lighting, flags and banners, while Robert set up the stage with his DJ equipment in readiness for the lesson.

With the weather being so cold, a huge turnout wasn’t expected but eager dancers started to filter through the doors at a little after seven, with the hall quickly filling up as the minutes ticked by. When the beginner lesson started, there were well over 60 dancers lined up on the floor, including a number of nervous beginners who had signed up for their first night.

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A selection of dancers practise a move during the beginner session.

The beginners lesson with Gemma ran as smoothly as ever with three packed rows and, by the time it was complete, the hall was filled with more than 90 keen dancers. The floor was busy and everyone seemed to be enjoying the variety of classic and new tunes offered by the DJ, Robert.

It was apparent that we had underestimated the number of dancers who would turn out, and we deposited a lot more chairs after the beginner lesson, simply to allow everyone a spot to rest their legs between dances.

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Dennis, Ceroc Fusion’s photographer, took lots of photos of the opening night, which will appear on the Ceroc Fusion Facebook page.

Despite the room being so full, the high ceiling kept it cool enough to enjoy dancing without the need for fans at this stage, although some are likely to be needed when the warmer weather returns – it WILL come back I am sure. With this venue, there is also the option of opening up the side door (hidden in the above picture by the curtain on the right hand side of the hall) which will provide some air flow when needed. Last night, with the frost and fog swirling outside, was definitely not the time to test it out.

Friends, old and new, joined the intermediate lesson while Julie and Carol took the beginners out to enhance their learning from the beginner lesson. Good feedback was received from the new dancers and, when their session ended, they joined the main hall and freestyle dancing continued until 10.30, when it was time to say goodbye to this, our first night at Acle WMRC.

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After each move is taught, dancers move along to learn with a new partner.

As I mentioned at the start, the weather is always as diverse as the dancers who attend a Ceroc night. Our journey home from this great evening was cloaked in thick, almost freezing, fog but it had no impact on our evening.

Feedback from fellow dancers was positive, the beginners all keen to return – signing up for the offer of six lessons for the price of three before leaving. Sad that it was to have lost the venue at Great Yarmouth on a Friday,  Anna has done well to secure such a lovely, accessible venue on a Thursday night. Most definitely a great new addition to Ceroc Fusion.

For further information about Ceroc Fusion, my personal blog about some of our local freestyles or Ceroc in general click on these links to find out more.

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