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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Ceroc, Dancing

Back to School

There’s something about a fancy dress ‘Back to School’ party which brings out the inner rebel in a person.

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My own day was a school-governed one with my school holding their Open Day during the morning, my step count way over its target before 11:00am.

The rebellion, n my case, is lost years of being the Miss Goody Two Shoes who wouldn’t say boo to a goose,who now wants the chance to roll back and become the cool kid. My teenaged disaster being the application of sneaky eyeliner, much of which was also handy  when I inadvertently shaved off my eyebrows, a tale for another time. I can, however, report that black kohl pencil, that being all I possessed in the eighties, does not make for the natural eyebrow look.

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The evening, as most do, began with distribution of signs. The event calls for Little Boys Room and Bike Shed (no kissing being the order of the day), not to mention the Detention corner.

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Freestylers poured through the door, beginning with a trickle but closely followed by a cascade. An impressive number of dancers considering some them, a hardcore bunch, attended a Wild West themed class only the previous night.

Scoops rattled as bags of tuck shop sweets were shared between paper bags in readiness for handing out after the fun class. Memories of years spent choosing from sherbet filled space ships, foam teeth and refresher chews flooded back. As a child, I recall pointing out to the patient shop assistant behind the glass sweetie counter, as I opted for the confectionery which gave the most for my ten pence treat. I hasten to add our dancers were given more than ten pence worth.

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The music, a diverse range of tunes spanning all eras, and including some much yearned for Ceroc Nu Line dances, beat out its rhythm throughout the night as schoolboys and girls, headteachers and an Ofsted inspector ensured the only thing missing from this school disco was an array of wallflowers, reluctant to dance. Thankfully, those school discos ARE a distant memory and Cerocers never fear being the first to step out onto the dancefloor.

Gemma taught a great fun lesson with Ivan as her trusted (dressed like the naughty schoolboy that he was I am not sure I would trust him) demo, which kept the class moving and giggling.

Tables were full, non-dancers hot-chairing when they took a break for beverage and chatter. Many giggles could be heard as ‘children’ bickered and told tales to a headteachers inundated with requests for the cane to be used, mockingly of course!

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With no hint of chewing gum under tables, catapults shooting dampened paper bullets (although I did notice a catapult or two poking their heads from naughty boy’s shorts pockets), pulling of hair or bullying, the overridng theme was still that of a class of naughty children overseen by a small number of authority figures.

Costumes never fail to delight at Ceroc Fusion freestyles and, while the theme remains consistent, the costumes vary immensely and the thrill of watching the characters walk through the door never fails to delight.

Laughter dominated this fabulous freestyle, closely followed by aching feet and legs which some of us felt deserving of the fast food many of us were denied as children .

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The staff at McDonalds might have groaned inwardly when we piled in, freckles smudged and boaters askew but I can report that we were a very well-behaved bunch. We might have flossed, laughed a little loudly (considering some of the so-called jokes from the Headmaster and Ofsted inspector) and wolf whistled as one of the sexy schoolgirls (I hasten to add she was one of our group) walked back from the little girls room but we were far from rowdy – the food quietening even the noisiest of us to satisfied mumbling.

Having not crawled into bed until gone two, this blog is composed as I struggle to open my heavily-bagged eyes, while inhaling the welcoming aroma  of freshly brewed coffee.

Another fantastic evening. Thank you Ceroc Fusion!