A brilliant Ballroom experience in Blackpool!
Dancer Georgie Lazzari (pictured below) and tutor Carolyn Davies tell us more..
"Anyone who knows me will be fully aware that I absolutely adore Strictly and this inspired me to join the Ballroom and Latin classes at Déda two years ago. I have loved learning different styles of dance including the Rhumba, Quickstep, Cha Cha, Tango and Jive from our wonderful teachers and made some great friends with my classmates along the way.
But never did I think one day we would all be showcasing our steps at the incredible Blackpool Tower Ballroom – the most stunning and prestigious dance venue in the UK.
Ten couples from the Ballroom and Latin Improvers class (including our teachers Carolyn and Alan) went up to Blackpool on a coach late last month. It was a very early start and I definitely don’t do mornings but arriving at Blackpool and walking into such an incredible venue was enough to wake anyone up! I’d never been before and was speechless when I saw the organ, the ornate ceiling and furnishings and the lights illuminating the dance floor. It was like real life Strictly!
What followed was just magic...
We had six hours of non-stop music and dancing. Going from practicing steps and sequences in the studio at Déda to transferring them to the Tower Ballroom filled us full of pride and made us all aware of just how far we’d all come. Some of the other couples there that day had been dancing for up to 20 years and travelled the country competing – and we were sharing a floor with them. Just to sit and watch them would have been enough but to actually join them and dance alongside each other was something else. It was amazing!
What was also lovely was how it brought us all together as a group. The support from the other couples in our class and Carolyn and Alan was lovely as we cheered and applauded each other and had such a lot of fun at the same time. We all got to know one another much better and were genuinely proud of how far we’d all come since we started our classes.
As it swung round to five o’clock I couldn’t believe it was nearly over and time to get the coach back home. We had a group photo on the stage and took a few more pictures on the sea front before waving Blackpool goodbye. Luckily we had bingo and fun quizzes to keep us all occupied and merry on the journey back whilst we swapped stories about our exciting day. We’ve vowed to do it again in the near future and try to make it an annual trip open to everyone. I would certainly recommend it - we had a whale of a time!
It was an utterly fantastic day and a wonderful, special experience for us. The full range of photos are here for anyone interested."
"Nothing quite prepares you for your first glimpse of that huge floor, the glamour of the surroundings and all those people watching the dancers. You first notice the professional, competition and medal dancers whizzing around the floor to the famous organ music and think 'I'm not sure I'm good enough, I'll just sit here and watch for a while'!
Then you start to realise that most of these dancers leave the floor after a couple of minutes - either because their routines are only about 90 seconds long and they've run out of steps, or the floor is getting crowded and they no longer have the space they need for their moves.
The social dancing has taken over and now leading, following and floorcraft skills are what is needed. Knowing lots of fancy steps is great, but being able to steer your partner around a busy floor and make use of the spaces you find is what makes for successful social dancing. And that's what we focus on at Déda.
Once we'd all found our seats and changed into our dance shoes, the magic of the place started to pull everyone onto the dance floor. Our Déda dancers took the place by storm - they delivered fabulous Foxtrots, wonderful Waltzes, terrific Tangos and lots of others too. From our most experienced dancers to people who have only been coming to Déda for a few terms, everyone looked completely at home on that dance floor and, even better, looked like they were enjoying every moment. The crowd clapped and the professionals were impressed. On a few occasions we outnumbered the regulars.
Alan and I are extremely proud of our Déda dancers. We are so pleased that we have been able to pass on the skills we saw on Sunday and so happy that our love of dancing has proved to be so infectious."
Images by Chris Frosin.