The Old Time Dance Society Ball of the Year Event 23rd to 25th May 2015
The Ball of the Year for 2015 was held at The Marine Hall Fleetwood. The Park House
Hotel at Blackpool had been booked for accommodation because the Society had used
it three years ago and knew it was a comfortable hotel that suited our needs. Some
of the members arrived early on Thursday with the majority arriving on Friday and
the staff welcomed us back as old friends.
With Music by David Last the Leaders for Friday night, Christine and Robert Haywood,
got us off to a brilliant start and created a friendly happy atmosphere with their
beautiful dancing and sense of humour. They were cheered all the way for their excellent
leading and well balanced programme that had the floor full for all their dances
including the set dance, The Quadrilles called by Chairman Grahame.
On the Saturday members used the buses and trams to visit Fleetwood, Cleveley and
some brave members even went to the Pleasure Beach. There was a dancing competition
on at the Winter Gardens and members visited to admire the beautiful dresses and
dancewear on display, there were quite a lot of dance shoe retailers who had reductions
for the show that Society members were able to take advantage of.
Saturday the 31st Ball of the Year - Wow what a night, with Joyce Hutchins and Richard
Purcell leading and with the Music of David Last we knew we would be in for a good
night. They again had chosen a well-balanced programme that included traditional,
favourite and a few newer classical dances. Richard was on form right from the start
putting everyone at their ease and encouraging members to join them on the floor
for any dances they were not sure of. With their excellent leading skills and with
the programme they had chosen the floor was again full for every dance. Richard had
worked with David Last on the programme for the Ball and the Musical arrangements
David played were absolutely fabulous. Traditional tunes that fitted the more traditional
dances, Tangos that took your breath away and dancing the Alpine Stroll to “Its Burlesque”
was sensational. Joyce called the set dance and again the floor was full with seven
sets for The Caledonians. During the evening there was a special surprise for June
Urquhart who was presented with a bouquet of flowers on behalf of The Old Time Dance
Society for all the work she had done as Secretary, the presentation was made extra
special because all the Chairmen June had had supported, worked with and kept in
line were at the Ball. Although June has retired as Secretary she is still a Committee
member and was working hard along with the rest of the Committee and Area Reps, who
attended, to make the event another successful one. There were 5 new members of The
Old Time Dance Society, from the Blackpool area at the Ball, three generations of
one family the youngest member of the family, Beverley Hunt, is studying for her
Associate Classical Sequence exam we wish her well in her training.
As lovers of dancing a large group of us took the opportunity to dance in the Tower
Ballroom on Sunday morning. We joined the floor with the regular Sunday morning dancers
and a group of competitive dancers form the Winter Gardens. The two organists played
a mixture of Ballroom and Old Time / Popular Sequence. The Old Time Society members
joined in with the Ballroom dancing including Joy Lewis partnered by Janet Wilkes
who jived with the best of them. The competition dancers joined in with some of the
old time / sequence dancing and a Japanese competitive couple learnt the White City
Waltz following and being helped by Margaret and Clive Auty.
The Committee took it in turns to lead the Sunday night programme with the help of
Leaders and Area Reps for the Kaymar Sway and the Festival Glide (that had nearly
the whole room hopping). There was some fun and banter on this more relaxed evening
to finish the event.
A great weekend of Old Time dancing that included well-balanced programmes that suited
all the members who attended. We are lucky to have such wonderful leaders in the
Old Time Dance Society who lead and promote Old Time Dancing and provide enjoyment
and encouragement to the members. The feedback the Committee received as members
left was that it had been a fabulous well organised event with a great atmosphere.
Report by Hazel & Paul Harding, Edited by Press Officer Sue Hamm