2 Reports for the Ball of the Year 2012
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Old Time Society Report
Ball of the Year 2012 - Report
The 28th Annual Old Time Ball of the Year was held at Blackpool & Fleetwood from
the 25th – 27th May 2012.
Dancers started arriving early in the week from all parts of the UK for some pre-ball
relaxation and sightseeing including some very welcome members who had travelled
all the way from Canada and Spain to be with us. Our hotel was the well appointed
Park House Hotel, situated right on the illuminated sea front, overlooking the Blackpool
beaches, just a short stroll from the world famous Blackpool Tower with its magnificent
Ballroom, pleasure beaches, piers, unlimited amusements and even more shops selling
everything you could want (but not need).
Those who arrived early in the week were to experience the Blackpool & Fylde Coast
weather at its unforgiving worst! - driving
rain, gusting winds, temperatures at only the low 50’s, followed by a damp misty
fog, so dense that you couldn’t see the tops of the lamp posts & Blackpool Tower
disappeared completely. But yet again!! The very next day when people started arriving
en-masse, everything changed – the rain stopped, the wind dropped, the sky cleared
and we basked in a heat wave with temperatures soaring well into the 80’s for the
whole weekend which was to set the scene for a really great weekend.
After an excellent dinner on Friday evening coaches arrived to transport the very
elegant & well-dressed dancers just a short drive up the coast to our ballroom –
the magnificent Marine Hall at Fleetwood.
Friday Night - the pre-Ball Dance proved to be a superb start to the Weekend of Old
Time Dancing with almost 200 in attendance for the first night. Our Hosts & Leaders
for the evening were the excellent Ron & June Urquhart from Hull in East Yorkshire
with a great dance program designed to reflect that this year is Diamond Jubilee
Year, so, included in the program were dances such as the Crown & Coronet, Ascot
Gavotte, Empress Mazurka & Victorian Gavotte. The music for all three nights was
provided by a young man who has one of the finest repertoires of Old Time Music in
the business - Mr David Ingley – who excelled himself by playing inspirational music
all weekend. With a packed floor for every dance including 11 sets for the Quadrilles,
the evening ended far too soon, but set the standard for what many people said was
one of the best Weekends ever.
Saturday Night – the 28th Ball of the Year with well over 200 in attendance including
many visitors, friends & guests including our Guest of Honour Mr Derek Young – Fellow
& Examiner & Vice President of the UKA Dance Teaching Society.
Our Hosts & Leaders for the evening were 2 former Old Time Champions Mike & Pat Cooper
from Cannock, Staffs who presided over a glittering evening of Traditional Old Time
Dancing dedicated to the Diamond Jubilee of H.M. the Queen with the Marine Hall decked
out in Red, White & Blue, Union Flags & decorations everywhere and a dance programme
to reflect this with dances such as Royal Windsor Waltz, Diamond Jubilee Two Step,
Britannia Saunter, Regis Waltz & Anniversary Two Step to name but a few.
To start the evening Mike (our Press Officer) read out a letter he received from
Buckingham Palace from H.M. the Queens office thanking the Old Time Society for its
invitation to her Majesty to attend our Jubilee Ball, but with so many other commitments
it was not possible, but H.M. sent her best wishes and hoped that the members had
a very happy & joyous evening.
So the Jubilee Ball began well with a packed dance floor for every one of the 24
dances on the program, including a very impressive 13 sets up for the Lancers. It
proved to be a great evening, finishing with everybody joining in the Grand Finale
after the National Anthem with the Grand March with Union Flags Waving to the singing
of Land of Hope & Glory.
Sunday Morning - another glorious day with brilliant Sunshine & temperatures well
into the high 80’s again, a large group of over 100 Members had arranged to visit
the World Famous Blackpool Tower Ballroom for a specially laid on Cream Tea plus
an impromptu Tea Dance, with music provided by the famous Blackpool Organists rising
out of the stage floor to play a great mixture of Ballroom Dance Music including
a good mixture of Old Time & Popular Sequence music which tempted most of our group
to fill this wonderful dance floor.
Sunday Night - our post Ball dance and last evening was hosted & led by the Society
Chairman and his wife Grahame & Bernice Baldwin from Burnley in Lancashire. Again
with nearly 200 dancers in attendance we all had another great evening of Old Time
Dancing and as with all last nights, there was a party atmosphere to round off one
of the most enjoyable Ball of the Year Weekends.
So a very big thank you to everyone who attended and contributed in making this 28th
Ball of the Year such a success and in particular the events team and the rest of
the Committee for all their dedicated hard work behind the scene which most people
From Derek Young, (Fellow UKA/IDTA), Manchester.
“Dance Nostalgia the Future”
The Old Time Dance Society
Dedicated to the preservation and enjoyment of Old Time Music & Dance
Patron: Angela Ripon OBE. President: Fred Boast (Fellow UKA/IDTA).
28th Annual Ball and Jubilee Celebration.
I was delighted once again to be invited to represent the United Kingdom Alliance
as an honoured guest at this event. The annual ball formed part of a three day social
dance festival held at the elegant Marine Hall, Fleetwood. This well appointed ballroom
must be one of Lancashire’s best kept secrets. A perfect setting for this form of
social dance. In fact, ballrooms like this were purpose built for this genre of ballroom
For me the Marine Hall has many nostalgic memories from that period of my career
The evening opened with a welcome from the Chairman of the Old Time Society.
Grahame Baldwin (Fellow UKA)
The theme of the evening being dedicated to HM the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
The programme consisted of specially selected dances with a royal theme
Anniversary Two Step. 1951 Britannia Saunter. 1961 Royal Empress Tango 1922
Royal Windsor Waltz Princess Mazurka 1995 Balmoral Blues 1971
Diamond Jubilee Two Step 1996 Elizabeth Quickstep 1961 Royal Minuet 1947
An evening of social dancing, definitely not for the feint hearted.
A full programme of 24 sequences (13 of them over 40 bars per minute). Including
the Full five sets of the Lancers (circa 1700 Formalized by the then OB in 1950).
MC’s & Dance Leaders. Mike and Pat Cooper. (IDTA/ISTD).
Mike & Pat displayed that they were still fleet of foot retaining that Rolls Royce
action, gave excellent opening demonstrations of every dance.
Music by David Ingley. David’s feel for this type of music is addictive. The dancers
quickly filled the large floor they were hooked by his choice of music and intoxicated
by his skill as a musician.
Letter from Buckingham Palace.
Before the opening waltz Mike Cooper informed the assembled dancers that HM the Queen
had been informed of the intended Diamond Jubilee Celebration Ball.
Mike delighted the dancers by reading out a letter he had received from the Buckingham
Palace, written on behalf of the Queen. The letter thanked the Society for their
congratulations and extends best wishes for a very enjoyable Celebration Ball.
A commemoration CD has been commissioned entitled: “Old Time Dancing. Jubilee Celebration”.
Savoy Music SAV382CD Produced by David Griffiths of Savoy Music.
It includes a selection of 24 melodies in 5 rhythms including the Progressive Quadrilles.
Music of the renowned Harry Davidson; Sydney Bowman; Sydney Thompson and Dancetime
On the front cover is a charming photograph of a very youthful Mike and Pat Cooper
in their competition livery.
Organising an evening of this calibre does not just happen by chance. A lot of enthusiastic
input is required to bring it all together. Working In the background was the whole
committee of the Society.
Social Dance Nostalgia and History.
It is an established fact that if a person enjoys and responds to a certain type
of music, they are likely to be an exponent of the dance style that accompanies it.
Collecting antiques of all denominations from Furniture to Fine Art and Cars to Canal
Boats is a national phenomenon. However dance memorabilia is just as rewarding but
not so easy to find.
In the 18th and 19th Centuries Music notation very advanced and written to a high
However dance notation was not as well developed as it is today.
We can only go off brief notes. The “Ballo de Maestro” relied upon the “Watch Me”
method hence the need for the MCs and Floor Leaders.
Reading between the lines, The Viennese Waltz the Gallop and Polka were not in formal
They were freestyle and presented an opportunity for the youth of the day to vent
off their energy and exuberance. Played just before the interval or at the end of
Music and Social Dances of that period in history makes a fascinating study. The
basic rules applied then as they do today. The Music and Rhythm came first then a
Dance Style develops in its wake.
Social Dancing from this period is accepted as the original “Ballo Salon” (Ballroom
Dancing) the definitive article. It was to this excellent music and to grand orchestras
the masses danced all over the civilized world.
That classic confection of Good Music and Suitable Dance Steps and the public were
Spanning from Baroque to the Strauss period and into the 20th Century. The rhythms
are numerous and varied. They all have that easily identifiable rhythmical structure
that creates the necessary characteristic of all music and dance fashions. Tango.
Ragtime. Samba. Rock ‘n Roll. Each has that distinctive recognisable “Hook“ that
sets feet and fingers tapping, gets people off their seats and pulls them onto the
None more so that the Strauss period. With their Waltzes (formerly known as Volta)
We read about the composers of the present time, we admire and enjoy their work.
A study of the Strauss period is mind blowing. The statistics of the output of composition
Johann Strauss (Senior). 1804 -1849.
Said to have developed the Viennese Waltz out of a previous rhythm known as the Volta.
Composed 152 Waltzes, Gallops. Marches. Quadrilles. He composed Radetsky March and
Conductor for the Hapsburg Royal Court 1845.
Johann Strauss (Junior). 1825-1899. Had his own orchestra at 18 years of age.
Composed: Blue Danube. Vienna Blood. Tales from Vienna Woods. Polkas. Marches.
16 Operettas including De Fledermaus and Gypsy Baron.
Conductor to the Hapsburg Court 1836-1870.
It was Hungarian composer Franz Lehar 1870-1948 who slowed the waltz down in his
composition of the Merry Widow.
Delving further into the heritage of Social Dance through the centuries. Learning
to what extent music and social dance played in the lives of large swathes of the
population is a fascinating subject.
When considering the wider picture of social dance in history, the 30 plus official
old time championship dances of the British Dance Council are a mere snap shot.
Another fact I find fascinating. The time a dance craze occurs in relation to National
& World Events.
For example - Balls were held in Belgium before the Battle of Waterloo.
When the country prepared for the Normandy Invasion the Jitterbug was all the rage
When as a teenager in the 50s the cold war threatened nuclear attacks by the Russians.
Rock ‘n Roll came along.
To take part in the Old Time Ball Experience, to feel the ambiance and gain the immense
satisfaction of music and social dance of by gone times. Not forgetting the physical
fitness factor as a bonus.
Contact : Mrs June Urquhart (Secretary). The Old Time Dance Society
Tel: 01964 670033. Email: email@example.com Web: www.oldtimedance.co.uk
June will be happy to inform you of clubs in your area and overseas. Dates and venues
of Dance Holidays in various parts of the country and membership details should you
wish to join the Society.
Derek Young, (Fellow UKA/IDTA), Manchester. (30 May 2012).