Founded 1984

2 Reports for the Ball of the Year 2012

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Report 1

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 never see.

Report 2

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

(Founded 1984).

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 dancing.

For me the Marine Hall has many nostalgic memories from that period of my career a demonstrator.

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 Orchestras.

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 standard.

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 sequence,

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 the Ball

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 “Hooked”.

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 dance floor.

None more so that the Strauss period. With their Waltzes (formerly known as Volta) and Marches.

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 is staggering.

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 was

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: oldtimedancerjune@btinternet.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).