Some may have heard of Janis Budgen... some not.
Janis has a unique way of giving you a review... she tells it as she experiences it. The humour is solid and wickedly serious. you cant but help like the girl..... read on... and get a flavour
Stagecoach Promotions Review - Woolacombe Bay July 2008
On a beautiful summer's day (OK I lie, I can wish). On a wet and windy day in southern England the four danceketeers set off for a Stagecoach Promotions event in the depths of the tip of North Devon to what we thought of as a wonderful place to hold an event. Woolacombe Bay, 4 miles of beach in a hotel with sea views.
The place is lovely, the hotel was OK although a bit Fawlty Towers and it was on a steep hill. After a six hour drive through the traffic jams of what we call our superb road network, we arrived. We did stop a few times for the necessary wee breaks, fag breaks and cream breaks (guess which one was my break!).
We took the car up the back of the hotel where a four wheel drive would have been handy, then decided to come back to the front and nipped in a space just outside the front door which was reached by a mountain of steps. That space was mine for the rest of the weekend as the hotel had handily left a couple of cones on the pavement so when I went out we put the cones in the car park space and removed them when we returned. OK, I'm bad but it was too tempting!
The weather was appalling for the majority of the weekend and we had to resort to cardigans, the heating in the hotel was switched on and the palm trees outside the hotel were bent over in the gale force wind so our idea of a nice walk and a paddle on the beach went to pot. AND ugh the jellyfish had followed me to this part of the world!
After lugging our cases up the steps to Reception, we were told by the receptionists that we had to go to the ballroom (more steps) to register and then come back to get our key. We were not amused as we were tired, wet and windswept but off we trotted (after throwing my laptop at the receptionist saying I was not going to leave that in the foyer) to register which involved name, given room number and back we went to get our key - they are trying to kill us off!
It would be much easier and less wearing to just get our room on arrival and then go register to say we were here! We were on the first floor, so lift with cases (of course) then more steps and there was our room. It was OK, a tad shabby but the hotel is in the midst of renovation so when its done it will be a lovely place to stay.
One of our party entered her room to find a man in there!! Oh dear, where's the smelling salts, so after apologies from Reception at the mix-up, lucky thing got given what looked to be the bridal suite with corner bath, balcony overlooking the sea etc etc. Suppose there has to be one benefit to having a man in your room LOL.
Instructors for the weekend were Tina Argyle and Brian & Linda Fairbrass for the beginner workshops, although anyone could join in. Would recommend these weekends for anyone wanting an beginner/improver workshop. Honky Tonk Cliff was the DJ, a man of many faces..... playing everyone's requests except mine. I only asked for one so pooh to that! Not going to ask again, I will just take what comes, best way then you are not disappointed. Many people give in requests with a PTO at the bottom of a 3 dance request list and get them played but I suppose its what you ask for! Think I will ask for RIDE THE RIVER.
Bands were BRUSHWOOD, BROADCASTER and supposedly DIAMOND CACK but they didnt turn up as they broke down (sense of deja vu here, was that the 3rd time or the 4th) but I am sooooooo glad they managed the Viking the following week and such a shame that I could not attend - what a surprise LOL so we had a disco on the last night and apart from requests not being played as per usual, it was a good night.
The DJ went on the premise that if less than 6 were on the floor then it would not be played, although it was selective as there were only four on the floor for one dance and it continued to the end so pooh to that. I only wanted FEED THE FETISH and that was because someone had asked me to go through it at the back and I did and we wanted to dance it. BTW I laughed when Julie "keep it country" Cole asked me what I was walking through and when I told her, oh no she says, I thought you were teaching HAVE FUN GO MAD. Hmmmmmm. Way to go Julie. Keep it Country apart from the ones you want to do LOL. Never mind. I understand that the DJ has to keep the floor full but we all pay our money and once would have been enough! Not a few bars and then cut!
Who said - "I have started, so I will finish"? Well, the same should be applied to a dance.
The most popular dance of the weekend was RIDE THE RIVER, the bands sang it, the DJ played it every session so we are sick of it now and then I had to do a quick walk through back in class for someone! Of course I will! BRUSHWOOD had the same effect on me as usual - I am sure they would be great at hynotherapy with the metronome effect but very enjoyable to dance to and kept the floor busy all night with the likes of the usual floor filling dances such as RIDE THE RIVER.
Really enjoyed BROADCASTER at the moment as they have such a nice sound and are playing some original material and RIDE THE RIVER. Actually anyone wanting to ride the river, get some chairs, put them in a row (as in a boat) and do the dance that Dance Ranch from Exeter were doing - looked fun and a probably a great one to do at an event. Can imagine Charlotte doing this one as they have some thrusts at the end LOL. Shades of THE RIVER huh! What is it about water that has this effect on people? Most popular dances of the weekend seemed to be RIDE THE RIVER (yawn...........),
MY VERUKA - this dance now reminds me of the Wooden Tops with Spotty Dog making an appearance he he. Another one popular with the bands, the DJ and the dog is BEFORE THE DEVIL - errrr we know it now thank you! Blimey, there is a different track to dance TEMPTED too - Ride a Horse by Dave Sheriff. Quite liked this one but they could have varied the lyrics, now what was it called again..... WESTERN BARN DANCE was taught one evening - nice get to know people dance but I didnt have a partner boo hoo! The food at the hotel was served buffet style and it was OK although several of us did have the curry on the Saturday night and were all ill through the night although others had it and were fine so who knows. Maybe something to do with your constitution - mine was iffy! The salads were fine though and the desserts looked good although everyone seems to go for the jelly and ice cream or the hot pud! Must be a childhood comfort thing.
The ballroom was great although there is always a downside and the floor was slippy but rectified by some with different shoes and duck tape.
Dances taught throughout the weekend were:-
HAPPY Ė Tina Argyle Tina's new dance to a track by Celine Dion - 48 count 4 wall intermediate dance to a lovely track by Celine Dion Ė Make You Happy By Falling Into You (funny name for a track!). Two restarts, both on the back wall Ė I am sure Tina called it this just so she could start singing If You Happy and You Know It, clap your hands. Repetition is the name of the game to get those steps in your head but now we have to sing the steps as well. Oh dear! Nice little dance and I do love Celine Dion. Two bounces over a half turn finishes the dance but I found myself wanting to do just one bounce!
IíLL BE Ė Tina Argyle Lovely waltz to a track from Glenn Rogersí 3rd in Line Album which many of you may already have so a bonus! Love waltzes so was happy to dance away to this one, especially as Glenn was singing it. Canít remember how many steps and Iím not even sure if I have the name right as I canít find it on the website so apols if I have it wrong.
HILLBILLY BILLY Ė Tina & Hayley Argyle Co-choreographed by Tina's daughter Hayley who is only 9 with a little bit of help from her Mum! Loved the track by Billy Currington and enjoyed dancing this one. I wasnít sure the first time I danced it but by the end of the day it had grown on me and I loved it. Only 32 counts.
DEEPLY COMPLETELY Ė Rob Fowler (taught by Tina) One of the great dances that seems to have made a comeback. I didnít do this one first time around so was happy to learn it now. A waltz with a flipping pivot full turn in it, 1 & ľ turns at the beginning and end, a full Monterey turn and a lunge (not your normal average waltz steps!) so not for those who do not like turning. The first pattern makes a diamond shape so is difficult to pick up but soon slots in to place. Love this one, want to dance it all the time now so Iíve taught it in my class so we can enjoy it again. Although the Mr Grimsdale turn after the diamond pattern is quite funny, this is a serious dance and I must not laugh! Music is by the fabulous Collin Raye, one of my favourite country singers.
THE POWER OF LOVE Ė Tina Argyle 32 count intermediate dance to the dulcet tones of Alvin and the Chipmunk!. Fab NC2 from Tina. Love the dance and the music from Jennifer Rushl Everyone can sing along to this one. Think this was one of the most popular of the weekend, certainly my lot want to carry this one on, together with DC and the waltz so busy bee now. Beginner dances taught by Brian and Linda Fairbrass:
TEXAS STOMP to GI Blues - not done this one before and liked the look of it and easy for anyone to do. Have now been teaching it and its good. I LOVE YOU BECAUSE - nice little improver dance by Wil Bos and Roy Verplonk to a lovely country track by Ann Tayler. Singalonga and enjoy.
CHA CHA 4 C - Rep Ghazil's dance to the lovely track by Barbados, Oh Carol. Have done this dance already and also the one by Peter and Alison, LOOKING FOR LOVE, so when in Rome.....
COWBOY CHARLESTON - that great old class done to Guitars & Cadillacs so they got to dance it again and again when the bands played it!
BACK IN LINE - nice to revise this one as it was one of my favourites.
Think there were some more but I missed some of the earlier ones as I had a date with a cream tea whilst my friends were building sandcastles. Lovely weekend, apart from the weather and we are going there again in December when the bands are LIVEWIRE, CALICO and NATALIE along with the lovely Michelle Risley instructing so looking forward to that. Details from Lesley at Stagecoach Promotions. Its winter but we may have some sunshine as the seasons are all turned around. Also came back with a tray of eggs from a real chicken, none of your supermarket jobbys!
Stay bright - Stay happy, Hold on to your dreams