First I would like to say a massive thank you to Jim and Nicky Key from Swingbytes, and Tony and Anna Stephenson of Dance Balboa for organising such a fabulous event.

I’d like to start by setting the scene

After a 6 day week, the last thing I wanted to do was travel for 3 and ½ hours after work and think about dancing all weekend! I wanted to go home, get the log burner on and have some pizza with my husband Ben, and Henry the dog.

However, the drive down wasn’t too bad and got to spend some quality time with Ben catching up about the last week and chatting. As we arrived the smiley Nicky was in reception and gave us the warmest welcome, along with the hotel staff/manager organising us some hot food despite us arriving after the kitchen had closed. The result = mood change!

Our warm welcome continued after we’d eaten and headed down to the social dance. We were greeted by a lot of familiar faces and some not so familiar) and despite the fact that my brain and legs weren’t exactly on form (I can only apologise to the leads I danced with). I had a lovely time, but I was definitely ready for bed as the clock struck midnight.


I’m not going to dwell on the technicalities of the weekend, but we did four, 2-hour workshops over the weekend with enough time at lunchtime to eat, chat and generally have fun. I’m also not going to talk about the content of the workshops – you will just have to attend some future workshops with Stephen Sayer and Fancy Doherty, and experience just how fabulous they are. What I will say that I learnt a lot and have several things to take away, and definitely some things to practice.

Saturday night

Saturday night saw a second social dance with a 3 piece swing band, Swingology; bass, guitar and a clarinet. In case anyone didn’t know, I do like to dance the clarinet! I managed to do some Collegiate Shag dances without going drastically wrong.

A restorative weekend

It was actually great to go to a dance weekend and not have to rush between venues or get food, in what seemed like a decent time gap between the end of workshops and the start of the social dance. That’s the benefit of a residential dance weekend.

It was lovely to spend time dancing, but also to spend time with some lovely people and get to know more about them rather than just saying, ‘Hi, how are you?’ in class. What a great bunch of people that were there.

All in all a restorative weekend in several aspects;

  • completing a whole weekend of workshops of a relatively new dance to me, having fun
  • getting to know some lovely people outside of class
  • dancing with my beautiful and fabulous husband again.



1 Comment

  1. I have to agree with Sam. A fantastic weekend from start to finish. The most relaxed and informative workshops/weekender I’ve been on in years.

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