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Scarborough Dance Festival 31st Oct - 5th Nov 2000

This dance festival, which was sponsored by DanceSport International, was held in the magnificent Spa complex on Scarborough's south bay sea front, mainly in the large Ocean ballroom, but also using the Grand Hall for some extra sessions. It started with a tea dance on Tuesday afternoon and ended with a gala dance to the Ross Mitchell band and singers on Saturday evening, followed by a competition day on Sunday.

Dancers of all abilities were kept busy with three dance sessions each day. Philip Wylie presented a modern workshop each morning, and guest dancers gave latin workshops in the afternoons with demonstration cabarets in the evening. Mark Lunn and Louise Lidbury taught a short Rumba sequence starting with a checked alemana turn while John Byrnes and Jane Littleton taught a Samba sequence including a plait, a body ripple and some quick spins, which was rather too ambitious for most of the 200-300 audience.

John and Jane also helped with a special youth squad workshop run by Martin Cutler in the Grand Hall. Advertising for this session must have gone astray, but the one young couple who did attend effectively had a 2 hour private session for just £2 each!

Good though the professional demonstrations were, the highlight for me was on Thursday when Keith Clifton gave a hilarious talk on how dancing should be fun. His caricatures and impressions of some of the dancers and incidents he had seen over many years of competing had everyone in stitches. Looking around, it was obvious that everyone recognised the funny walks, disjointed bodies, protruding backsides and glazed expressions seen on fellow dancers; and there was just a chance that if you didn't recognise one of several other idiosyncrasies, then maybe Keith was talking about you! Keith was then joined by his wife Judy to teach a fun variation in Jive. One part where the lady had to kick between the man's legs brought tears to those eyes not already streaming from laughter.

They were joined in the evening by their son Kevin who had endured six hours of train delays and cancellations on his journey from Manchester, and his partner Lisa Darby, literally hot from her sick bed, for a first class latin demonstration. The determination, energy and enthusiasm demonstrated by this young amateur couple, pictured opposite, in the worst of circumstances would more than merit the use of the term professional.
(Kevin and Lisa went on to win the British National Amateur Under 21 Latin championship at Blackpool in November --- Many Congratulations!)

Saturday night's gala dance featured the Scarborough Waltz Trophy competition which was open to all non-professional dancers. This was one by Richard and Philippa Alliss, from Chorley, seen here with Ross Mitchell and the other finalists.

Sequence dancers were not forgotten. Throughout the week Danny and Maureen Kendall hosted sequence request breaks within the main dance sessions plus a tea dance and evening gala dance in the Grand Hall. They also taught the recent Feta Foxtrot and the brand new Celebration Saunter. Guest leaders Howard and Joanne Cookson, who won all three sections in this years BATD Inventive Dance competition, joined the gala dance to lead off their prizewinning Tango Travine.

Next year's Scarborough Dance Festival is scheduled for 6th to 11th November. Guest workshops planned with Keith Clifton, Paul Richardson & Jasna Koselj and Warren Bullock & Jane Phillips. Sequence tea dances will run in parallel on three afternoons in the Grand Hall.
Further information from Philip Wylie whose details can be found on the Dancesport pages here.

Spa Complex


Kevin Clifton & Lisa Darby 

 Richard and Philippa Alliss with Ross Mitchell

Open Waltz lineup
Date Last Modified: 23/8/01