We’re shining a spotlight on some of the favourite pastimes enjoyed by members of the Focus Consultants team. Here accounts manager Caroline Jenkins skips us through her dancing calendar for the past year….
My 2019 Dance Year
When I’m not crunching numbers in the accounts department, I can be found having a great time on a dance floor somewhere in the UK at least 3 times a week! Having done various different styles of dance over the last 25 years (not Ballroom though) it wasn’t until I discovered the partner-led dance known as Ceroc in 2011, that my passion for dance really took off. A fusion of the dance styles Salsa, Tango and Jive, it is taught at class nights during the week all over the country. 2019 was a particularly interesting year for dance experiences for me as I found myself dancing in some wonderful places.
January: Started dancing into 2019 at a New Year’s Eve event in Sawley on the border of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire with about 90 other revellers. I attend at least 2 class nights a week either just dancing or working and dancing but then there is always a Freestyle at the weekend, either on a Friday or Saturday when I dance for 4 hours to a great mix of music. During January I danced at a couple of local venues around Nottingham and Sheffield including the stunning domed ballroom at Kelham Hall, Newark.
February: I went to London with a friend and we danced under the iconic tea clipper – The Cutty Sark housed in a museum in Greenwich. What an experience not only to dance there but to be able to wander around the ship and see all the exhibits and walk around the open deck. Fabulous night. From that to a little village hall in Welton Lincolnshire the following week!
March: Began the month at a dance weekender at Pontin’s, Southport. This is a regular event put on 3 times a year, normally February, June and September. I’ve been at each one since my first in June 2015 and now I help out while I’m there. It’s hard to believe that it draws around 1500 dancers from all over the country who have a fabulous time. It is possible to dance from the time you get there on the Friday afternoon all the way through to 6am Monday morning when they have to stop to pack up!! The rest of March was back to the local venues in Nottingham.
April: The highlight this month was a dance weekender at the Herstmonceux Castle, a 15th Century moated castle in Hailsham, East Sussex near Battle & Hastings. This beautiful castle is set in 300 acres, with some formal gardens but also has an observatory as it once belonged to the Greenwich Observatory.
May: Danced weekly at all the local venues Grange Hall, Radcliffe-on-Trent; John Godber Centre, Hucknall; Welton; Tapton Hall, Sheffield and Sawley.
June: Started back in London at the Trafalgar Tavern on the south bank of the River Thames at Greenwich followed by the next weekend at Southport where it rained non-stop for a day but it didn’t dampen our spirits as we still danced from dusk till dawn. The rest of June was spent locally with our first event at the Speedwell rooms in Chesterfield on the hottest day of the year.
July: Was relatively normal with just the local events although we did dance in various Tesco’s around Nottingham on their charity day to promote our dance style and raise funds for The Tesco Dance Beats campaign which raised £2million overall for its charity partners, British Heart Foundation, Diabetes UK, and Cancer Research UK
August: Also, a quiet month just dancing locally except for another weekender in Southport at the end of the month.
September: Had the weekly events around Nottingham, Sheffield and a demonstration at the Radcliffe-on-Trent village day.
October: It was back down south, this time to Eltham in Kent and dancing in a Tudor Barn on a lovely Sunday afternoon. Later on, in this month was a masquerade ball at Kelham Hall. A lot of fun trying to guess who were behind the masks!!
November: Just the usual local events but these are like parties each time.
December: Loads of Christmas themed class nights in the week before Christmas and glittery freestyles throughout this month. However, I was back in London between Christmas & New Year dancing inside the O2 arena, not actually in the big arena but in a night club inside the dome. Then I ended the year back at the memorial hall in Sawley dancing into 2020.
It’s hard to express in words the feeling you get when everything comes together in the 3 minutes of a track. The partner leading the dance and both of us interpreting the music, it can be quite magical. It is the best tonic!! Who knows what 2020 will bring?