Much as we enjoy folk dancing in East Devon, it’s nice sometimes to get away – but not too far! So we do like to arrange a weekend with dancing friends; and the next one will be in the Isle of Wight in 2019. More details to follow!
Isle of Wight 2018:
Gittisham Folk Dance Club
Dance Weekend 2018
This year we decided to do something a bit different!
Following a recommendation from a club member we booked a weekend at The Trouville Hotel, Sandown, Isle of Wight which was offering a bargain weekend package to dance clubs travelling by coach. It seemed too good to miss and so we booked ourselves a coach which we had no difficulty in filling to capacity. The coach trip added greatly to the weekend with everyone getting in a holiday mood and enjoying the journey as we drove through the New Forest in glorious weather and relishing the short ferry trip across the sparkling Solent.
The Trouville is an hotel dedicated to providing holidays for dance clubs. It is in a superb position, situated on the Esplanade at Sandown, seconds from the beach. The hotel has a huge ball room and also, and this suited our club perfectly, a function room on the first floor with plenty of space, a wonderful dance floor and stunning views over the sea.
Our music was provided by Jigs for Gigs, one of our favourite bands who have accompanied us on most of our dance weekends. Iain, Margaret and Nick provided us with their usual wonderful selection of tunes, played superbly.
We had a warm welcome from the hotel and soon all 56 of us were unpacking in our comfortable bedrooms and itching to get out and enjoy a stroll along the beach.
Mary Marker got the weekend off to a swing as our caller on the Friday night with an interesting variety of dances.
Rosie Shaw led two very well received workshops on reels which were informative and most enjoyable.
Gill Spence had us all dancing our socks off to contras and squares on Saturday night and the weekend was rounded off on Sunday with a great evening of club callers, singers, a bit of Appalachian, in fact a real ceilidh!
It was not all dancing of course. Many people spent the days exploring the Island which offers miles of lovely walks, pretty little villages and beautiful beaches, amongst other delights.
And we must not forget the icing on the cake -the weather. Our weekend fell on the first Bank Holiday of the year and it was hot! The sun shone, the sea sparkled invitingly (tempting some of us in for a very brief dip) and we all enjoyed ourselves enormously.
So much so that we are booked to go again next year!
Paignton weekend 2016:
A thoroughly enjoyable weekend, with 5 in the band, 3 callers/dancers, and 58 others who mostly (apart from the two dogs) came to dance – all this and the Red Arrows as well. Paignton was crowded with those watching the Torbay Air Show, but escaping the masses was easy by venturing east or west along the coast – as one group did on the Saturday by taking the bus to Brixham and walking the coastal path back.
We kicked of on Friday night with Simon ably directing the proceedings, and followed that with a back-to-basics workshop with Frances on Saturday morning, which took us on a tour of Britain whilst reminding us of some of the key elements to aid our better dancing.
After dipping into the airshow in the afternoon the main event was the ‘posh-frock’ evening dance with its red, white and blue theme and best crown competition – won by Janet “One-is-very-pleased” Newton. Gill kept us well in order to dance to some great music from Gigs for Gigs:
……. but it has to be said that the afternoon’s 6 mile walk finished some of us off early. (Perhaps the lovely wedding anniversay cake and glass of bubbly kindly provided by the ‘newly-weds’ Val and Mark didn’t help much, either).
Another workshop with Frances kicked off Sunday mornng, entitled “Which Way?”, perhaps better re-phrased as ‘which way up is down?’ for at least one of the dances and a question several of us never succeeded in answering.
The hotel proved to be much better than its somewhat drab exterior would have suggested; friendly helpful staff, good hot food and well refurbished bathrooms. Just a few irksome rules, not least having to have doors and windows shut for the dances, despite the heat, because the neighbours objected to the noise – folk fearing Philistines!