Even though I have spent the majority of my life in Canada, much longer than I ever lived in the UK, I like to take regular trips back 'home'. My parents are now in their nineties and are still living in the family home in Essex. My mother still potters in her garden, while my father, who is a night owl, bakes apple pies and rock cakes after midnight. Typically keeping us awake with the sounds of the crashing pots and pans! Writes Vivienne Scott
Most of my time was spent catching up with my parents, sisters and their families. However, I always like to sneak in some time for Line dancing. This year, I started by visiting Mick and Wendy Bennett of the Tulsa Shuffle Line Dance Club in Leigh on Sea. Mick is a conscientious hard working instructor who gives equal attention to all his dancers. He has choreographed a few beginner dances and you can find them on his website www.tulsashuffle.co.uk
The next stop was at Teresa & Vera's Thursday class in Stanford Le Hope. As always when T & V are put in charge of anything it is sure to be filled with laughter and good fun. Their first massive hit 'Quando When Quando' was huge in North America and we still do 'Vertical Expressions', and 'Say Hey'. 'Dance Like You're The Only One' and 'Black and Gold' are now becoming popular on the dance floors. It is also a real joy at this class to meet up with dancers who made me feel so welcome when we lived back in the UK 2000/01.
I also visited Carol Simmons' friendly and enthusiastic class, the Caroliners, who dance in the Smallgains Hall on Canvey Island. Carol is a hard working instructor and takes UK dances to the US and vice versa, trying to ensure that all her classes are up on the latest dances in the charts. It was quite a coincidence that she moved so close to where my parents live for her six months here in the UK. Carol kindly took me out to a dance in Billericay run by local instructors, Janet and Maureen. They played an excellent mix of dances many of which I already knew or could pick up on the floor.
With new technology in the form of the world wide web; it means that you can travel distances the world over and know the dances. This allows for more cross-over of dances internationally, particularly bigger hits.
The highlight of my trip was teaching at Kim Ray's workshop in Milton Keynes with Alan Birchall. It was an excellent venue packed out with friendly Line dancers who made me feel immediately at home. It's a large hall which converts into a theatre, so there's a high stage and good accoustics. Kim is a popular host. She is a delightful person with a hilarious sense of humour, very quick on the uptake! It is always special when I meet a choreographer I admire and Alan was very pleasant and friendly with no airs and graces! Alan's latest dance 2025 was a definite hit with the dancers and I'm sure it will soon be spreading around. Kim's 'Inside Out' filled the floor; she has a big hit on her hands with this one. She is a star who is rising to the top for sure. The floor was kept moving all day by Phil Partridge who was an enthusiastic and responsive DJ. Kim also gives up and coming choreographers the opportunity to present their dances and we enjoyed watching talented Kumari Tugnait, Michael (Bimbo Boots) Lynn and David Jordan perform their latest creations.
While I was over I taught 'Our First Love' to the Tulsa Shuffle LD Club and T&V's class, 'Wonderland' and 'Centred' at Kim's workshop and 'Small Stuff' to the Caroliners. It was such a thrill to see both 'Our First Love' and 'Pirate On The Run' on the UK dancefloors. Many, many thanks to everyone dancing and teaching these dances.