National Week of Dance - Lytham Festival

The UK's Premier Square and Round Dance Event

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In the entrance to the dancing there is a book "comments and suggestions" for anyone to write in, below is a copy of the entries and the responses from the organisers during the event in 2012.  Comment Book from 2011  

As the organiser of this event, it almost brings tears to my eyes, typing out this document, as there is so much pleasure from everybody coming thro, so thanks to everyone. I have not had to respond to one complaint which is marvellous, apart from all those I handled whilst at the event. Thank you to all the team of helpers, callers, cuers and dancers for making this event so successful.

1. What a great time. I would like to see more round dance. How about pre-rounds say 30 mins 7-30 8-00. keep up the good work. Many thanks. Graham.

Teresa Hart replies. I think this is a lovely idea, perhaps some sessions could be for guest cuers & mc’d by Paul H. It would certainly help our Round Dancers who either don’t dance squares or only dance Mainstream.

Organisers response. Sounds like a good idea, I suggest Teresa includes this proposal in her programme.

2. BTW. Good decorations, thank you team.

3. Very well organised week. Thank you. Your work has been appreciated. Jane Murphy.

4. First question in my mind this morning. What is showcase, what is it. I’m French, I was sure it will not be good. I have to take my computer to save myself. At 4.30 its finished- I say ‘too short’, I have my best fun afternoon, thanks for everybody. Do that next year. Kris .

Organisers response. Thanks Kris, it is great to read about your concern before the event, and then your pleasure after it.

This Showcase was included in 2012 as an experiment, and as a result of the favourable comments we have decided to include it in 2013, under the heading of Guest caller and cuer showcase.

5. May I suggest Di Green as a caller here, she is a good caller, smashing personality, and would fit in well with everyone. Norman Swift.

Organisers response. Well done Di, you obviously have a fan. Can I suggest you come along next year, and perform in the showcase session, and please let us organisers know you are doing it, so we can appraise your performance, as I’m sorry we do not get to any of your dances or clubs, due to location difficulties.

6. The showcase was a great idea. It was so nice to be able to dance to callers who are friends, but we can never visit their club and hear their calls. They really did a good job, and great music and interesting choreography. Looking forward to next year. Thanks Julian and Penny from France.

Organisers response. See answer to No 5.

7. Ditto, the showcase gives us a chance to experience other callers, and them to work a bigger floor ( a pity so few people attended) Suggest also the callers in the showcase to keep things jolly and bright, especially with dancers who are not strong in English. Richard Stevens.

Organisers response. We are talking about guest callers who we have no control over, unless they read these notes.

8. Could I suggest Joe Kromer as a caller for next year. Also from a personal point of view an intro into plus spread over the week would be good and might bring some Mainstream dancers in to learn plus. Matt Baldry

Organisers response. As I have never heard of Joe Kromer, let alone danced to him, I’m sorry but he does not come into the reckoning for consideratiom at this prestige event. Regarding your second point, our experience from the last few years has made the decision to start the Festival at Plus level the correct one, as it is essential we get maximum support from dancers at the levels provided, which ensures the future of the event. We cannot afford to subsidise any level of dancing, and we are very conscious of the lack of dancers joining Square Dance clubs.

9. Like the flags. It helps contribute to a sense of community , and where else can you see a French car sporting the cross of St. George. Richard Stevens.

Organisers response. Thank you Richard and I would like to copy in here an email received from Teresa, which I think justifies all my concerns over the introduction of the car flags.

         I was initially concerned about the car flags; however this has proved beyond belief to do something that has never before been seen in square and round dancing in this country. You have provided a connection from rounds to squares and uniting all levels of squares through to C2. It was interesting to be waved at by dancers whilst out driving, whether initially recognised or not. Maybe there could be a competition to see how many Lytham car flags can be spotted at one place outside the school grounds.

Thank you Teresa.

10. The flags are a brilliant idea, it is lovely thing to be able to identify other dancers all around the town. A great week as usual. Thanks to all the organisers and volunteers.

11. Car Flags. What a unique idea. V good. Bev and Brian.

Organisers response. I am delighted to let you all know, that Mike and I decided to purchase a two years supply of car flags, so we can continue the theme next year. Of course we hope those who already have a flag will re-use it to help keep costs down.

12. What a great rounds programme. Thanks a lot Teresa and Paul. Many thanks too to the people who kept the biscuits and coffee etc always to hand. Lastly, thanks also to the square dance callers, what a performance . Can’t think of anything to complain about at all. Hope next year is just the same.. Jill and Trevor.

Organisers response. Thanks Jill and Trevor, we do it because we enjoy the pleasure others get from our efforts, its nice to know its appreciated. We hope next year will not be the same, as every year we try to improve it, but its gets more difficult.

13. Tuff plus, fantastic session.

Showcase, great idea.

Can I suggest if Ian can’t come next year, that we leave the choice of his replacement to James, Neil and Paul, as they are most knowledgeable about callers. Jane.

Organisers response. The choice of callers for this event will always rest in the hands of the organisers, who always take into account the views of the existing team.

14. If we must replace Ian, how about Thorsten Geppart from Germany. I’m sure he would be an excellent replacement, and bring his own prescence to the week of dance. Norman Mitchell.

Organisers response. I must make it clear we are not replacing Ian, he has made his own decision to withdraw from Lytham next year. Ian has been a very important member of our team of callers for many years, and we are disappointed that he is unable to continue.

15. The Tuff Plus was great fun and tough too, next year please. Norman Mitchell.

Organisers response. Thanks Norman, again good to hear our experiment with a new session was appreciated. In fact we had so many favourable comments, that we have increased the sessions of Tuff Plus for next year.

16. BAASDC asked Thorsten, he was booked for years ahead. How about making the first weekend with Mainstream and followup sessions of plus intros to bring in our new dancers. We do need to encourage them. Thanks BAASDC secretary.

Organisers response. I fell I have answered this point in question 8, but would add to it, that this is a privately run event taken over from the BAASDC to prevent its closure, when Mainstream was on the programme, so I think our decision to start at Plus level is vindicated.

If the BAASDC was to guarantee us 24 Mainsteam dancers paying the full weekly price, then we would happily accommodate them in the programme. (This is the same arrangement that we have with the C level dancers)

17. More Tuff Plus please. 9 squares dancing speaks for itself. John Webb.

Organisers response.See answer to 15.

18. Great weeks dancing , very good programme even for a Plus only dancer. I think the weekend could have more Mainstream, to attract more, I think many mainstream dancers if still working could manage a weekend but not a week. Best dance, Tuff Plus, followed by A1 intros. Showcase great. Bob Jowett.

Organisers response. I think previous answers adequately cover these points.

19. Intro to rounds (Waltz) was exceptionally enjoyable and we learned a huge number of figures, Such good fun, great atmosphere, and Paul got us through it all with huge amounts of patience. I hope that next year we have more ‘intro to Rounds’ experience. David W.

20. Paul made the intro to Rounds fun while we learnt a lot. We are now hooked. Trevor Abraham.

Organisers response. Thanks David and Trevor, yet another new venture in our programme proving successful. Well done Paul H.

21. Paul Bristows workshops and dances were really very professional and great fun. It wasn’t until we left that we realised how much we had learnt.

Organisers response. Well done Paul B.

22. Thank you callers for entertaining us so superbly. The ‘hot hash’ was a great idea, perhaps a change of venue to the main hall if its going to be so popular, Thank you to all the organisers. Its obvious that you invest a great deal of thought into maintaining this wonderful hobby. We’ve noticed lots of new ideas being introduced in the years that we have been coming, We shall return’. Liz & Geoff.

Organisers response. Thanks liz and Geoff, and thank goodness for the last three words

23. Thanks Teresa and Paul for such a varied programme, recap for those of us who never seem to be able to remember stuff-detailed technique(which we aspire to absorb-some of) and lots of rhythms so that we wear out different parts of our bodies each session. All this and all done with such humour and a smile, many thanks. My only regret is that we shall be another year older when we return next year Liz and Geoff.

Organisers response.Very nice comments, well done to my favourite cuers Teresa and Paul. We only use the best at Lytham..

24. Thank you Paul for teaching us beginners Rounds so easy and comfortable. If it possible we want for next year a new rhythm. Sabine.

Organisers response. Glad you enjoyed the session Sabine, and again well done Paul, we will try to include a new rhythm next year.

25. Many thanks to all callers both for workshops and their wonderful calls (Plus and A1) Thank you too for all the local people and volunteers, who worked so hard to arrange this most enjoyable week of dancing. It is a pleasure to watch Round Dancing, even though we don’t do it. Hazel and Duncan Fenton.

Organisers response. Thank you.

26. Many thanks for a great week of dancing allowing us to consolidate our A programme, having been inspired and started last year after last years Lytham week.

Please continue with the Rounds intro sessions as we do not have any Rounds tuition in our area.

Thanks for all the hard work put into the organization and to all the callers. Sue Thomas Southampton.

Organisers response. Thanks Sue.

27. Very good mixture of dances, good arrangement of sessions. In Rounds the foxtrot was particularly appreciated. Jill and Colin Rogers.

Organisers response. Thanks Jill and Colin.

28. I went 3 times,

The more I come the more I love,

Wonderful, see you next year,

Thanks callers and staff……. Kris (France)

Organisers response. I love your comments Kris, please don’t ever leave us.

29. Excellent week, glad we came, weather and all. More seats in the main hall maybe, if its possible. Enjoyed the A1 and Rounds Intro, I am hooked. Shena and Davy.

Organisers response. Thanks Sheena, glad you enjoyed it, what about poor Davy!

30. Superb week, thanks to all the callers and organisers. Unknown signature.


Comment Book from 2011  

Event operated under the aegis of Soles and Heels SDC, Northampton

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Last Updated 1st October 2014