A dance fix on the beach

Everyone has their favourite Weekender.  For me, it’s a split between Ceroc’s mega dance fest at Southport and MJRoc’s Warmwell.  For some people, it’s Beach Roc the small-scale meet-up at Sandown on the Isle of Wight run by MJRoc’s Colin Shaul and Gazza Forge.  So much had I heard about Beach Roc, that I knew I had to get myself there so I duly booked for April 2020.  Sadly dancing closed down long before the event could take place and I along with two hundred and forty other people had to wait two years for our dance fix on the beach.

The weekender is based in the Trouville Hotel but when the rooms here are fully taken rooms are made available at the nearby Pier Hotel.  I was lucky to get one of the final places in the Trouville and had a room with a sea view.

As expected, I had a fabulous time but as always I was wanting to know what other people enjoyed about this hotel-based dance weekend.  So I was constantly asking the people I danced with and met up with for their thoughts.  I also spent time trawling through the many postings on Facebook and the official photographs posted by Colin Shaul (see link below).  The result is a review based on twenty things people loved about this weekender.

1: We ❤️ The Ferry Crossing

I always think that my foreign holidays start at the point where I’ve checked in and can enjoy a drink in the airport lounge.  It was the same once I got on the Red Funnel ferry at Southampton.  With the car parked on the upper deck, I and my dance buddy for the weekender Thelma settled down with a drink and enjoyed a relaxing crossing to East Ryde.

Many people post pictures of themselves setting off to weekenders and this weekend was no different with people posting pics of them enjoying a variety of drinks in the ferry lounge.  I picked this picture of a group of dancers I’ve met on my travels to Devon enjoying the crossing from Portsmouth.  I suspect the picture was taken before they enjoyed their G ‘n’ Ts.

I must say here that I had thought the ferry crossing might put a dampener on the journey from The Midlands, but the check-in was so smooth and the ferry left on time for both legs of our journey.  It was a great way to start what would turn out to be a fabulous weekend.

Smiling faces on the Portsmouth – Fishbourne Ferry

2: We ❤️ it’s by the Seaside

There are quite a few Weekenders that take place by the sea.  Last year I attended two in the Autumn, the Ceroc Devon one at Torquay and the Ceroc Conexión event at Newquay.  Beach Roc is a little different as the hotel is right on the beach and the warm spring weather was ideal to enjoy walks along the coast.  I and Thelma enjoyed a wonderful Sunday afternoon stroll from the hotel along the promenade to Shanklin and back.

You have to remember that The Isle of Wight is a much loved holiday destination and the location of the hotel right on the beach makes it ideal to take in some of the sights.  The photo albums (see link below) are full of sun-filled pictures that could be straight out of the island’s tourist boards brochures but I’ve picked this rather unusual photo posted by Cath.  It’s taken looking towards the chalk cliffs of Culver Down to the East of Sandown and shows the blue skies we were blessed with over the weekend.  But look closer at the bottom of the picture.

Cath loved that the sea was so still that she could take her paddleboard out.  So many people took advantage of the gorgeous Spring weather and explored this beautiful island.  Thelma and I took off to see The Needles, the Isle of Wight’s iconic tourist attraction.  We’ll hear about a couple of organised walks later.  One which involved beer!

The view of Culver Down from Cath’s paddleboard

3: We ❤️ The Intimacy

While I love the fifteen hundred people plus mega weekenders at Southport, I know they are not everyone’s cup of tea.  My visits to the Torquay and Newquay weekenders showed me that many people appreciate the more intimate dance get-togethers that take place in hotels like the Trouville.  That intimacy was very much in evidence when people met up in the bar before the meal on Friday night.

Here was a chance to meet up with friends from previous Beach Roc Weekenders and also a chance to meet up with Colin, Gazza and all the teachers.  Having this bar area adjacent to the main room also gave people a quiet place to chat with friends over a drink while taking a rest from the dancing and classes.

One aspect of the intimacy that so many people commented on, was the fact that we all sat down for meals together every evening and breakfast.  It was a chance to share tales of the things everyone had been up to on and off the dance floor.

The dining room in the Trouville Hotel

4: We ❤️ Meeting New Friends

Considering how many places I’ve visited on my travels, I was surprised by just how few people I knew.  Because of its location, Beach Roc attracts people mainly from the South and West of the Country.  There were faces I recognised from days dancing around my holiday home base in Devon, and people I knew from my visits to Tylney Hall in Leatherhead (Colin’s base in Surrey).  I also recognised a few faces from my visits to Warmwell but that was about it.

Having said that the people were so friendly and I felt very comfortable asking ladies onto the dance floor.  Thelma, who knew even fewer people than I, found herself being asked to dance a pleasing number of times.  The intimacy of this event was always going to mean we would make new friends and so it turned out.  Top of that list was Theresa, Steve, Gill and Brian from West Sussex.  I’d better explain.  In the dining room friends were seated together.  With us not really knowing anyone, Colin placed myself and Thelma on a table with the aforementioned people.

We were all soon chatting and sharing stories about our local dance events.   These were fun people and laughter soon followed.  Little did I realise that our paths had crossed before, but more of that later (see item 14 below).  On Saturday night the theme was Dress to Impress.  It seems everyone loves the opportunity to get dressed in their finery and the picture below shows me and Thelma with our new dance friends on Saturday night.

L-R: Myself, Theresa, Steve, Gill, Brian and Thelma.

5: We ❤️ The Ice-breaker Class

As is the custom at most weekenders the event kicked off with an Ice-breaker Class.  It was taught by Kelly Donoghue and her demo Clem in the downstairs main room.  Here was a chance to break the ice with people you had never danced with before and another opportunity to catch up with people you know.  What pleased me was seeing just how many people attended Kelly’s class.  It just shows how everyone wanted to get the party started.

Kelly pitched the class and the moves just right.  These ice-breaker classes are usually at an intermediate level but it’s important to keep the moves very doable, something that Kelly got spot on.  Kelly would also take the first DJing slot and the great attendance at the class meant that as she span the first track the dance floor was packed and you instantly felt the weekender vibe.

Kelly leads a packed dance floor through the Icebreaker moves

6: We ❤️ The Dancing

Of course, weekenders are primarily about the dancing and the provision of two rooms, and dancing Friday and Sunday night until one in the morning and Saturday until two, meant that there was plenty on offer.  In the downstairs room, DJs Kelly, Gazza and Colin served up a great mix of main room tracks for those that like their dance music upbeat, while upstairs Cliff of Ener Jive fame and Gazza kept the vibe more chilled for smoother dancing styles.  Here’s one comment that Colin received.  It sums up so many people’s thoughts about the weekend’s dancing:

The dance part of the weekend was brilliant. Susan

There was a lot about this weekender that I loved, but I came essentially for the dancing and I was impressed with the number of fabulous dances I enjoyed over the three nights in both rooms.  My thanks, then, to all the ladies who shared the dance floor with me.

Smiles on the downstairs dance floor.

An Impressive Second Room

What I loved about the second room was that it was bigger than the main room.  Often second chill-out rooms are a lot smaller than the main room.  This is rarely a problem because the second room is never usually as busy as the main one.  What I loved about Beach Roc was just how many people were loving the chilled-out sounds of Cliff and Gazza and so the extra space was very much appreciated.

My dance buddy Thelma prefers the slower music but she is also a great fan of Argentine Tango.  On Saturday evening, Gazza kicked off the dancing in the second room with a Tango Freestyle.  Thelma was impressed with the number of men she could enjoy a Tango dance with.  On both Saturday and Sunday night, the chilled music was again suited to Argentine Tango and Thelma loved that she could enjoy more wonderful dances.

At times the second room was as busy as the main one

7: We ❤️ The Music Mix 

Fabulous dancing needs fabulous music and having a team of four DJs, each with their favourite tracks meant that we were treated to a great mix of music.  In the main room, Kelly and Colin served up a mix of Modern Jive classics with plenty of contemporary favourites.

While I could have picked out plenty of these main room tracks that gave me fabulous dances, I’ve only got space to feature one track, so I’m going for a track that I suspect might be seen as Beach Roc’s theme song – On the beach.  This is not the Chris Rea song but one by Chairman of The Board.

Chairman of The Board found fame, in the early ’70s, as one of the artists to benefit from the writing talents of Holland-Dozier-Holland after they left Motown.  Their hits include Give me just a little more time and You’ve got me dangling on a string.  Eventually, their star faded but they had a second wind recording music in the Carolina Beach Music genre with its associated dance, the Carolina Shag, a dance style with similarities to Modern Jive.

Cliff and Gazza chill out the second room

While Kelly and Colin rocked the main room, DJs Cliff and Gazza served up a wonderful mix of chilled vibes, ideal for some relaxed smooth dancing.  On Saturday night Gazza’s second room set was billed as also offering tracks suited to West Coast Swing.  Regular readers of my blog will know that I’ve been doing a few West Coast workshops lately and here was a chance to practice some of the moves and techniques I’ve been working on.  I think I’m making progress as I was able to lead my partner through a full three-minute track.

One of the highlights for me was Cliff’s Saturday night set into the early hours.  I’m a great fan of Cliff’s music, having first enjoyed it when he guest DJed at Colin’s Tylney Hall venue.  Since then I’ve always made sure I caught his chill-out sets at Warmwell and I even found space in my diary to visit one of his Ener Jive freestyles at Bordon.  What I love about Cliff’s music is that in amongst the contemporary R&B tracks are some real new-to-me gems.

On the Saturday night, he played one such new-to-me track that gave me a wonderful smooth funk-fused dance.  The song is Midnight by Slackwax featuring Trinah from 2012.  I do wonder where DJs like Cliff find these gems.  They must spend hours searching through the dance music vaults.  This track has a retro ’80s funked-up mellow beat that hits you from the off.  Its laid-back beat is perfect for a gentle smooth dance but layers of funk-infused instrumentation keep inviting you to express your musicality in between the gentle vibes.

8: We ❤️ The Classes

Like the best weekenders, Beach Roc had a great programme of classes.  Mixed in between Kelly’s Modern Jive and Cliff’s Smooth Jive classes were ones offering something a little different.  They were provided by Beach Roc’s other two teaching teams – Lee and Dawn Perrott and Nigel Anderson and Nina Daines.  These four teachers are regulars at MJRoc weekenders and their classes always go down very well.  Here are Iona’s thoughts, which were shared by many people:

Went to classes with Lee and Dawn and Nigel and Nina who were fantastic.

This time Nigel and Nina served up Blues, Charleston, a Lindy Hop Stroll and a Rock ‘n’ Roll class and it seems Philip was very impressed:

I really enjoyed the Stroll and Charleston classes.  Please pass on my compliments, especially to Nina and Nigel, they were brill.  Nina was so friendly and upbeat that I think I’ll try and learn some more Charleston.

Philip also enjoyed Lee and Dawn’s Cheeky Cha Cha class.  Along with Line Dancing, Lee and Dawn provided one of the most popular classes of the weekend entitled Red Hot Rumba.  This class was pitched at a Beginners/Intermediate level and it seems by the end of the class everyone had some lovely Rumba moves that they could mix into a chilled smooth dance.  My dance buddy Thelma went along to this class and was impressed by the way Lee and Dawn taught the moves.  No wonder so many people told me how much they had loved it.

Getting to grips with some Rumba moves

Lee and Dawn are an inspiration to us all

Lee and Dawn are well-loved teachers on the independent Modern Jive scene and it was great to see them entering the Open category at The World Modern Jive Champs in Blackpool back in March.  This category pits the very best dancers against each other and I and all their followers were so pleased to see Lee and Dawn make the final.

Here, each of the five finalists was given the chance to showcase their skills in two dances with everyone watching on, in what is the grand finale to the champs.  I found this video of one of their two Open Final dance routines.  It is an inspirational display of just how far you can take Modern Jive dancing and it’s a testament to Beach Roc that it can attract teachers of Lee and Dawn’s calibre to inspire us all on our dance journey.

9: We ❤️ Gazza’s Motown & Soul Hour

I loved lots of things about Beach Roc but Gazza’s Motown & Northern Soul Hour has to be my No1 ❤️.  It seems it was a lot of other people’s too because so much were people lovin’ Gazza’s trip back to the dance halls of the late ’60 and ’70s that he had to extend the hour for a further fifteen minutes.  I think he could have extended it for another hour and people would still have been experiencing the joy that this genre of music generates in dancers.

Seeing the room packed with dancers, I nipped downstairs to compare the numbers on the dance floor in the main room.  I think Gazza’s Motown and Soul session just pipped it.  What I loved seeing was half the people dancing in the individual Northern Soul style.  It’s a style I love myself but the songs that make up this genre of music are so danceable I prefer to partner dance to them – and what fabulous dances I had.

You can see people dancing in front of DJ Gazza in the Northern Soul style

A British gem amongst the American Classics

I’ve written so many times about Motown & Soul Hours that I’m sure regular readers of my blog already know my favourites, but that’s no reason not to mention some from Gazza’s stomping playlist.  Here we go – Soul man by Sam & Dave, Behind a painted smile by The Isley Brothers, I got a feeling by Barbara Randolph and Edwin Starr’s Stop her on sight (SOS).

Slipped into all these great floor fillers by legendary American artists was a record recorded by a British one back in 1972.  It has all the hallmark sounds of a Motown production but was recorded in London.  The song is A man like me by Jimmy James.  It’s a track I remember from my old Soul Boy days and that’s the thing about these Motown Hours.  They transport many people back to a time when they first found their love of dancing – a time when dancing first offered an escape from our worldly worries.

10: We ❤️ The Social Activities

Beach Roc has always been more than a dance weekender.  It’s a chance to also enjoy a mini-break in a well-loved holiday destination.  I mentioned above my own strolls along the promenade but Colin and Gazza also organised walks for everyone to join in.  One of these was a walk involving a trip on the charming Isle of Wight railway from Sandown to Shanklin.

The second was described as a Pub Walk.  It involved a walk along the cliffs to the Culver Haven Inn.  It’s the social part of dance weekenders that people love and these organised activities are a great way to relax and at the same time make new friends.  Another feature of Beach Roc is Gazza’s Quiz.  These are also a well-loved feature of Warmwell, Beach Roc’s sister weekender in November.  Sadly I missed the quiz as it clashed with my visit to the Needles but I’m told it was great fun.

A cliff-top stroll before enjoying a drink with new friends at The Culver Haven Inn

11: We ❤️ The Beach Fun

What makes Beach Roc a little different, in fact unique, amongst weekenders is the chance to have some fun on the beach. Here Gazza shows just what a fun-lovin’ guy he is as he organises silliness on the beach in front of the hotel.  The highlight of this silliness is a very serious game of rounders.  Well, some people take it seriously, especially those trying to win the coveted Beach Roc Rounders Trophy.

Thankfully the tide was out giving plenty of room for a game that few of us have ever played but love having a try at while on holiday.  This year, as last the Trophy was won by the aforementioned Lee, but I’m told it was a close-run thing.

‘I’m going to hit the ball right into the sea’

12: We ❤️ The Tribute to Amanda

One well-loved face was missing at this first Beach Roc after lockdown.  Sadly Cliff’s partner Amanda lost her fight against cancer before she could take to the decks in the chill-out room and join Cliff in teaching their Smooth Jive routines.  Cliff and Amanda have been at the forefront of the move towards more chilled vibes and smoother forms of dancing.  I can remember having a smooth slotted dance with Amanda at Tylney Hall when I still had to develop the confidence I have now.

Amanda’s encouraging words after that dance were a significant step in my journey to learn how to dance in a smooth slotted style to slower music.

It’s as a DJ that I will most remember Amanda.   I loved her Warmwell sets and I was proud to write a review of her and Cliff’s music when I visited Bordon (see link below).  What I, and many people, loved about Beach Roc was the way Colin and his team decided to name the second chill-out room Amanda’s as a tribute to her teaching and love of smooth vibes.

The neon sign made specially for Beach Roc

Colin pays his own tribute to Amanda

When Colin gave me his own thoughts about Beach Roc he included this tribute to Amanda;

Amanda was a special friend and we were very sad she lost her life in March as she so wanted to be at Beach Roc.  So having Armada’s Hall, with the signage was the best tribute we could have and I loved that we could celebrate her life and hopefully have a great time too.

I understand that the second chill-out room will be permanently known as Amanda’s as a lasting memorial of her contribution to Beach Roc.  It’s the same as the third room at Warmwell being called Busters after one of the well respected dancers who loved Warmwell and also passed away too soon.  This says so much about the family feel that’s in the DNA of the MJRoc weekenders.  Something that I think people love about their events.  Here’s Colin again.

Amanda’s hall was amazing and Cliff did so well, Amanda would have been proud of him.  The dancers seem to love the hall and the tribute to Amanda.

I’m going to pay my own tribute by featuring a track I will always remember as one of Amanda’s.  It’s the jazzy remix of Drizabone’s Real love.  This is a classic Modern Jive chill-out track but Amanda found this instrumental version full of jazz-style saxophone that I think is the best remix of them all.

13: We ❤️ The Late Night Disco

Having set the dance floor on fire in the second room with his Motown & Soul Hour on Saturday night, Gazza took to the decks for the final session in the main room for a Late Night Disco.  Many consider the Disco era of the ’70s and early ’80s to be the heyday of club dancing.  Dance clubs had long been in existence, but a new wave of dance energy took hold in the clubs of Greenwich Village in New York.  Here the explosion of disco music ran parallel with the coming out of the male gay community.  It was a wave of dance joy that spread across the globe.

The other thing we remember about the discos of our youth is the sight of girls dancing around their handbags.  Anita told me how she and her friends formed a circle around their imaginary handbags:

We didn’t mind the boys joining our circle but there was no partner dancing, just girlie fun on the dance floor.

The anthems of this dance euphoria have become part of dance culture and Gazza brought loads of these favourites into a mix that rocked the main room until two in the morning.  I’m going to feature one of Gazza’s picks that was created by the genius that was Norman Whitfield.  Whitfield had been a producer at Motown and had created a new style of funked-up music for The Temptations.  When he left Motown he created the group Rose Royce and launched their career with a funk-infused monster of a dance hit, Car Wash.

14: We ❤️ The Fancy Dress Competition

I mentioned in item 4 above, the entertaining conversations with Theresa, Steve, Gill and Brian around our meal table.  As we chatted more about their love of Beach Roc and Warmwell I learned about their passion for fancy dress.  Suddenly I realised that our paths had crossed before at Warmwell back in 2018.

That night I went on my blog and searched for my review of that fabulous weekender.  In it is a video put together by my great friend Tel Jenkins.  This amazing video captures the joy of Warmwell (see link below).  It contains a lot of footage of the fancy dress competition and there receiving the trophy for first prize was Theresa, Steve, Gill and Brian dressed as cavemen (and women).

The Cavemen win the Warmwell Fancy Dress

Beach Roc’s fancy party is second only to Warmwell

Fancy dress plays a big part in Modern Jive events, particularly at weekenders and the one at Warmwell is, without doubt, the best of them all.  Beach Roc comes a close second and it seems my new dance friends always try to come up with a winning theme.  After watching the Warmwell video I then found the one Tel did of Beach Roc 2019.  Again Tel captured the joy of this weekender and there again were my new friends dressed as the crew of a ship with their own boat (see link to the video below).

I couldn’t help but wonder what theme they were doing this year.  They were very cagey but when I asked for a clue I was cryptically told ‘bubbles’.

At ten o’clock Colin assembled all the people for the fancy dress parade.  I’m a bit of a party pooper when it comes to fancy dress but so many people make a real effort for the Warmwell and Beach Roc weekenders.  I stood at the side as a whole procession of French Maids, the cast of ‘Allo, ‘Allo’, a class of very badly behaved school children and their strict teacher, sailors, Freddie Mercury and a whole list of other dubious and funny characters passed by.

A very convincing group of Allo, Allo characters

What did Theresa and Co come as?

As the procession wound its way into the main room and past the stage, I couldn’t wait to see what my new friends had come as.  Then, there they were, dressed as a ’70s American car wash straight out of the video posted above.  Now I saw the relevance of the clue. ‘Bubbles’.  So how do you come dressed as a ’70s car wash?

First, you need everyone to be in ’70s gear complete with afro wigs and hotpants for the girls.  Then you need a car, so Brian came as just that.  He’d ingeniously made a car out of cardboard and was wearing it.  Then they had to somehow depict the car wash itself.  This they did by carrying see-through umbrellas with ribbons dangling down to depict the brushes of an automated car wash.  To create the effect they continuously spun the umbrellas round.  It just all worked together and Gazza was always going to pick them as the winners.

Even while the parade was still going around the outside of the dance floor, Gazza quickly played the aforementioned Rose Royce’s Car wash.  We all knew what it meant and Steve told me how he and his friends felt as he recognised the song that was playing:

When Gazza suddenly start playing ‘Car wash’ we all got a little emotional.

You can understand why.  This theme must have taken a lot of creative thought and planning.  I can’t help thinking what they’ll come as at Warmwell but it’s sure to be something a little different and worth booking a ticket for.

The amazing Car Wash fancy dress entry

15: We ❤️ The Party Atmosphere

We all what to have fun and the best weekenders are those that promote a party atmosphere.  It doesn’t take much for like-minded people, as dancers are, to create a party atmosphere and this was certainly the case at Beach Roc.  The Sunday fancy dress night was a hoot from the minute people sat down for dinner in their costumes but as always Colin used the last hour in the main room to create a full-on party atmosphere with the obligatory conga.

Seeing this snaking its way around the ground floor of the hotel with a class full of naughty schoolboys being teased by a group of saucy French Maids was always going to raise a smile.  I’m not sure what was going on when this group joined hands in the upstairs room but it certainly brought the smiles out.  That’s the point about Beach Roc.  It’s a bundle of fun from the off.

Having a laugh in the upstairs room

16: We ❤️ The Photographs

We all love seeing ourselves having fun and Colin and Ev were everywhere with their camera to ensure that lots of photos were taken.  In the hotel reception, they rigged up a photo booth where everyone got a chance to have their photo taken.  Everyone, it seemed, had their photos taken before Saturday’s ‘Dress to impress’ sit-down meal and it was the same on Sunday night when everyone in fancy dress had more photos taken.

Pictures were also taken of the fun on the dance floor.  All the photos were collated into albums that Colin shared on his Facebook Page (see link below).  They include an album of photos taken by the dancers themselves.  It’s from these albums that I took many of the photos that feature in this review.

These pictures subsequently found their way onto lots of people’s Facebook pages.  It’s always great to show our friends what fun we have on the dance floor.  These albums provide a wonderful record of what was a fabulous weekend and I’m sure that people seeing the fun their friends had will want to sign up for next year.

The school trip to the Trouville Hotel in Sandown

I had to feature the French Maids too

There were so many fabulous pictures that I wanted to feature, but there’s never enough space.  However, I have to share one more.  It’s of a group of dance friends from North Devon, who always travel together to freestyles and weekenders and I seem to be forever bumping into them.  They always have fun on the dance floor and so it was at Beach Roc.

They came as French Maids and on behalf of the boys, I’d like to thank them for giving us all a little thrill.  In the middle is Anita who told me how they had all danced around their handbags at Gazza’s Late Night Disco.  She’s seen here with her friends Louise, Debbie, Michelle and Julie.

L – R Louise, Debbie, Anita, Michelle and Julie.

17: We ❤️ Colin’s emails – only joking!

After the Fancy Dress trophy was given out and the main room still packed with everyone, Gazza took the opportunity to thank Colin for all his efforts over the last two years to keep the Beach Roc flame burning and for organising another successful get-together.  In paying tribute to Colin, Gazza mentioned his Beach Roc emails.  This caused a roar of warm applause.  You see we love Colin’s emails really, even though the length of them is seemingly endless.

There is no doubt that there is a lot of love for Colin and Gazza and the work they do for Warmwell and Beach Roc, but Colin has asked me to give a mention to several other people who work away in the background and help with the set up.  The first of them is Ev, Colin’s partner, who is very involved in the administration as well as taking turns on photo booth duties.

Late night set ups and tidying up

Cliff is another stalwart of the MJRoc team, helping with the set up.  He was working with Colin on Thursday night until two in the morning setting up the rooms with the DJing equipment and lighting.  Michelle and Clem were also heavily involved in the late night set up and when Kelly arrived on Friday she got stuck in too.  Tracy and Steve also arrived on Friday and helped finish off the prep.

Come Monday morning, everything had to be packed back into the vans.   I found this picture in the ‘Behind the Scenes’ album.  It was taken after the final tidying up had been done at 3:20am on Sunday morning.  It has the caption ‘Time for bed’.   That’s some effort, so on behalf of everyone can I thank Colin, Gazza and his amazing team for putting on what was a joyous weekend of dancing, friends and fun.

Cleaning done by 3:20am. Time for bed

18: Colin ❤️ seeing the excitement as people arrived

I thought it would be interesting to find out what Colin, himself, loved about Beach Roc.  He first told me of his relief to finally get the event on:

In many ways after three years, two cancelled events and all the work involved it was a relief mentally to get this Beach Roc over the line.

Colin had been at the hotel since Wednesday and was involved in a series of meetings on Thursday before spending the evening setting up Amanda’s room with Cliff.  On the Friday he was up at 6 to ensure that everything went smoothly for our arrival.  It just shows how much work goes on behind the scenes when organising these top events.  No wonder then, what Colin loved the most about this Beach Roc:

I loved seeing the people arriving full of excitement, then greeting them in the lounge bar and seeing the excitement continue into dinner.  It was just so great to be finally back.

Many people wouldn’t have been aware that Colin’s Birthday was on the Saturday.  He wanted little fuss but celebrated it with a midnight paddle in the sea.  It always amazes me what people tell me they enjoy about the weekenders I review.

Ooh, now that’s cold.  Colin celebrates his birthday with a midnight paddle.

19: We ❤️ giving positive feedback

When we have a great time we want to show our appreciation.  Colin shared with me much of the lovely feedback he received.  I’ve picked out four of these comments that confirm my view of how much we loved this weekender:

Thanks for a great weekend. You organised a great event and I really enjoyed it.  Neale

Linda and I really enjoyed ourselves and appreciate the enormous effort made by you and the team to smoothly pull off another great weekender.  Martin

Hi Colin and team, thank you for a fab weekend.  I had a great time.  Mary

We had an absolute blast – thank you for all your hard work.  I am still on a high!  Brigitte

My thanks to all the people who chatted with me about what they loved about Beach Roc 2022 and to Colin for sharing the wonderful feedback he received.

20: We ❤️ the idea of doing it all again

I met people at Beach Roc who come every year.  Some love meeting up with friends they only see at Beach Roc.  I can see why some people book on for next year even before the current one ends.  Here are a couple more bits of feedback that show why people come back again and again.

I loved the weekend and thank you and your team for putting it on and we three from Glastonbury want to come back next year.  Fliss

I was thinking I would just go this once, but I immediately wanted to book again once I was there, as it really is just so much fun!  Tracy

Booking are now open.  Just give Colin a ring on the number below for more details.  Well that’s this review done.  Now I have MJRoc’s Warmwell to look forward to in November.  This is sure to be another sell out, so get in touch with Colin if you want another dose of great not-to-be-missed fun.

Enjoy another dance fix with my novel

If you enjoy reading my dance blogs, I’m sure you’ll love reading my novel, Would you like to dance?  It tells the story of how Ellie and her friends discover the joy that is partner dancing and finds the confidence to enter an amateur dance competition.  The story is full of the excitement and passion that I feel about dancing and I’m sure many people will recognise themselves in the ten characters that make up Ellie’s Newbie Dance Gang.  Here’s a little more about the story line:

When Ellie Grant’s partner leaves her for a younger woman, her whole world crumbles. Not only does she lose her partner of almost ten years but she also loses her friendship group who cruelly stand by her ex-partner.

After several months of feeling sorry for herself, drinking a worrying amount of Australian red wine and going up a dress size, Ellie resolves to try and create a new life for herself.

This new life increasingly revolves around dancing and it’s not long before she finds herself at a Modern Jive dance class.

Why not visit the website I’ve designed to support the novel.  It is packed with background information on how I came to write Ellie’s story and reviews from the people who have already enjoyed it.  You also find whole sections dedicated to the joy that is Modern Jive dancing including photo galleries and videos showing the fun we all have on the dance floor.  You will also find a link to go direct to the Amazon Store to download the novel.  Go to Would you like to dance website.

Related Links

The Official Beach Roc 2022 Photo Albums 

My review of Warmwell 2018

Tel Jenkins Video of Warmwell

Tel Jenkin’s video of Beach Roc 2019 

My review of Ener Jive’s Bordon freestyle