Thanks to David for this video gem

David, a regular reader of the blog, sent me a link to this piece of Ceroc History via Twitter. It shows a feature on jiving from a That’s Life TV programme with Ester Rantzen. I’m guessing that this video was made in the early ’80s as a way of promoting the newly created form of partner dancing we now lovingly know as Ceroc.

Loved the Dancing Vicar

The video is classic That’s Life, finding every opportunity to create comedy out of the antics of the general public. The highlight for me was the dancing vicar, who apparently wasn’t ‘very trendy at all’ and had never danced before. Not sure about his claim to have never jived before, because he certainly showed a flair for it.

Christine Keeble was part of the ’80s Ceroc Cabaret Team

James Cronin, the creator of Ceroc held his first Ceroc event in 198o, and formed a Cabaret Team in 1982, to help promote his new dance form in London night clubs and dance venues.  Christine Keeble, who features in the video, was part of this Cabaret Team and looking at Christine’s hairstyle I suspect this video was made soon after. Christine went on to be a founder member of the LeRoc French Jive Federation, which aims to promote excellence in LeRoc modern jive teaching.

Can you spot Mike Ellard?

David points out that the male dancer standing behind Christine, while she’s being interviewed, is a young Mike Ellard. In 1998 James Cronin registered Ceroc as a trademark and started to sell Ceroc franchises around the country. In the early 2000s Cronin sold Ceroc Enterprises to Mike Ellard the current owner.

It was Mike Ellard who expanded the Ceroc brand across the country. Mike also launched the Ceroc Weekenders, and he can be seen comparing the Cabarets at these events. Mike also DJs, and he provided a cracking set for the Sunday Swingers Hour at this year’s Southport Weekender.

James Cronin knew how to promote Ceroc

David also sent me a link to another piece of Ceroc History. James Cronin must have worked very hard to establish his new partner dance format, and it seems he found plenty of opportunities to promote it. In 1991 he persuaded Blue Peter to run a feature on a Ceroc 24 hour dance Marathon, and you can see James being interviewed by presenter Yvette Fielding.

I’m not sure if the Ceroc Marathon was a one off to tie in with Blue Peter, or whether it was repeated in future years (perhaps someone could tell me). It seems a daunting challenge. The dancers had to complete two dances and then were allowed to rest for two dances, but this went on for twenty four hours. Now I once danced from 10.00 pm until 6 in the morning at Southport. That’s an eight hour shift – twenty four hours? I don’t think so.

Are there other historic Ceroc videos?

A big thanks to David for sending me these two fascinating pieces of Ceroc History. I suspect there may be others videos, that show other significant events in the history of this great dance scene. If you know of any please send them in, and I’ll add them to this post. You can contact me through Twitter @ModJiveDancer or e-mail to [email protected]