Thursday, 23 October 2014

"Strictly" fans invited to dance Cheek2Cheek!



A LAMBOURN dance instructor is offering to teach Strictly Come Dancing fans the chance to try their hand at the real thing in preparation for weddings, cruises and Christmas parties.

Alison Dean of Cheek2Cheek Dance is launching three new “learn to dance in a day” sessions where wannabe Fred and Gingers can learn the foxtrot, waltz, jive and cha-cha.

“Most of us enjoy learning something new,” says Alison, “and although people can feel nervous, if you can count and you can walk, then you can dance. By focusing on the most popular dances over a day, it keeps things simple and easy to remember.”

Since setting up Cheek2Cheek Dance in 2007, Alison has seen a huge surge in popularity for locals keen to learn new dance steps.

She adds: “There are lots of dance shows on TV now, and people feel inspired to give it a go. I teach to all levels, and we attract all ages, ranging from couples trying to learn a dance for their wedding, to more mature people sharpening up before they go on a cruise.”

Alison has been dancing since she was 10, and became a full-time dance instructor in 2012, after working for 20 years in the retail industry. She is an Associate of the IDTA (International Dance Teachers Association) and also is co-director of an Italian gift company called In Search of Italy. She also runs new weekly dance sessions at Boxford village hall, from more traditional ballroom to more contemporary Latin.

Alison said: “While I may not be teaching dancers to take exams or compete, I like to think that my lessons are good fun and that people go away having learned how to dance and having enjoyed themselves.

“I also offer bespoke wedding dance lessons for couples; for the bride and groom who can learn a choreographed routine to wow their guests, or a refresher session for guests so they can take to the dance floor with confidence. And I also cater for people who can’t persuade their partners to join them with a Latin Rhythms class, so there’s no excuse not to come and join us!”

Kate and Rob Heathcote from Newbury, who got married in June, engaged Alison to guide them through their special first dance and said: “We are so grateful to Alison for working with us on our first dance. It went down really well and we both really enjoyed it, plus everyone loved the ending! I also found out yesterday that we had various people crying in the audience so it was so nice to know that other people thought it was lovely as well.”

Learn to Dance in a Day’ Saturday sessions at Lambourn Catholic Hall cost £55 per couple, and the weekly Monday sessions at Boxford at £88 per couple for an eight week course. Weekly classes also take place in Lambourn and Wantage.

Additionally, Alison is holding a Christmas ball for her dance students and anyone else who wants to give it a go, on Friday, 19th December from 7.45pm to 10.45pm (doors at 7.15pm). The black tie evening of ballroom and Latin American dancing takes place at the Beacon in Wantage, with live music by The Groove Company with a buffet. Tickets cost £17.50 per person.

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