You know that feeling when you read something you just cannot take in? Well that was me earlier this year. Sitting down with a cup of coffee checking my emails as you do, I had to read this one a few times before it even started to sink in – I’d been invited to be one of the instructors at World Dance Masters 2019, one of the biggest events ever in the line dance world!
WDM runs competitive and social events across the world and the worldwide talent it attracts is amazing, whether that is the competitors of all ages and dance levels, or the choreographers and DJs who host workshops and social dances. Though I’d attended a WDM event before, I hadn’t managed to get to any recently because of other commmitments.
So when I checked my diary and realised I could make it in August this year I was on Cloud 9 – and I’m still there after an incredible weekend spent with 1500 dancers from 30 countries across the world.
Steve and I arrived on the Thursday and went out for something to eat and it was fabulous right from the word go. We met up with LOADS of friends and created new ones. That set the tone for the whole weekend – we were just surrounded by and carried along with our dance family, no matter where they were from or what their dance experience or level. One gigantic family – the best!
Friday was DEMO day and oh my goodness I was absolutely shaking. I did a wee demo with my side kick and biggest supporter, my wee darling Steve. We danced ABBY’S HEARTBREAK, a nice 48 count Improver with loads of attitude that I had choreographed for the event.
The workshop where I was due to teach the dance was at 3 o’clock that afternoon and I was overwhelmed to find the room was so full that I couldn’t get on the dance floor. I was so nervous walking onto the stage, but soon as I started – BOOM – I loved it!
On Sunday I taught ROLLING WITH LOVE, an Advanced 40 count dance that I choreographed with the amazing Simon Ward. Again a packed floor for the teach and of course half way through in walked the main man. I think I did the dance proud and it was danced (and sung!) several times over the weekend.
Thank you Simon for asking me to do this fabulous dance with you – you took me out of my comfort zone, and I loved it.
Now in between all this I was Social dancing ( my feet have definitely fallen out with me). The venue for WDM19 was the Winter Gardens in Blackpool, an amazing place right behind the Blackpool Tower at one of the UK’s much loved seaside resorts, famous for its connections with dance and entertainment.
You had THE ARENA with your host Michelle Risley .. my goodness she was fantastic – she works so hard and was so welcoming to everyone that walked through her door. We loved it in there. Your Arena DJ was Cathy Hodgson who played a fabulous mix.
We also spent a little time in the SPANISH HALL and that was hosted by Rachael McEnaney-White and Fred Whitehouse with big Dave Baycroft as the DJ and mammy Pauline Baycroft looking after all staff. Again a lovely warm friendly welcome with both halls catering for everyone’s taste in music and dance. A big thank you Pauline for feeding us – who has time to eat at these events?
In the EMPRESS BALLROOM were the competition dancers. They were totally outstanding – from the age of 3 years to around 80 – they can certainly move, and their styling and technique was amazing. Your DJs were Dave and Willie who did a great job. Steve and I sat in there after my Sunday workshop watching the competition finals, then again all evening watching the results show.
The parade of competitors was awesome with so many dancers competing from so many different countries. A massive well done to everyone; it was amazing to watch each and everyone of you and. I’m sure my make up ran a million times through the tears I had.
If I had to pinpoint one thing (well maybe two…) that I was totally overwhelmed with, I would choose being in the show on Saturday night – not only dancing with the WDM choreographers but also COUNTRYVIVE who were outstanding. We danced Blaze of Glory and I think I managed the arms! I am extremely honoured have been part of it.
The other huge highlight was teaching in the Arena; that was just amazing!
But if I’m honest just the whole experience from start to finish was awesome.
What I really want to say is to the whole team at WDM, Sam, Conor, Nicola , all the team mummies, also the volunteers, choreographers, DJs, Hosts and everyone that walked through the doors to attend this amazing event THANK YOU for making this an experience I will always treasure.
This year’s event was sold out completely so if you want to come and find out for yourself from 31 July to 2 August 2020 please book your tickets soon. It is an amazing and well run event and I am thrilled to be a wee part of its story.
There is an additional room added for next year which I am so excited about as it’s our very own Linedancer Radio room in the Pavilion. I will be doing some DJing in there along with loads of other things. Thank you David for having faith in me as one of your DJs.
PS I’m also working at European Dance Masters in April 2020 and can’t wait!
PPS I’ve got my YouTube channel up and running now – I’d love it if you’d hit the Subscribe button and keep up with my line dance adventures that way too!
Hugs H xxx