I got home from Holland on Monday, went straight to teaching a line dance class, then at work yesterday and not had one minute to myself yet. Nothing new for me – I do like to be busy!
So… reflecting on HOLLAND… oh my goodness it was fabulous. The hotel – WOW! In all honestly I’ve never seen anything like it. The place is full (and I mean full) of antique stuff, but not cluttered. The hotel came in 3 parts and it was huge. The food was so yummy (well except the sausage thing lol ) and Steve loved it.
I was mainly DJ for the weekend and had a great time – what an amount of requests I had for the whole weekend.
On Friday I taught Sugarbird which I co-choreographed with Jeffke Camps. Our dance was well received and requested again over the weekend. It was amazing to see Jef and Lisa; a lovely surprise.
On Saturday we had an excursion to Pampus island ( think that’s it name) and although it was freezing cold on the boat the whole thing was very interesting, especially the old school bus that picked us up!
On Saturday evening I taught a fun contra dance but it had to be done in our “fun Scottish suits” what a laugh we all had; they’re not the easiest things to dance in!
I finally got to meet the very talented Billy Curtis this weekend. It was my first time hearing him sing and I really enjoyed it. It was fabulous spending time with him (even though I answered twice to him sayin “hey MUM!!!”) cheeky boy, and he can sleep for Scotland…
Anyway he called out Missing and no one knew it. I was wee bit shocked as they had known Cecilia and Almost Always, which I had also choreographed. So I decided on Sunday morning to teach it. BOOM they loved it and danced another 5 times from morning till night!
The whole weekend was just fabulous; new friends made with more amazing memories. Thank you to everyone for the lovely comments and company. Jan van den Hoogen thank you so much for inviting me to your great event – I loved everything about it and hope to see you all again soon.
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.
Huge congratulations to my friends Blaire Morgan, Joyce Plaskett and Misuk La, and to everyone else who won. You did fabulously well.
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 thinkI 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.
1 March – Abilene, High Beam (written with Darren Mitchell), and 18 Ends (written with Lee Hamilton)
13 April – Goshdamn (written with David Thomas)
22 April – Almost Always (Over You) (written with Willie Brown)
15 May – Ladies in the 90s
29 May – Lucky Stars (written with Jamie Barnfield)
11 July – The Bull (written with Hayley Wheatley) This one has only just been released
What’s next for my choreography?
Now I’m looking forward to teaching at World Dance Masters in August and there will be two new dances to add to the list including some more incredible opportunities for collaborating with other choreographers. Watch this space…
Thank you to everyone who has supported me in alI I do, whether that is coming along to my classes, socials, and weekends, collaborating on my line dance choreography, teaching my dances, reviewing and voting for them, asking me to teach at your events, and of course dancing them!
But more than anything else, thank you for believing in me.
I’m sitting in the airport on the last Sunday afternoon of June and reflecting on what the past couple of days has been like .. AMAZING 😁
This weekend was the 2019 Extreme Challenge to raise funds for the Line Dance Foundation for which I am really proud to be a Scottish Ambassador.
Choreographers, teachers and dancers from across the UK headed to the capital, to the site of the 2012 Summer Olympics, armed only with grit, determination, sponorship from loads of wonderful friends and family, and legs shaking like jelly!
There were 9 extreme teamists, each with 4 in their team – but we are all one huge family – there to support and encourage each other.
Friday – touristing and tension building…
We (me, Steve, Margo and Ian) arrived in London at 8am on Friday morning and after heading to the hotel to drop our bags we went out to do the TOURIST thing. Oh my goodness, 8 hours later and our feet ‘fell out with us’ we arrived back at the hotel having seen everything … it was fab …
The first Over the Edge folk we met up with were Jamie and Johnny. I’m sure our Jamie was getting whiter and whiter by the minute.
Soon everyone was arriving and the place was buzzing with all the LDF guys nervously talking about what was to come. A good job we met up in a bar!
Saturday – we felt the fear and did it anyway!
On Saturday morning we all headed over to the (canny spell it lol ) BIG MASSIVE 80 metre drop building to do our LDF challenge.
We all gathered on the terrace and the weather was roasting hot. After getting up to the top in the lift in 34 seconds, we weren’t going to walk all the 455 stairs down – oh no, we were all going to whizz down on The Slide, then some of us, including Ian and I, were going to go back up and abseil Over the Edge of the tower!
Throughout the day each of us experienced the amazing support of our line dance family as we went off to do the slide and the abseil. The atmosphere was absolutely electric – we were all petrified, but buzzing. There were a few, including myself, who once at the top decided “NOPE not doin it” hahaha but my abseil buddy Ian Fotheringham was right at my side encouraging me .. don’t listen to his GoPro footage, I’m sure it can be edited 🤪
Anyway off we went and BOOM it was done! Honestly I loved the ZipIt challenge last year but ohhhhh I loved this so much after I got over my fear .. the slide whooooooo hooooo can I say AMAZING again lol
Remember Jamie who was looking whiter and whiter as the challenge got nearer? HE SMASHED IT – whoop go Jamie! Very proud 😍
I loved seeing everyone especially my Linedancer Radio family .. great show Gary and Suzi – you kept us all entertained whilst we waited and helped calm our nerves. It’s LDR’s first birthday on 1 July – here’s to many more!
The whole thing from start to finish was, yip, AMAZING (there’s that word again ) and I would do it all again tomorrow!
To my LDF family…
Ian, Willie, April, Frank and Margo – well done you all rock BOOM proud team leader ❤️
It’s the middle of April and me Steve and nearly 100 lovely folk are off to Carlisle for our Bootleggers Blast weekend.
It’s around a 2 hour drive from Stirling in central Scotland to Carlisle and we arrived safely ready to get set up for hosting the weekend. We love working with our friends at the Crown & Mitre Hotel who look after us so well.
We had the use of the Ballroom for the weekend with a big dance floor and plenty of space for dining and socialising.
It was amazing to catch up with our 15 guests from Germany over dinner and drinks and much, much chatting!
This morning we got the ballroom all set up … a big thank you to all my friends from Germany and my granddaughter for giving me a hand to do the tables and decorations ready for the weekend to begin. What would normally have taken us all day was done in a couple of hours – whoop! Thank you all so much, my German family.
Guests started arriving and it was the best first night yet, as everyone was in good spirits and ready for a great weekend.
The dinner (and all our meals at the Crown & Mitre) was fabulous – as were the staff, including our lovely manager, Maggie Mclellan. Thank you to Elaine Karch for doing the staff collection.
After the main course at dinner I got all the staff up to do a wee dance – and what better than Let’s Dance? Oh my goodness they were fabulousand did so well – great staff, great hotel!
The atmosphere was brilliant from start to finish, with everyone up for fun. My mate, Willie Brown, did a teach of his fun dance Hey Blondie which was so funny.
I was the DJ for the night. Oh my goodness, I did manage to play everything that was requested by the end of the weekend – what a vast amount of different dances were asked for.
It was great to see our guests from Germany doing different dances to those we do – all of them are great dancers! They taught us Party Train, Great Spirit, and Make it Shake. Wow! I mastered (well, nearly…) Party Train and Great Spirit.
I think everyone survived the night which kept going till the wee small hours with dances ranging from Red Hot Salsa to Mad Crazy Love.
All the dances were so well received, and danced several times throughout the rest of the weekend.
We then had an After Workshop workshop. I introduced this a few years ago as my weekend workshops are pitched at a level to suit everyone while this introduces harder dances and offers a bit of a challenge to more experienced dancers. It’s optional if people want to stay (lots did!) and I invite instructors and choreographers who are with us to lead a workshop.
I taught Dance on my Island by Gary O’Reilly and Shane McKeever, which was so well received. I was in a panic about this one as there isn’t a script yet, so my wee brain had to remember… and BOOM! … job done: happy dancers! Gary, hurry up with that script… ha ha.
Now I taught it all, tag included, but did I get the tag? Did I heck – at least not till the Sunday!
Kevin taught Party Train by Rebecca Lee and Sobrielo Philip Gene, and Lee Hamilton taught Best Friend by Jose Miguel Vane and Guy Dubé. We had seen our German friends dancing this and we all thought “oh… love this!” so Lee kindly did the honours. Thank you Lee.
Then I invited David Thomas to teach our latest dance, Goshdamn. Poor guy, it was last minute but I didn’t give him time to be nervous! Thank you David.
What a fabulous reaction we got to it. I might be a bit biased, but I think that’s definitely one to watch!
My feet are agony – what a fantastic morning at the Bootleggers Blast weekend workshops.
The theme this evening was A Little Bit Scottish and although I don’t normally do themes I’m so glad I did this. The hall was looking fantastic and everyone made an effort – thank you everyone!
As a surprise, we brought our beautiful granddaughter, Louise, to the weekend to dance for us. She is a champion Highland dancer and what a show she gave us! She also choreographed a wee bit of Highland dancing to Celtic Duo. Gary and Maggieyou would be so proud of her!
We really enjoyed having lovely Natalie Thurlow with us for the evening and her musical talent kept the dancers happy all night.
On Sunday morning we refreshed all the dances we’d studied on the Saturday and Lee taught his latest dance, Rascals Questions, and Gudrun Schneider taught her dance The Jacket.
That completed the workshops for the weekend and all that is left for me to do is to say a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who taught over the event.
(Good) Goodbye… till next year
There were plenty of tears as guests were leaving on the Sunday and I just want to say a massive Thank You to everyone who booked the weekend – we honestly only put it together – but you all make it what it is.
Thank you also to all those who have already booked for next year. It will be our 10 Year Anniversary so it’s going to be amazing. The dates are Friday 17 to Sunday 19 April 2020.
To all the staff at the Crown & Mitre – thank you for doing such a great job – you rock!
A big thank you also to everyone that sponsored me for the 2019 LDF Extreme Challenge … and to everyone who helped put this weekend together.
My feet are on fire, but it’s been so worth it. Now I need a nice foot rub… any offers?
WOW i am not long back from the 22nd Crystal Boot Awards in Blackpool, omg it was AMAZING … there were around 1000 dancers attending and the air was buzzing fab atmosphere from start to finish.
This year i was blown away as I was nominated for 6 awards omg never did I ever dream I would get that amount in one go hahahah , I was nominated for Dedicated DJ, UK Instructor, UK Choreographer, Female Personality, Dances Missing & Young Again I honestly couldn’t believe I was nominated for so much, now I am getting asked with so many nominations SURLY I should have won something hahah no thats not how it all works and see if I am 100% honest with you all I was completley fine at NOT winning. The guys in my category’s WOW I was sharing it all with THE best of the best… my winning is seeing my dances fill the floor time after time … couldn’t ask for better than that …Anyway we had to attend rehearsals for the nomination dance and I loved everything about it, choreographed by Roy Verdonk UNDER THE SEA theme… whilst I was there I did a wee bit of Djing in the conservatory with Linedancer radio
My highlight this year I have to say was my wee buddy and bestie BLAIRE MORGAN winning RISING STAR award I honestly do not think there was a dry eye in the house she’s the tiniest wee thing but oooohhhh she can dance … well done ma wee darling super proud of you XXXX
I loved seeing everyone dance in the conservatory and the atmosphere just continued with all the LDR dj’s LOVED working along side them all they are a fab bunch and my OTHER family hahahah
Everything run very very smooth and that was all thanks to our Debbie Morgan, she is some lady keeping every thing on par thank you for that Debbie it made it extremley enjoyable for all us DJ’s …. Don’t forget to check out linedancer radio and pop into the chat room my shows are A blether with Heather on a THUR at 4.30 and Artist in line on a SUN 3.30pm come and say HI xx
Now if Im honest NONE of this would happen if it wasn’t for the amazing lady behind the scene our very own BETTY DRUMMOND…. Betty puts all the CBA together with her merry helpers and by god do they all work hard at making it a weekend to remember …
Thank you to everyone who has supported me with my dances and everything else to get me this far, I truly appreciate it and cant thank everyone enough for voting for me and believing in me and to my hubby Steve without you babe I know I just wouldn’t do all of this Love ya xxxx
So I headed to the Isle of Bute for the first time ever and it was amazing … what a beautiful place, now it is def not the largest of Islands and only measures 26 miles from one end to other.
The ferry crossing was really smooth and only took us 30min but by god it was extremely cold lol
I was goin to teach for the Glenburn hotel who had employed me as their host come DJ come everything and whoop it was really really good ..
On Friday night we had GREY HOUND EXPRESS now I have not seen Tommy for years and the boys certainly entertained the dancers all night, they sang everything from old to new… I think everyone went to bed very happy but with sore feet lol
On SATURDAY morning I did the workshop and it was fab, I got a full house and all dances well received
Make it sweet by myself
Cherry Bomb by Rob Fowler
Honey I’m Lost by Kim Ray
Great fun with everyone when I was teaching and in between we had some social dancing… it was then FREE TIME all afternoon and if I had thought about it I could have held a afternoon social for those that wanted to keep going lol something I will think about for next year ….
SATURDAY night we had the fabulous CARSON CITY och you really cannot go wrong with Andy & Willie I have worked with the boys on many occasion and they certainly know how to entertain the guys … we had such a fab time on both nights and of course the DJ wasn’t to bad either hahaha
cant wait to do it all again next year nearly all booked up with only a few places left if you fancy a wee weekend away on Friday 21st/23rd February then please contact the hotel direct for any details