We have in the past run a regular feature highlighting dances from our library from the “Golden Years” of Sequence Dancing in honour of the many arrangers that have over the years made important contributions. Two or three released per month with scripts made available free to view. We have selected dances based on our personal preference with the aim of providing an alternative to the new dances currently on offer and to put the quality and variety back into sequence dancing. Scripts available by clicking links in blue are kept free-to-view for around 2 months). We don’t plan to run any regular Features in 2017 although we may publish the odd one or two occasionally. Some of the recent Features are still available below:
Easter 2017: BROOKLYN TANGO Robert & Louise Aldred: From a BDC Competition designed to produce championship level dances. My own view is that this is exactly the sort of routine that should be danced in mainstream sequence dancing. So I’ve decided to make a script available. There is also now an inventors video available free to view on BBL’s site – click here. I’ve written the script based on the video, so you’ll have here the rare opportunity to see a script that actually matches a video. The script is available in chart form from various teaching associations for something like £5 and it’s not possible to get a “normal” script anywhere. This script is free-to-view here. Others from this series (Flare Foxtrot, New York Quickstep, Green Emerald Waltz and Tauromachia Paso Doble) are available to our members. This Feature may also be of use to those people disappointed that none of Robert & Louise’s dances won at Southport this Easter.
And I thought it might be appropriate to give this an airing at this time. MORNINGTOWN BLUES. Music by The Seekers, Morningtown Ride. I was reminded of this on looking at this year’s Southport Easter Entries List and noting that David Howker and Deborah Catlow had entered a Morningtown Blues (and I’m guessing to the same music – if so, good choice, great minds think alike). The Feature may therefore be of interest to those at Southport who may have been looking forward to dancing to this superb track. There is a demo video available here courtesy of Bill & Sandra Tepper.
December 2016: For those who are a bit irked that there have been no winning Quickstep routines since January and were looking to the UKA to deliver the goods at their new “Fleetwood in December” Inventive but who remain disappointed, I thought I would add a link to the following Quickstep from the UKA’s 1983 Competition held at their Summer Conference then at the Norbreck Hydro – a non-winning routine from the organiser of this year’s UKA Inventive, not previously released: CONFERENCE QUICKSTEP Ted & Sue Burroughs, 1983.
November 2016: A few dances to fill the gaps in current provision for sequence dancers:
HARLEQUIN SWING Ted Burroughs, 1979: Non-winning Blackpool finalist, not previously released.
KATRINA QUICKSTEP Howard & Joanne Cookson, 1992: A good routine with some novel figures and novel and nicely flowing amalgamations.
GLENROCK JIVE Annette Sheridan, 1983: Again, a good routine, simple without compromising the genre, and some nice touches.
PASO DEL SOL from the ISTD Latin 1980 by Roger Corkery. This was from the pre-sports-hall era (this comp took place at Cecil Sharp House). The only ever sequence Paso with a Coup de Pique and Grand Circle plus plenty of other frills and spills of good authentic Latin. I thought that given a novelty rhythm has just won Blackpool, those that like real Latin might appreciate this. And who knows it might just Pique some interest.
SAVOY SWING Michael Davies & Betty Baker 1983: It seems like many patrons of public ballrooms across the land are crying out for a danceable Swing. Well look no further than this former Blackpool prizewinner from the Golden Years.
MAESTRO QUICKSTEP Ken Park, 1983: It also transpires that those same folk are looking for a danceable Quickstep as there has only been one this year, so here is an old one from the late, great Ken Park.
For brief commentaries on our Feature dances and many of the other dances that are in the Library click here.
There are videos available for many of the previous Feature dances (courtesy of Bill & Sandra Tepper and Simon Hartland & Natalie Cuomo, and others) – these can be found via the links below or by visiting OpheliaDance1, The Sequence Dancing Sequel, Madame Samba, and Simon Hartland. We hope that more videos of dances from the Golden Years will continue to be made available on YT and elsewhere by those above who are already doing a sterling job. We would also like to see other dance professionals turning their hand to producing quality video demonstrations of quality sequence dances on both a promotional and commercial basis – it is absolutely vital for the future of sequence dancing, – it must be a worthwhile venture for someone, surely ?
Good possibilities for future Feature Dances are as follows (should we chose to run more Features): Metro Foxtrot, Juanita Cha-Cha-Cha, Tango Delgada, Rumba Rosette, Melodrene Waltz, Saunter Aquarius, Rhinestone Quickstep, Paradise Waltz, Susie Jive, Saunter Sandara, Rumba Zeeta, Alma Tango, Raynette Foxtrot, Waikiki Waltz, Lancaster Tango, Esmi Waltz, Tango Segovia, Grand Prix Cha-Cha-Cha, Rumba Amour, Cabaret Quickstep, Mayflower Gavotte, Keresley Quickstep, E.T. Saunter, Kerry Quickstep, Barbados Cha-Cha-Cha, Sunridge Jive, Tropicana Swing, Waltz Carousel, Waltz Charade, Ascar Waltz, Grosvenor Foxtrot, Appleby Quickstep, Sophie Quickstep, Miami Swing, Ebony Saunter, Huckleberry Jive, Marlborough Foxtrot, Boogie Swing, Shadow Gavotte, YC Cha-Cha-Cha, Shadow Samba, Regency Rumba, Rumba Presidente, Rumba Dorice, Rumba Malibu, plus occasional un-released arrangements of my own (only a guide and I may deviate from this list a bit, and if you have any other ideas let us know).
The following is our archive of previous Features The links are now in-active but If you would like instant access to all of these now, they are all in the Library, which you can subscribe to here.
Late September 2016: Well it’s now been so long since the ISDC and with another month to go until Blackpool I’m starting to have withdrawal symptoms, so decided to have an impromptu end-of-month mini-feature. And given the recent surge in popularity of the dances of Graham & Avril Watkins who have recently made an Inventive come-back, what better than the following. EVESHAM FOXTROT: This is one of Graham & Avril’s unused non-winners from 2003 (ISTD finalist). So not exactly going back to the golden years but I guess it’s quite old now. Surprised they never got around to winning with this as it’s better than most of their actual winners, and, actually it’s pretty damned good. A bit like the Glenroy in places but with a fresh amalgamation and all in all quite unusual and nice to dance. Maybe try it to Frank Sinatra’s I’ve Heard That Song Before.
Early September 2016: This month we start with QUEENSWAY SAUNTER an excellent non-winning routine from the early 80′s, recently added to our Library (dances well to Abba’s I Do or if you don’t like that how about Shirley Bassey’s Somebody Like Me). This was an IDTA finalist from 1982 from Ted Burroughs which was later adapted to make a prizewinning Saunter of some repute (see if you can guess which), but some parts that were very unusual were left behind and never been seen since. So I thought it was time the original had an airing. Next up is WALTZ UNKNOWN, a super routine from the late 70′s, but the script I had had the second half missing (which I filled in from memory) and the name and inventors missing, so if anyone can identify it I’d be pleased to hear from you (looking at the databases, I have a feeling it may be WALTZ CASCADE by Gilbert & Margaret Smithies, 1978). And for those looking for a good Modern Tango, how about TANGO RICO – there is a demo video here courtesy of Simon Hartland & Natalie Cuomo.
BOULEVARD SWING Ted Burroughs & Sue Hillman, 1980: Another former prizewinner from Waterloo St, Weston Super Mare. The script includes a photo-montage posed by the inventors. There is a video here, courtesy of Bill & Sandra Tepper.
ROYSTON RUMBA: Origin unknown, 1981. An excellent routine that seems to have attracted a lot of attention since it was first released on You Tube a few months ago, so I thought I would give it another airing. Demonstration video available here
The links to the free-to-view scripts for past Feature Dances are now inactive, but you can still access them via a subscription to our Library, details here.
ELJAY SAUNTER Lewis & Joan Wilson, 1978: unusual but danceable routine, will be a bit of a change from the norm.
KESTREL QUICKSTEP Michael Davies, 1981: former IDTA winner, good solid construction of standard combinations – not sure how this one has been forgotten.
TANGO TAMARA Barry Jones & Elaine Starkey, 1982: another former IDTA winner – something for the advanced dancer.
JUKE BOX JIVE Ted & Sue Burroughs, 1982: best Jive ever. Video here.
Late June 2016:
As promised, another Feature to coincide with this years’ BATD Inventive. We start with the 1981 UKA Latin winner RUMBA MARIA by Annette Sheridan (partnered by Reg Seales) – a super amalgamation of basic Rumba figures with a highlight of Same Foot Side Steps and Side Cucarachas (with attractive arm extensions on the Cucarachas). Has an unusual yet simple construction with no awkward gimmicks of the kind often seen today. Would have made an ideal medallist dance. Incidentally, this won the competition in which Samba Grenada from our last Feature was a finalist. And, finally, a Blackpool winner from 1975 arranged by the King & Queen of BATD Sequence Dancing Mr & Mrs Roy Sharpe, MOONLIGHT GAVOTTE, a refreshing change from the more run of the mill selections preferred by arrangers of Gavottes today.
Early June 2016:
I had planned to run the June Feature to coincide with this year’s BATD Inventive on the 19th. However, the shifting of the UKA Inventive from it’s usual slot this month seems to have left a bit of a hole in the Inventive calender. So I though I’d kickstart the June Feature early with a former UKA non-winner from 1981 – SAMBA GRENADA by the late John Gould partnered by a very young Sue Burroughs. This is a lively routine full of authentic Samba figures in an unusual and attractive amalgamation that will please Samba lovers everywhere. Probably the best Samba sequence I’ve ever seen. And as there seems to be room for a good Foxtrot at the moment, here is AMANDA FOXTROT, a 2nd prizewinner from Blackpool, 1978, by Tony & Denise Dyer (named after their daughter). Video available here.
Three of the best from the glory days of the Allied Inventive:
M.Y. CHA-CHA-CHA Maurice Tait & Yvonne Stanley, 1981: A well structured routine, not overly complicated, and appealing in its simplicity whilst still true to the genre. A far cry from the arrangements of today which although not particularly challenging are rambling and obtuse in their construction and just plain immemorable.
CANDY WALTZ Maurice Tait & Yvonne Stanley, 1984: A delightful Old Time Waltz routine. The same comments apply as for the CHA-CHA-CHA routine above.
VANILLA SWING Jeff & Muriel Aldren, 2000: For those who prefer dances with non-turned-out feet. A more recent offering but from the last of the good inventors – the Aldrens did have a particularly long inventive career. Again a far cry from today’s Swings – original, appealing, well structured, dances perfectly with no awkwardness.
Finally, from the Modern Section, AVANTIME WALTZ, an Allied finalist from the 80′s.
And searching through Opheliadance I came across RUMBA PLAYA by Jacqui Ward which won the Allied in 1978. Hard to believe this was nearly 40 years ago. Interesting to compare past & present. The Script is available in the Library.
We start with TANGO CAPELLA an excellent Modern Tango from Jeff & Muriel Aldren which won the Butlins Inventive at Filey in 1979. Next up, BOSSA LOU, a Butlins finalist from the early noughties (discarded in favour of something by Shaw & Blackburn), danced to Ricky Nelson’s Hello Mary Lou. And finally, TANDY JIVE by David Howker & Elizabeth Atkinson, 1986.
We start with SUMMERTIME WALTZ, a non-winning finalist from 2003 by Michael Morris & Beverly Berry. Not previously released. Contains some of the more novel steps from the recent Champagne Foxtrot. Then we have KIWI QUICKSTEP again another non-winner, not previously released, this time by Don & June Millington, 2002. There are some demonstration/walkthrough videos to accompany this from Bill & Sandra Tepper, here and here. Then TANGO CHAMPAGNE, yet another non-winner not previously released, this one by Graham & Avril Watkins, 2003. And finally, going back considerably further in time to the real Golden Years we have RUMBA BOLERO from Roger & Yvonne Corkery, 1983.
Early March 2016:
We start with REFERENDUM TANGO, one of our own arrangements, a very contemporary Modern Tango. Try it to Charles Barlowe Annientemento. There is a video available here (courtesy of Bill & Sandra Tepper). Then we have FABIAN FOXTROT by Bob & Wendy Whelerton, 1976 – again something for the advanced dancer with the Four Feathers and a Natural Twist Turn ending (not a prizewinner). Bob & Wendy were great pioneers of Modern Sequence with many excellent prizewinning dances to their name (most notably Firefly Tango). Sadly, Bob passed away last October, so this seems like a good time to honour them. Moving on, we have RUMBA SAYONARA by Maurice Tait & Yvonne Stanley. This won the NATD Latin section in 1978 (interestingly, looking at photos of today’s event, seems that the same trophies are being used now as in 1978 – they’ve worn well I must say !). Recommended music Doris Day Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps. And, finally CLASSICAL GRAY GAVOTTE by Darren Badder & Hilary Biggs, 1997 (with a video available here)
CHA-CHA-CHA CADIZ Roger & Yvonne Corkery, 1981: Former ISTD Latin winner. Well constructed and appealing routine with just the right smattering of trick figures (Promenade Swivels, Gua Pache Time Steps and Bunny Hops). Script comes complete with demonstration photomontage featuring the inventors. I should add that both Man & Lady hop backwards on Bar 16 (which may not be obvious from the script). Try it to Jon Canning’s In These Shoes.
WALTZ CAPRICE Jill Bush, 1984: Beatiful Waltz routine by the current chair of the ISTD sequence faculty, and an ISTD Modern winner from back in the days when sequence dancing was not just for the elderly. Again some rare figures and construction, bordering on the advanced side, including a Natural Fallaway Turn to Fallaway Chasse & a Same Foot Lunge with the lunge held for two extra beats and with a change of sway. Gorgeous.
SAUNTER VIV’ANN Bert French, 1980: As the ISTD saw fit not to provide any Old Time this year, we thought we would publish this. Although unusual in construction, it is made up of very familiar figures and will no doubt find favour with those looking for simpler routines. There is a chasse away from partner on Bar 2 and a chasse back towards partner on Bar 3, enabling the routine to danced as a “progressive”.
Also of interest, over on Opheliadance is a video of CHICORY CHA-CHA-CHA, another old ISTD winner from Muriel Burrell in 1978. The video is available here and the script is available in the Library. How things have changed over the years !
ROYSTON RUMBA arrangers unknown, 1981. Script now available by clicking the link. The script was apparently made available at the time but I think wasn’t distributed by the script services and so it wasn’t widely danced. Shame, as it really is a fine routine at all levels. Anyway, it now seems to be finding a huge following on YouTube since the video was released by Opheliadance and has resulted in a five fold increase in viewing figures since it appeared a couple of weeks before Christmas. And wonders will never cease, it’s even being danced in the UK (good taste at last). If anyone knows who invented it please let us know (the Royston Ballroom was home to Frank & Peggy Spencer in Penge – could there be a link there ?). The video is here.
QUESLETT QUICKSTEP Mark Paton & Jacquie Davies, 1992: novel combinations, superbly choreographed and plenty for the advanced dancer, a beautiful hover telemark variation and a scatter chasse follow to a reverse pivot.
TORNADO TANGO Ted & Sue Burroughs, 1992: Superbly structured routine in the true Classical style.
Also of interest Opheliadance have just released a video of METRO FOXTROT (which can be found here). A good prizewinning dance from Golden Years of the Northern Counties. The script is available in the Library.
RUMBA TOPAZINE Jill Bush, 1981. A well constructed and nicely rounded routine based on the “Spinning Wheel” (Shadow Circling Walks to R then to L). This won the IDTA Latin in 1981.
WALTZ C’EST LA VIE Ted & Sue Burroughs, 1983: This was a finalist in the UKA Modern in 1983 which has never been released. An unusual yet simple construction, quite a lot of syncopations (eg three in succession on Bars 2, 3 and 4), combinations of hovers, chasses and wings, and I think likely to appeal (it has something of the Welcome Waltz X Factor to it). Try it to Nat King Cole’s Fascination.
SOLARA TWO-STEP Mike & Sheree Savory, 1991: Winner of the BDC Old Time in 1991, arranged by former proprieter of the Premier ballroom in Leicester, now dance shoes entrepreneur Mike Savory and daughter Sheree. One of the best Two-Step routines ever. Very distinctive. I’m surprised it never made it on to the competitive scene as it’s far better than both the Kensington and the Society.
To coincide with the Ada Unsworth Memorial Inventive on November 1st, we have the following:
KIRSTY QUICKSTEP Michael & Ann Morris, 1989: One from the archives that I really liked. Starts like Universal Quickstep but with a Turning lock to R. Ends with a Double Tipple to R, a Drop Lock followed by a Forward Lock Step and a Double Reverse Spin ending. A bit different from the now run-of-the-mill, and will please those still looking for a good Quickstep.
PASO DEL SOL Roger Corkery, 1980: Something for those craving for a Paso and/or a sequence dance with authentic Latin technique rather than novelty dances for pensioners. This one has all of the ingredients, Appels, Elevations, Syncopations, Coup de Pique, L’ Ecarte, Grande Circle, Spins, Attitude Lines. What more do you want ? The script has been available for some time via our Samples Page, but you can access it from the link above.
JAZZ BAND SWING I added this some time ago but only just realised the link was faulty. It’s one that I dug out from the distant past, a non-winner, must have been from the late 70′s or early 80?s, I can’t remember who arranged it (possibly Jeff & Muriel Aldren), but let us know if you recognise it (in fact, you can have a free subscription if you can identify it). Anyway, A MUST-DO FOR ALL SEQUENCE DANCERS and one no-one will have seen before as it was never released. Try it to When You’re Smiling (Swing Till You Drop) or Southern Comfort (Bryan Smith) or, here’s an idea, Still in Love With You (Electrovelvet) – UK Entry to Eurovision 2015.
To coincide with Blackpool we have the following:
TANGO AVANTI David Bullen & Iverna Corcoron, 2001: An excellent classical Tango from relatively recent times, 2001 (but outstanding for its vintage and so still classed as “golden years”. Italian for “ahead of it’s time”, and it certainly was that. And ……..
COSMIC JIVE Malcolm Brister & Shelagh Buckley, 1996: A very creative number and one of Blackpool’s best ever Latin winners I think. Not often does a Jive win at Blackpool either. In fact I think this is the one and only ?
And from earlier in the month, we have the following five dances in rhythms not well catered via current competitions, each one a superb example taken from our library of sequence dances from the golden years with interesting and rare choreography.
SIERRA SAMBA Roger & Yvonne Corkery, 1982: Ditto for Samba. Video available here, courtesy of Bill & Sandra Tepper. We also have a photo-montage of the inventors performing the dance, available here, courtesy of the now defunct sequence section of The Dancing Times. Choreography includes an unusual Contra Bota Fogo Circular Volta variation with effective arm styling using a Bower shaping. Also of note is the leg lift and body contraction on Bar 15. Compare this with the new Samba from Blackpool.
WINTER TANGO Jill Bush, 1985. An excellent Modern Tango for those looking for one. Choreography includes Progressive Side Step Reverse Turn to Spanish Drag, Back Lock to a Drop Oversway and Three-Step Change. A good choice I think. And particularly apt with the winter of sequence dancing now upon us.
SOHO SWING Ken & Elaine Park, 1975: Ditto for Swing. Unususual construction starting with an open turn and with a ball change movement separating from partner.
SUNSHINE WALTZ John & Sue Sommerin, 1980: A simple but lively Old Time Waltz sequence that is super to dance.
RUMBA CASANOVA Ken Park, 1975: For those looking for a danceable Rumba sequence. We used to dance this to Bryan Smith Come Closer To Me. Alternatively, there is the version by Natalie Cole & Nat King Cole.
ASHLEA QUICKSTEP Michael Davies & Betty Baker, 1984: Well, sequence people tell me they need a good Quickstep. So here it is. A non-winning finalist from these two former ISDC celebrities, not previously released. How it never won I don’t know, but it has a number of rarely used figures in an unusual amalgamation, with the Four Quick Run following a Chasse Reverse to start, the Running Cross Chasse in the middle (not used before or since in sequence) and the non-syllabus “Six-Quick-Twinkle” following a Natural Turn with Hesitation to finish. What more could you ask for ?
TAHITIAN WALTZ Michael Davies. This won the ISDC Inventive in 1980 and is a beautiful Waltz routine that will appeal at all levels. Includes an Open Telemark to Wing Intro, a double Progressive Chasse, and a Fishtail. Recommended music Bryan Smith & The New Hawaiians, Paradise.
RIVIERA CHA-CHA-CHA Ted & Sue Burroughs, 1984: A non-winning entry which made the finals at many an inventive (eg NOB, 1984) but never released. A novel routine with Patacakes, Dos a Dos, and Solo Circling Walks & Locks. There hasn’t been a winning Cha-Cha routine for some time now so this might fill the gap.
CORAL SAUNTER Ken & Elaine Park, 1978: Now I know we don’t really need another Saunter but at least this one offers something a little different, a touch of the American Smooth perhaps, and is fabulous to dance. There is a very nice video here, courtesy of Bill & Sandra Tepper.
And anyone looking for a good Modern Tango could do worse than the following non-winner (we’ve featured it before, but here it is again):
TORSION TANGO Darren Badder & Hilary Biggs, 1994: the link is the You Tube video. The script is available in our Library.
HONEYSUCKLE JIVE Peter Varley, BDC, 1981: A former BDC Latin winner to coincide with this year’s BDC Inventive. We have a taster, here in the form of a photo-montage posed by Peter Varley & Jill Bush. A well-constructed, rounded, yet exciting routine. Nice to revisit the Open Throways and Argentine Crosses again, plus a long Change of Hands Behind the Back variation with Flicks. Much better than recent prizewinning Jives. Try it to Dion, Runaround Sue.
DAFFODIL GAVOTTE Jeff & Muriel Aldren, NOB, 1979: A beautifully choreographed and unusually refreshing routine that deserves to be given some air-space. Much better than the Gavotte that won at the IDTA last month. Dances well to Bryan Smith’s Stephanie Gavotte. May prove particularly popular in Wales.
ZARA TANGO Muriel Burrell, 1982: Well this is an odd one. Supposedly an Old Time Tango and it has got a couple of Bars in Open Hold. But apart from that it’s one of the best Modern Tango’s I’ve ever seen. I thought I would chose this for this month’s Feature as although I’m not particularly keen on the Old Time/Modern mix, it will at least be different from the run of the mill of Old Time Tango’s we see in contemporary winners (and no doubt today’s winner will be no exception) and it will be a treat for those craving for a Modern Tango – current competitions have not produced one since January (although the last winning Waltz is the sixth this year). This dance even has the Oversway to Spins following a Back Open Promenade similar to a recent BDC dance that has been reserved for competitive dancing only.
AQUILLA QUICKSTEP Roy & Dorothy Moxon, 1981: Looking at the sequence forums (well, forum), it seems that sequence dancers are currently suffering from Waltz overload and some are crying out for a good Quickstep. So, I thought it would be a good time to add this excellent Quickstep from the Moxons of Burton-on-Trent, a non-winning finalist from the NATD Inventive in 1981, not previously released. Coincidentally, the dance which won that competition was a Waltz with the same name by Ted & Sue Burroughs. Recommended music Tony Evans, Simply Beautiful.
As it is the IDTA Inventive early this month, the rest of our Feature will focus on past IDTA dances and dances arranged by key IDTA figures, as well as providing some dance rhythms that have not been well provided for in this year’s competition winners.
INTERNATIONAL RUMBA Derek Tonks & Beryl Bates, 1977: The first of the selected IDTA dances (hence the name). One of only two Latin winners from these arrangers (the other was Canberra Cha-Cha which we featured last year) and one of the best sequence Rumbas of all time, now completely forgotten of course. A well choreographed and attractive routine with a good variety of figures, shapes and patterns, well-structured into a coherent and striking whole – a far cry from the rambling arrangements of all too familiar figures that today’s sequence dancers have to suffer. Originally danced to Bryan Smith, Come Closer To Me although I prefer it to Tony Evans, And I Love You So.
WALTZ LEHAR Jeff & Muriel Aldren, 1981: An IDTA winning Old Time Waltz. The IDTA this year introduced a ruling that the classical entries should have at least two bars of Natural or Reverse Waltz and so one presumes they were looking for a dance suitable for competitive work. Perhaps they had forgotten about this one from one of their previous competitions, which has both Waltz turns. One of the nicest ever I think and why it has not been taken up on the competition circuit I don’t know as it has all of the necessary ingredients. The construction is very unusual, with the Waltz Turns not in the places you’d perhaps expect them. Originally danced to Bryan Smith, Waltzing With Lehar.
DANSAN TANGO Early 80′s: No doubt sequence dancers won’t be interested in traditional Old Time with turned out feet and Waltzing. So, for them, here’s a much needed Old Time Tango, an old competition entry, not previously released. There is also a video courtesy of Bill & Sandra Tepper available here. (I struggled to decide which OT Tango to put up here – I was thinking about ZARA TANGO an IDTA dance from 82, and also TANGO AVANTI, ALMA TANGO & TANGO EL TORRO, but I thought this one just had the edge).
To coincide with the BATD Inventive on 21st June we have added the following three dances:
NORBRECK FOXTROT Annette Sheridan, 1984: Finalist at the BATD in 1984 from a regular BATD winner. Surprised it didn’t win, as an excellent Foxtrot. Don’t know what happened as the winning dances that year were awful. I bet they’re sorry they let this one go ! And, actually, it contains some figures and constructions that have still not been done in sequence, which should be a real plus for today’s sequence dancers. Plus, it’s quite easy ! Recommended music Rod Stewart I’ve Got You Under My Skin or Frank Sinatra I’ve Heard That Song Before.
TRACY TANGO Sylvester Burrows, 1987: 1st prizewinner at the Modern Section of the BATD in that year. I thought I would add this as there seems that the general public seem keen to get stuck into a good Modern Tango – not surprising given the fact that the last five inventives have spawned four Modern Waltzes.
RUMBA BOLERO Roger & Yvonne Corkery, 1983: The BATD Rumba was so awful (with a whole 8 bars ripped off from Rumba Makore from the same arrangers dated 1999) that I thought I would fast forward to a dance that I was reserving for a future slot – a well constructed and pleasing routine that will give today’s sequence dancers something they won’t have seen before.
And the following dances were added earlier in the month to coincide with the UKA Inventive:
SHELLY SAUNTER Tony & Denise Dyer, Blackpool, 1979: A very danceable routine from these UKA dignitaries and former regular UKA inventive winners. There is a photo montage posed by the arrangers together with a report of the inventive competition where this won, available here. We also have a video demonstration of this dance performed by another couple of UKA dignitaries Ted & Sue Burroughs – the video is here. Far less contrived and therefore truer to the Old Time genre than recent official offerings.
VALENTINE FOXTROT Annette Sheridan & Ray Reeves, UKA, 1985: An excellent Foxtrot routine and former UKA prizewinner from arrangers who were regular UKA inventive winners and also, prior to that, British Amateur Ballroom Champions. Unlike recent prizewinning dances, the routine includes a number of groups that have not been used ad nauseum in the last 15 or so years and so has a more distinctive character and might actually seem like a “new dance”.
BALI HI CHA-CHA-CHA Ted & Sue Burroughs, UKA, 1983: Ted & Sue were regular winners at the UKA but this dance was a non-winner at the 1983 comp, the script not previously released. There is also a video available courtesy of Bill & Sandra Tepper – the video is here. Probably more fun that recent prizewinning Latin sequence dances.
PASO EL GRANDE Ted & Sue Burroughs, Blackpool, 1979: Another one from Ted & Sue. Again, a non winner, from the competition that furnished last month’s Feature Dance VIDEO QUICKSTEP by Tony & Denise Dyer. Again, the script has not previously been released. Ted & Sue never won with a Paso, nor do I think they entered one again, so this is quite a significant dance historically. Also, more authentic compared to recent prizewinning Latin sequence dances. And probably the last chance sequence dancers will get to learn a new Paso !
PEPSI SAMBA Maurice Tait & Yvonne Stanley, 1984. Another one fom these clever arrangers who had many prizewinners during this era, a good number at the Allied. It’s authentic, contemporary (even by today’s standards), well choreographed, good to dance, lots of figures and variations that will be fresh to new sequence dancers, and even has some advanced figures. There are some interesting transitions into and out of Cuddle Hold. I particularly like the Explosion Line, Rocks to 4 – 6 Rolling Off The Arm (Bars 6 – 8). Following that via a cleverly crafted link there is an attractive Contra Section with unusual hold (LH to RH throughout). As the BDC are currently Searching for a Samba, we thought we’d pull this one out of the Archives just in case they’d forgotten about it. It’s also an Allied prizewinner which is particularly timely as its their annual inventive this month (and to my mind one of the best Allied winners in living memory). The Pepsi Challenge is on ! Are you up to it ?
MIRROR WALTZ Jeff & Muriel Aldren, 1982: Something for Old Time enthusiasts. An unusual arrangement which starts with an Allemande and includes some same foot work. Consists of repeating patterns of Balances and Pas Glisses in various guises. Very appealing. I don’t know why it never won as I’m sure it would have gone it to become a big hit at many levels. It was entered at the Allied at the time, and various other comps, including Blackpool – although to be fair to the Allied I think it was up against and beaten by their own BURGUNDY TANGO which we published last year (if you need a reminder of what an Old Time Tango should look like it’s still available on video if you click here). This Waltz has not previously been released.
VIDEO QUICKSTEP Tony & Denise Dyer, 1979: Not an Allied dance but winner at the Blackpool Festival. An excellently choreographed Quickstep with an attractive grouping of Promenade Figures. I thought I’d put it up as it’s interesting that despite it’s name it still hasn’t appeared on Video even after 36 years. I think it might now be big on YT. There is a photo-gallery of the inventors performing this here.
Plus one for luck,
JAZZ BAND SWING One that I dug out from the distant past, a non-winner, must have been from the early 80′s, I can’t remember who arranged it, but let us know if you recognise it (in fact, you can have a free subscription if you can identify it). Anyway, a far cry from the shite we get today, and A MUST-DO FOR ALL SEQUENCE DANCERS. Try it to When You’re Smiling (Swing Till You Drop) or Southern Comfort (Bryan Smith) or, here’s an idea, Still in Love With You (Electrovelvet) – UK Entry to Eurovision 2015.
April 2015: Our David Bullen Theme Feature, selected from a long list of Mr B’s former prizewinning and other dances.
WALTZ CHAMPAGNE: David Bullen, 1980.
CHALLIMAR SAUNTER Ted & Sue Burroughs, 1987: Previous ISTD Old Time winner and a beautifully crafted routine from the Golden Years. Unusual construction, but balanced and still very much in the Old Time style (as it should be !). Recommended music Marie Osmond Paper Roses.
JUKE BOX JIVE Ted & Sue Burroughs, 1982: Fun routine, offering something different by today’s standards, with unusual turn behind Man’s back on Bar 8. Second half is an attractive same foot variation with effective use of arms. One of the best ever. Video available here.
RUMBA DUET Yvonne Stanley & Maurice Tait, 1981: Winner of the Butlins Inventive at Filey. Well constructed and interesting routine featuring much that is novel by today’s standards, such as a Shoulder to Shoulder with Lady’s aerial (Bars 1 & 2), Fan to Checked Hockey Stick to Part Alemana (Bars 5 – 9), Slow Curl from Open PP (Bar 11), and Syncopated Side Steps (Bar 15). Also danced mainly on the spot without too much progression around the room, as Rumba should be danced. My all-time favourite Butlins winner and a must-do for all sequence dancers. Maurice & Yvonne are still with us, running a busy school in Nottingham (click here), although they don’t do sequence any more. Recommended music Luis Miguel Manana de Carnaval.
FLICKER QUICKSTEP Jill Bush, 1981: The script is accompanied by a photo-montage, photographs posed by Peter Varley & Jill Bush in 1981. An interesting and challenging Quickstep featuring the Flickers. Recommended music Robbie Williams Putting On The Ritz or Dave Arch That Old Black Magic. We also have a demo video courtesy of Bill & Sandra Tepper which is available here.
WALTZ CAVATINA Ken & Barbara Street, 1980: This won the ISTD Modern Section 35 years ago. An easy but nonetheless delightful Waltz routine with an unusual construction and popular appeal. We also have a demo video courtesy of Bill & Sandra Tepper available here. The music originally used is Ken Turner’s Cavatina.
VALERIE FOXTROT Ken & Barbara Street, 1978: Another old ISTD prizewinner. Unusual arrangement with Open Telemark continuing left into a Zig Zag to Same Foot Lunge follow (bars 7, 8 and 9). Also includes a Three Step to Natural Turn and another Zig Zag (Bars 13 to 16) – the Natural Turn is not often seen in sequence Foxtrots these days. Recommended music Max Bygraves You’d Be So Nice To Come Home To.
MAYFIELD TANGO Ted & Sue Burroughs, 1984: Features a type of twist turn with the Man’s untwisting and Lady’s circling walks followed by a Lady’s twist turn with the Lady untwisting and the Man’s dancing circling walks. Originally danced to Charles Barlow Orchestra’s Tango Annientamento – music here. Video available here, courtesy of Bill & Sandra Tepper. Just to demonstrate what a good well balanced sequence Tango arrangement, suitable for all ages & abilities, should look like.
DISCO CHA-CHA-CHA Ted Burroughs & Sue Hillman, 1979: Easy routine with disco theme, originally danced to Sugar Cane’s “Montego Bay” – music here – come in on the vocals after a long intro. There is a photo-montage of Ted & Sue demonstrating this – click here.
RED RUMBA Ken Park, 1982: On the eve of the NCDTA Inventive Comp, how about a blast from the Northern Counties past in the form of this 1982 Latin winner by the late great Mr Ken Park. As with all of Ken’s work, this is a well constructed sequence suitable for all levels and nothing fancy, yet with a touch of added flair and a twist of originality that so appealed to the sequence dancers of that era, and the hallmark of the skilled inventor. You won’t see the likes today. Recommended music Bryan Smith, Come Closer To Me.
All fabulous !
Plus one of my own:
WALTZ BOUQUET Sequenceblogger 2015.
We thought that this month we would feature some easy dances suitable for the party season. All 3 scripts are available on the following link, together with some super demo photos posed by the inventors at the time (well worth a look just for the old photos), click here. We also include some fabulous recommended music, in particular some tracks from Robbie Williams Swinging Both Ways (ooer) album.
HOLIDAY SAMBA: Winn & Bob Oliver, 1979. Recommended music Boney M Hooray !
Also, following complaints that there have been too few good Modern Tango’s this year (and they’re not wrong), why not try this non-winning Tango from the 90′s:
Also, someone wrote in saying they needed a good Cha-Cha. Well look no further than this which we featured a short while back (actually you can look further as there others in the archives on par with this):
MORNINGTOWN BLUES Recommended music, Morning Town Ride, The Seekers. One of my own arrangements in the Old Time Section. I did say at the beginning of the year, I’d arrange something myself occasionally. Video available here, plus a walk-through video here (both courtesy of Bill & Sandra Tepper). Alternative music, Shirley Bassey, Somebody like Me, here.
WALTZ CASCADE Harold Hammond, early 1980′s I’ve been asked to release this again as it is now being done in Australia. I released it about a year ago with the title UNKNOWN WALTZ and was listed in the Library as the same. This is a dance that I saw danced in the early 1980′s and scripted it. However, I had no idea of its origin or even what it was called, hence the title. But since this most recent release, the dance has been identified by a reader who sent in the original script (for which I’m very grateful). The script that I wrote from memory agrees for the better part with the original although there are one or two minor discrepencies. The inventors script is available on the link above. The original script I wrote from memory is still available here (I thought I’d better retain this as there are dancers out there who have learned the dance based on this script). There is a demo video courtesy of Bill & Sandra – here – and a walk-through video here. Both of these are based on my memorised script, although Bill & Sandra may make amended versions available in due course. The script library now provides only the inventors script of this dance under the correct name. Recommended music, Ann Breen, Pal of my Cradle Days, here.
(The identification of this dance has however thrown up another question. There is another dance listed in the library that, as with the above, I had seen performed and scripted myself from memory, and which was previously included with the title of (you guessed it) WALTZ CASCADE. However, this is a distinct dance completely different from the one described in the paragraph above, and given recent revelations, it now seems likely that we had previously named it incorrectly. The latter dance is still in the Library, but, given the above, I’ve now re-listed it as UNKNOWN WALTZ. Confused ? You will be ! If anyone can now identify THIS dance from the script, we’d be pleased to here from you – this script is here.). Recommended music, Shirley Bassey, Until it’s Time for you to Go, here.
Plus, from recent months – our Rumba Medley – as an illustration of the quality and variety of dances from the early days of sequence, I thought I would make scripts available for a selection of good Rumba’s (only 4 months now till the Library closes for new subscriptions, when gems like this will be gone forever):
RUMBA DUET Yvonne Stanley & Maurice Tait, 1980 (Advanced)
RUMBA BIANCO David Bullen & Margaret Redmond, 1977 (Intermediate)
RUMBA BOLERO Roger & Yvonne Corkery, 1983 (Intermediate – unusual)
RUMBA TOPAZINE Jill Bush, 1981 (Intermediate)
RUMBA AMOUR Peter Varley, 1982 (Intermediate)
RUMBA CASANOVA Ken Park, 1975 (Easy – perfect for today’s sequence dancer)
RUMBA ROSETTE Peter Varley, 1978 (Intermediate)
MITZI RUMBA Annette Sheridan, 1982 (Intermediate)
RED RUMBA Ken Park, 1982 (Easy – perfect for today’s sequence dancer)
RUMBA MARIA Annette Sheridan, 1981 (Easy – a perfect introduction to Rumba fundamentals for all beginner classes, and equally enjoyable for more advanced dancers)
BLUE MOSQUE RUMBA Ted Burroughs & Sue Hillman, 1979 (Intermediate)
RUMBA MALIBU David Bullen & Iverna Corcoron, 1988 (Intermediate)
RUMBA DORICE David Bullen & Iverna Corcoron, 1994 (Intermediate)
RUMBA ROULETTE Jill Bush, 1986 (Advanced)
INTERNATIONAL RUMBA Derek Tonks & Beryl Bates, 1977 (Fairly easy)
RUMBA PLAYA Jacqueline Ward, 1978 (Intermediate)
RUMBA ZEETA David & Valerie Warren, 1977 (Intermediate)
RUMBA SANTANA Colin Gear & Lavinia Thomas, 1979 (Intermediate)
RUMBA SAYONARA Maurice Tait & Yvonne Stanley, 1978 (Advanced)
ROUNDABOUT RUMBA Ted Burroughs & Sue Hillman, 1980 (Intermediate)
RUMBA BOLERO, Roger & Yvonne Corkery, 1983: An excellent Ada Unsworth Event Prizewinner from the Golden Years. Very unusual and wonderful characterisation from the masters of sequence inventive. Torvil & Dean did something similar a year later at Sarajevo. Recommended music, Acker Bilk (RIP), La Playa, here.
CORONA QUICKSTEP Darren Badder & Hilary Biggs, 1996: Since I was hoping for a good Quickstep from the most recent comp (but got a Waltz instead, and we have republished scripts for many good Waltzes recently, see below) I thought I would release this very good non-prizewinning Quickstep from the past (maybe not the Golden Years, but from an era where there was still a glimmer of hope). Video available here.
Late October 2014:
To coincide with the Blackpool festival, we thought we would share some of our favourite dances from the Golden Years of Blackpool:
BARBADOS CHA-CHA-CHA Ted & Susan Burroughs, 1981: Fabulous.
SAUNTER NIRVARNA David Bullen & Iverna Corcoron, 1981: OT Prizewinner of the same year. Also very nice.
Plus one more (not a Blackpool dance):
BENITA FOXTROT Derek Tonks & Beryl Bates, BDC, 1974. For video, click here (the video in which the dance is demonstrated by David Howker & Elizabeth Atkinson, was recently uploaded to YT courtesy of Madame Samba).
Early October 2014:
SUSIE JIVE: Winn & Bob Oliver, 1981: A BATD prizewinner from the Golden Years. Seems that the recent CRYSTAL JIVE (Stuart Perry & Beverly Howard, 2014) was fashioned around this as the similarities are striking. The first 8 bars are very similar – Link & Whip, a Fallaway Rock, back to back chasses, back to back flicks, followed by a spot turn and a fallaway chasse variation. The second half includes a Susie Q variation and some movements in Zorba Hold. An easy routine that would please many.
Next up we have some more recent dances (not Golden Years but still old now). These are some non-winning routines that I have particularly liked from some of our contemporary competitors. Funny how the non-winners are often better than the winners, but maybe that’s because the judges tend to favour the less ambitious routines that I don’t like. The selection below should please fans of Steven Shaw and Helen Blackburn, particularly significant as they have formally announced their retirement in the last week. And I’ve also included some dances from Graham & Avril Watkins – they haven’t retired yet, but are not frequent competitors these days, and I’m sure there are many who would like to see more of their dances.
EVESHAM FOXTROT Graham & Avril Watkins, 2003: Finalist, not previously released. A nice routine with large chunks of GLENROY FOXTROT re-amalgamated. Many SDers seem to be craving a good Foxtrot at the moment – look no further.
TANGO CHAMPAGNE Graham & Avril Watkins, 2003: Finalist, not previously released. A pleasing Old Time Tango, well structured, with an interesting array of holds. After some rather run of the mill OT Tango offerings this year (and a few that are really awful), I put this up as an example of how it should be done.
TAMARELLA TANGO Steven Shaw & Helen Blackburn, 2002: Finalist, not previously released. A rather unusual and pleasing Modern Tango. Starts with a Brush Tap (which is different). Not many Modern Tango’s these days, so this should satisfy the craving. There is also a video available from Bill & Sandra (thank you) – click here – and there is a walk-through too – click here. The latter may be particularly useful now there are no free videos of new prizewinning dances available on YT, FB or anywhere else.
Finally, with Blackpool looming, one of my all-time favourite past Blackpool Festival winners:
MOONLIGHT GAVOTTE Roy & Elaine Sharpe, 1975.
FIRST WALTZ Sequenceblogger 1992 (re-released 2014): Following on from a discussion on Madame Samba talking of similarities in sequence dances, coincidental or otherwise, necessary or otherwise, I was recently going through a box of (my own) unused sequence scripts, and found a Waltz, written in 1992, which, as it turns out is very similar indeed to recent ISDC prize-winner The Last Waltz (thought the latter seemed familiar when I saw it, and now I know why). So I thought I’d re-name my creation of yesteryear The First Waltz and release it. The First Waltz (unlike the aforementioned younger brother) does offer one or two figures not previously used in sequence dancing. The link is below (Ken Turner’s Cavatina is a good choice of music).
BLUE LACE WALTZ Ken & Barbara Street, 1991: Beautiful Waltz sequence with unusual but fluent construction. Highlights include the Travelling Wing, a Progressive Chasse to R followed by Lady’s Developpe, and an Overturned Cross Hesitation. Recommended Music, Cavatina, Ken Turner Orchestra, The Best of the Dansan Years Volume 4.
CONROY TANGO Ted & Susan Burroughs, 1981: Old Time Tango sequence true to the genre, nicely constructed with some unusual figures, in particular the Progressive Side Steps danced on Same Foot. Recommended Music, Ole Guapa, Ken Turner Orchestra, The Best of the Dansan Years Volume 4.
SAMBA GRANADA Johnny Gould (partnered by Sue Burroughs), 1981: UKA non-winner, script not released at the time, but an excellent routine crammed with authentic syllabus figures, cleverly arranged, as opposed to the “fun-dance” type routines we would have to endure on the rare occasion a Samba wins an inventive competition nowadays. This unusual sequence starts in “cuddle hold” with a Samba Walk & Side Samba Walk ended in Open PP. Bars 11 – 14 consist of Criss Cross Voltas ended back in the “cuddle hold” with the full two Bars of Rolling off the Arm to end the dance.
And one more, by special request
TRACY TANGO Sylvester Burrows, 1986: Probably the last decent Modern Tango in the history of sequence dancing, will please many (and I believe it is even being done still in some venues).
One of my own:
Plus some forgotten dances from the past, nothing extravagant, but super to dance at all levels, both UKA winners:
DEE-JAY QUICKSTEP Lewis & Joan Wilson, 1980. Again, a good showcase of Quickstep, perfect promotional material, ideal for beginners classes, and equally enjoyable for more advanced dancers. Original Music Tony Evans, Mr Sandman
RED BLUE RUMBA Ted & Sue Burroughs, 1986: Non-winning finalist, NOB, not previously released. Attractive arrangement with same foot start and solo turn to L. Recommended music Klaus Hallen, What’s Another Year
PARASOL WALTZ Jeff & Muriel Aldren, 1983: Old Time finalist, not previously released. a delightful arrangement in the true Classical style. Video available here (courtesy of Simon Hartland & Natalie Cuomo).
CANBERRA CHA-CHA-CHA Derek Tonks & Beryl Bates, 1979: What a gem of Sequence Dance History (a previous IDTA prizewinner, no less). A ravishing mix of figures neatly arranged to create an appealing, unusual and memorable routine that will tantalise even the most difficult to please. Video available here (courtesy of Bill & Sandra Tepper).
OPHELIA FOXTROT Sequenceblogger, 2014: Arranged by myself on a sudden whim this week. An array of syllabus figures to include some figures and combinations that aren’t used much but which I think work well. (Please note the original script was replaced on 16th July with an amended technique for the Double Natural Spin & Feather Step follow). Video available here (courtesy of Bill & Sandra).
Late June 2014:
RUMBA ROULETTE Jill Bush, 1986: Advanced Rumba sequence (advanced in relative terms, that is), superbly choreographed, with some rare figures and plenty of rotation: Circling Walks R side to R side (Bars 4 and 5), Promenade to Counter Promenade “Runs” (Bars 6 and 7) plus an unusual entry to L Shadow Position following the Aida and Cuban Rock (Bars 10 to 12) followed by a “Swinging Gate” variation on Bars 13 to 16. This has been beautifully scripted with emphasis on the lead and follow needed in this type of dance. Careful attention should be paid to the hand and arm positions, particularly on Bars 3 through to 7 and on Bars 12 through to 16. Video available here (demonstrated here by Simon Hartland & Natalie Cuomo who we are pleased to welcome back for an encore).
Early June 2014:
Some former UKA inventive dances (winners & non-winners) from the Golden Years. We are very pleased to welcome Simon Hartland and Natalie Cuomo to our expanding team of demonstrators. They have made a fabulous debut demonstration of TANGO RICO (below). I am sure their contribution to our Dance Features will be a great asset for Sequence Dancing and we very much look forward to working with them along with our other demonstrators in the future.
TANGO RICO Jeff & Muriel Aldren, 1981: A non-winning finalist from the UKA’s competition in 1981. A superb Modern Tango with excellent Tango characterisation and excellent choreography. Video available here (courtesy of Simon Hartland & Natalie Cuomo). This is a YT video located on Simon’s channel, and can be be downloaded & streamed quickly and conveniently. But I will shortly set up a site especially for the Feature from which files can be shared. The download originally provided was a high resolution video file, but I removed it primarily because it had a very long download time and I thought it may deter people from checking it out, and also because I don’t have a convenient place to file share from at the moment (neither of my sites allow it for these sorts of files). On the other hand, I do want to make high quality video files available as well, and the new site will make provision for this also.
FERRARI FOXTROT David Bullen & Iverna Corcoron, 1983: Fabulous prizewinning Foxtrot sequence with good, balanced constructive with good variety of patterns, shapes and alignments (David’s only ever Foxtrot sequence I believe). Video available here (video courtesy of popular demonstrators Bill & Sandra Tepper).
SAMBA SUZANNE Tony & Denise Dyer, 1978: An appealing routine, from popular UKA lecturers and former winners of their inventive competitions (this won one of their competitions) – easy, but well arranged with enough authentic Samba figures to be credible, and a bit of a change from what has now become the norm. Video available here (thanks to Bill & Sandra for their sterling work on this once again).
Three fabulous dances that sadly got away, along with their arrangers. Good job I kept records (scripts), as we need them now. Had these won I’m sure they would have gone on to become classics. I seem to remember the first two being in the same final at the UKA (Weston-s-Mare) where WAVERLEY WALTZ won (draw your own conclusions !). Fortuitously, videos have recently become available (performed by the inventors 20 or so years ago):
And, finally, a little something for Old Time devotees. Especially poignant, as this was the Allied OT winner 32 years ago & the arranger was chairman of adjudicators at this years’ Allied Comp. Oh, how things have changed ! Thanks to Bill & Sandra Tepper for providing the video. Here’s what you could be doing folks !
KINGSMERE WALTZ Roger & Yvonne Corkery, 1979: Script with photo montage of the arrangers’ demonstration included. Very nice advanced Waltz sequence Featuring The Throwaway Oversway with a Swivel Ending followed by a Natural Telemark (Overturned) to Same Foot Lunge & Reverse Turn. Pay particular attention to the scripted alignments ! And please note that Bar 3 is described in the Headings as a Hinge Line, but is actually what we now call a Throwaway Oversway. Video available here.
JENSEN JIVE My own arrangement, as I promised to deliver such on a regular basis at the beginning of the year. Knocked this up in half an hour today, choreographed especially for the following music by Bette Middler & Barry Manilow, Slow Boat to China. It all starts with the music, so they say. Start at the beginning of the first verse (there is a second section where it goes out of sequence with 5 or 6 bars or so where Middler and Manilow have a conversation, but you can stick some Link Rocks or something in there, then pick up again when the next verse starts). There were some errors in the original versions of the script which have now been corrected (seven times !, most recently on 6/4/2014) – make sure you have the up to date version. Video available here.
FAIRVIEW SAUNTER Ted & Sue Burroughs, 1982: Charming arrangement with some unusual amalgamations and figures, notably the Twinkle Turn Back Whisk combination on Bars 11 and 12. Probably the best Butlins dance ever. Try it to Marie Osmond’s Paper Roses. Video available here.
TANGO SAN ANTON Dorothy Moxon, 1980: Another dance in memory of Roy & Dorothy. An excellent intermediate level Modern Tango with an attractive Promenade variation with an Appel action.Try it to Autumn Leaves by All Stars Ballroom Dances Volume 5. Video available here.
SHIRLEE CHA-CHA-CHA Shirley Cox, 1977: Another National classic. Easy social dance but cleverly arranged and pleasing. Shirley was perhaps better known as a trainer of successful Latin formation teams, that I remember watching often on the original Come Dancing series, but I think this was her only foray in to sequence inventive. Sequence Dancing was in good hands at this time. Try it to Mama Teach Me To Dance by Eydie Gorme. Video available here.
Some easy, achievable routines, to counter the current shortage:
HELENBROOKE WALTZ Dorothy Moxon, 1979: Good, basic Waltz routine, with a unusual amalgamation (Bars 11 to 16) incorporating an Outside Change to Hover Cross, Weave, and a type of Cross Hesitation ending. Easily achievable, yet a change from the now standard spin turn or hesitation change ending. An extra that I decided to include following the release of the video on Madame Samba, danced by David Howker & Elizabeth Atkinson, particularly as there are not many new Modern Modern Sequence Dances around at the moment. Video available here. Dorothy sadly passed away in 2012, aged 88. Since I published this, I have heard that Dorothy’s husband and partner, Roy Moxon, passed away last month. Their school in Burton-on-Trent remains open. Newspaper reports here and here. We will feature some more of their dances over the coming months.
RUMBA AQUARIUS Ken Park, 1970: Well constructed Rumba with a contemporary feel belying its age and which will also be well within the capabilities of the average dancer. Video available here. Try it to Bryan Smith’s Come Closer to Me.
SPRINGTIME JIVE Jill Bush, 1985: Well constructed and challenging jive with attractive hand to shoulder lines, an unusual side break variation leading into a change of hands behind the back, plus an enjoyable mooch variation with the man flicking between the lady’s feet then vice versa. One of the best ever and a bit different from the current norm. Video available here.
FAIRVIEW FOXTROT Lewis & Joan Wilson, 1985: Another truly excellent arrangement from this esteemed couple. Technically spot on and completely innovative. Features the Double Reverse Wing, the Same Foot Lunge point (with weave ending) and a nice box variation. Video available here. Also dances well to Bert Kempferts’s Red Roses for a Blue Lady – for music, click here.
SHERRIE TANGO David Bullen, 1979: Get the new year started with this superb Old Time Tango. Cleverly constructed with good continuity and interesting changes of holds. Bar 10, a set of points and taps is an attractive figure, as is the sharply timed close & point following a zig zag (bars 12 & 13). It is important to keep the RF extended at the end of Bar 12 for as long as possible before closing sharply prior to the point on Bar 13. Video available here.
WALTZ PHENICIA Sequenceblogger, 2014: One of my own arrangements. First of a series I’m planning for inclusion in the Library. Video available here. Try it to Nat King Cole’s Fascination or Bryan Smith’s Honolulu Moon. Let’s hope it gets a Ten from Len.
CORAL SAUNTER Ken & Elaine Park, 1978: Beautiful Saunter with many lovely shadow and solo figures. I particularly like the Circling Shadow Walks Bars 3 & 4) followed by the Lady’s Spin (Bar 5) & Lady’s Solo Circling Walks (Bar 6). I’m not sure why this was never used as a championship dance as it has all the right ingredients. Video available here.
MITZI RUMBA Annette Sheridan, 1983: Unusual Rumba sequence commencing on RF with a contra Shoulder to Shoulder movement and Circling Walks changing to R shadow position. Also includes a cuban rock variation (turning rock to R to side rock) in a close hold with Man’s hands on Lady’s waist and Lady clasping hands on back of Man’s neck. A must for all dancers. Originally danced to a version of Johnny Logan’s “What’s Another Year ?” (the exact version I can no longer find – but you could try this). For a video demonstration of this dance, click here.
RUMBA PLAYA Jacqueline Ward, 1978: 1st prizewinner. Commences with an overturned hip twist with double spiral ending. Nice use of arms throughout. Place RH behind Lady’s back after swivel at end on Bar 4. Bar 12 change from cuddle hold placing hands on Lady’s waist. Video available here.
CRYSTAL SAUNTER Lewis & Joan Wilson, 1981: 1st prizewinner. Interesting arrangement, with change from right to left side shadow position on swivel locks, a right lunge in left shadow position and recovery into ballroom hold to a side sway (bars 9-12). Ending based on the fallaway twist, a rare advanced tango figure, but works very well here. Video available here.
CONFERENCE QUICKSTEP Ted & Sue Burroughs, 1983: Finalist, not previously released. Clever construction of strongly moving figures built around two groups of points and swivels, the second following a fallaway natural, rarely used in
quickstep. Excellent. Video available here.
TAMARELLA TANGO Steven Shaw & Helen Blackburn, 2002: Excellent Modern Tango, finalist, not released. For those who may well now be suffering from withdrawal symptoms in the wake of the lack of Shaw-Blackburn dances in this years crop. Video available here.
SUSIE SWING Michael Davies, 1986: finalist, not released. From the arranger of the very popular BLUEBIRD WALTZ (pictured below with his dance partner). Danced to Sioux City Sue. Or you could try Things. Video available here.
EASTCLIFFE BLUES John Gould (partnered by Sue Burroughs), 1981: Something slow and easy, perfect for the warmer weather. Arranged in the Classical style with a refreshingly simple structure and lack of unnecessary frills. Try it to Marie Osmond’s Paper Roses. Or, for something really slow, try Manhattan Transfer’s Chanson D’amour. Video available here.
DALLAS TANGO Jeff & Muriel Aldren, 1980: 1st Prizewinner, NOB, Modern Section. Unusual, cleverly arranged Modern Tango. Unusual start with a Whisk. Highlights include a double syncopated chasse and extended points on Bars 3 & 4 and the Lady’s twist turn with Man’s circling walks on Bars 10 & 11. View photo montage here. Video available here.
KIWI QUICKSTEP Don & June Millington, 2002: Non-winning finalist, not previously released: Nice Quickstep with a good mix of standard syllabus figures and unusual highlights such as the slow reverse turn into the four quick run providing an attractive contrast of rhythms. Video available here.
RUMBA ELITE David Bullen & Iverna Corcoran, 1982: Non-winning finalist, Blackpool Festival, not previously released. Side Cucarachas leading Lady in front into crook of Man’s L arm on Bars 9 & 10 are an attractive highlight, as is the Lady’s spiral turn on Bars 15 & 16. Video available here.
HALF-PENNY SWING Jeff & Muriel Aldren, 1983: A non-winning finalist, not previously released, with repeating structure with varied patterns based on changes of places an directions, and a range of holds. An allemande turn over two bars which is unusual in this rythym. Video available here.
WALTZ GABRIELLE Ted & Sue Burroughs, 1986: A non-winning finalist, not previously released, commencing with an Open Telemark to Wing. Bars 5
- 8 are an unusual amalgamation of a Natural Turn (without Hesitation) followed by a
Feather and a Whisk turned L. This is followed by a type of overturned Wing to Same Foot Lunge with a foot change for the Man. Video available here.
ALJULAY FOXTROT Annette Sheridan, 1980: A very strongly moving foxtrot in the standard ballroom style featuring some advanced figures including the quick open reverse and the hovercross continuing forward into a quick natural weave. Less well known now but deserves a revival. Video available here.
JUKE BOX JIVE Ted & Sue Burroughs, 1982: Easy jive with unusual turn behind Man’s back on Bar 8. Second half is an attractive same foot variation with effective use of arms. One of the best ever. Video available here.
TANGO SUHALI Lewis & Joan Wilson, 1971: Joan Wilson, 1970: Excellent authentic modern tango, with pleasing combination of links and swivels, plus the leftside walks and switch, and the fallaway twist. This was very popular in the 70′s and is still done by some social dancers. Video available here.
CHICORY CHA-CHA-CHA Muriel Burrel, 1977: Mainly basic figures, cleverly arranged into a neat pattern. But the unusual double spin for the Lady on bar 4 adds a challenge. Also features an Alemana and an Underarm Turn to R, so the “underarm” theme is a recurring feature. Also has the rarely used Cuban Breaks, as opposed to Split Cuban Breaks. Video available here.
TUCAN TANGO Ken & Elaine Park, 1981: 1st prizewinner, North of Britain, Old Time Section. A very smart old time tango with a lot of same-foot work and attractive use of arms in a range of shadow holds. The R lunge & brush tap on bar 15 following a same foot rock turn is a particularly nice combination with the lunge creating an attractive line. Bars 9 to 12 are danced in high shadow hold with both hands joined at shoulder height (walks & chasse along LOD and against LOD). The RH’s are lowered to Lady’s R hip on the first step of Bar 13, Lady placing her RH on top of Man’s RH (on the curved walks to wall, retaining this hold through the rock turn to R). Then the LH’s are then taken down to Lady’s L hip on the RF lunge in Bar 15, creating an attractive line with both hands on Lady’s hips. Video available here – this one’s still available on the back-up channel despite the (temporary ?) closure of the original.
SIERRA SAMBA Roger & Yvonne Corkery, 1982: 1st prizewinner, ISTD. A superbly arranged advanced samba, danced all on same foot, either R shadow, solo, or contra position, including an unusual contra botafogo/circular volta variation with effective arm styling, plus a leg lift and body contraction on Bar 15. Note the bower shaping of the arms from the end of Bar 6 through to end of Bar 8, and again from end of Bar 10 through to end of Bar 12. A montage of photographs from the inventors is provided to illustrate this – click here. Video available here.
INTERNATIONAL FOXTROT Joan Wilson, 1979: 3rd prizewinner, IDTA, but released. One of the best sequence Foxtrots ever. An excellent construction with some unusual figures including the Oversway with change of sway following a Fallaway Reverse Slip Pivot, plus an unusual variation on the Hairpin as a follow from the Reverse Turn. (Video/Walkthrough).
RHYTHM JIVE Lewis & Joan Wilson, 1976: 1st prizewinner, IDTA. Cleverly crafted Jive sequence based on Jitterbug vis a vis Quarter Turns on Bars 1 to 4 and “rhythm” points Bars on 14 & 15, ending with a Simple Spin. Very popular in the 70′s, and still done to some extent, though better known to medalists and competitors. Very unusual compared to today’s dances. (Video/Walkthrough).
HYDRO QUICKSTEP Jeff & Muriel Aldren, 1983: Finalist UKAPTD Modern Section, script not previously released. Commences with an Open Telemark and Chasse in PP to a Fan. Sequence also includes the Pendulum Points (Bar 5) and a novel and well phrased “in & out” variation in fallaway (Bars 12 to 15). Running Finish into a Rock Turn (Bars 9 to 11) also is unusual. (Video available here).
RUMBA SANTANA Colin Gear & Lavinia Thomas, 1979: Unofficial dance although the script was released and the dance was very popular. Appealing rumba with unusual structure – starts in shadow position, and includes both tandem & solo figures. The points & leg lift on Bar 13 changes the feet for the rest of the sequence, with an unusual way of changing back on Bar 16 through a swivel following an Aida & Cuban Rock (note bar 16 has four steps, both Man & Lady turn L, the Man swivelling & the Lady dancing a switch action). (Video available here).