Caroline Coomber School of Dance
17 September 2012
Wonderful Weekend with Richard & Morgan
What a wonderful weekend we just had with the amazing Richard Still and Morgan Hemphill, the UK Professional Ten Dance Champions. They are aged 27 and 25 respectively, so young to already be professionals with so much potential. They are a couple to be watched in the future! They will be representing England over the next few months in the European Championships and in the World Championships, and they have promised to keep us updated on their progress.
Once again their Ten Dance demonstration was out of this world with a few new routines. We were the first ever to see Morgan's new beautiful vibrant blue Ballroom dress, made by her mum, as are all her dresses. Their new Jive routine was vey dynamic and instead of the usual Latin costumes that a couple would wear during a Jive, they sported Supadance Track Suits which I felt worked really well. What an enthusiastic reception they received from all who attended!
Richard and Morgan are very much in demand and they teach, demonstrate and compete all over the world, so we were very lucky that they could spare a weekend for us, for the second time this year. On Friday night they had been demonstrating in Birmingham and were up until 1am. Then they had an early start of 4am for their flight to Scotland on Saturday.
Despite their hectic schedule, they gave us their all. Both workshops were well attended and realistically, the hall couldn't have held any more dancers. They gave us a very interesting and quite challenging Tango routine and a cute little Jive routine full of interesting and quirky little steps. I wrote up the routines as soon as I went home yesterday, so if any of you would like a copy, please e-mail me and I will send them to you. I will also be teaching them in some of the classes over the next few weeks. In fact I made a start on the Tango in the Cullen class last night. Everyone was just beaming during and after the workshops.
Richard and Morgan deliver workshops very successfully, using a light hearted and friendly approach, but at the same time they get all the information across and break down each of the figures and teach them slowly. Richard especially had everyone smiling and laughing thoughout the two hours. I had quite a few people saying to me that they felt so relaxed during the workshops and if they made a mistake or took a while to grasp something, they didn't feel under pressure or feel silly, which is how it should be. As long as those attending gain something from workshops like these, then it's all worth it.
Afterward the workshops, Richard and Morgan took six private lessons. Again very informative and I learned a lot from just observing. For a couple who are so young, their knowledge is absolutely phenomenal.
I received a lovely message from Morgan last night thanking us all for a wonderful visit. They love coming here and they love all of you and consider you to be friends which is lovely. They mentioned that they have only been to Scotland twice and both times was this year visiting us. As well as flowers, I always give Richard a bottle of local Whisky and Morgan a piece of Scottish Jewellery so that they will always have a reminder of us. They are actually coming to Scotland again on Sunday 2 December to the Scottish Closed Championships in Glasgow and will be giving an Eight Dance demonstration.
It's also extra exciting this year because at least one of our competitive couples, possibly two couples, will be competing in Glasgow for the very first time!
A few people have said to me that they don't know how I manage to get dancers of this calibre to visit this area. Basically, it's because of the tremendous support I get from all of you who attend my social nights and functions. It is by no means cheap to bring Morgan and Richard here but then again they don't charge nearly as much as other title holding couples. If I couldn't guarantee good numbers at these events then it wouldn't be possible to do it. What I'm trying to say is, that all of you made it happen! I just made a few phone calls and arranged a few dates.
Thank you so much to all of you who donated raffle prizes for this event and to those of you who bought raffle tickets. The proceeds will go to the Firefighters' Benevolent Fund and the Aberdeen Air Ambulance. Both firefighters and air ambulance staff crucially contributed to getting my wonderful husband Steve to hospital when he was involved in a serious car crash nearly a year ago. Steve spent five weeks in hospital and then underwent many months of rehabilitation. Thankfully he is back at work full time now but is still receiving regular physiotherapy. We are so grateful to all of you in the dancing world who helped out at the time of the accident and after, and who still continue to help and support Steve and I when required.
A fantastic £346 was raised for Steve's charities. £173 will go to the Firefighters' Benevolent Fund and £173 to Aberdeen Air Ambulance. He would like to thank you all very very much for your generosity.
(PS: Check out Richard & Morgan's progress on www.stillandsparkling.com)