Caroline Coomber School of Dance
2 July 2013
Michael Hemera and Lauren McFarlane
On the weekend of 29 & 30 June, Michael Hemera and Lauren McFarlane visited our Dance School for a Five Dance Latin Show and two Latin American Workshops.
Michael and Lauren are South Pacific Latin Champions and Finalists UK Rising Star, British National Championships and UK Latin Closed Championships. I saw them demonstrating at the world famous Winter Gardens in Blackpool in January and they were absolutely fabulous. (The photo on the poster was taken at the Winter Gardens).
First of all, a big “thank you” to all of you who were a part of the weekend. These events are a team effort and there is no way I can do it entirely on my own.
The Dance Demo on Saturday evening and the Workshops on Sunday morning were all a great success, and the feedback I have been receiving has been absolutely amazing. Michael and Lauren were so appreciative of everything that we did for them and were made to feel very welcome.
My husband Steve and I picked them up from the airport on Friday evening and they came to ours for a meal. Lauren especially is a whisky fan and in fact her father is Scottish. Steve gave them a taste of a 16 year old Longmorn which they very much appreciated.
Michael and Lauren are both Australian and hail from Sydney and he was very keen to watch the Australia v British Lyons Rugby Game on Saturday morning so we after letting them have a practice at Elgin City FC (thank you to Iain Sneddon and John Marshall for helping us to set up) we went up to my dad's house to watch the game. Australia won — just!
Lauren was very keen to see Johnstons Cashmere Centre so we went there next and then we went to Glen Grant Distillery. Dennis Malcolm, the manager there, arranged a VIP tour for them and we all had a taste of 8 year old, 10 year old and most special of all, 25 year old from the safe by the waterfall served with water straight from the waterfall. They were then each given a complimentary bottle of Ten Year Old. Thank you very much to Dennis Malcolm and the staff at Glen Grant Distillery.
In the evening, Michael and Lauren socialised a lot with us all both before and after their fabulous Demonstration which made the evening extra special for many people and they stayed right until the end.
The Demonstration was very very impressive and was both beautiful and powerful. Lauren had five dress changes. Unusually, after their last dance they proceeded to introduce a Snowball Waltz so that we could get as many people on the floor as possible which added to the enjoyment of the evening. Emily Barker then presented them with Celtic Cufflinks, a Celtic Necklace, a small Quaich (Cup of Friendship) and yet more whisky!
The Workshops next day were attended by about 40 people and everyone I spoke to gained a lot from each one. The first Workshop focused on Latin arms, hands, hold and leading, and in the second they gave us a wonderful Rumba routine. They successfully managed to gain a happy medium as we had complete beginners there as well as very experienced dancers and all went away smiling. They practically got a standing ovation once the Workshops were over.
Raine and Jim Fergus and Jon and Jan Cornall then took our dancers to Brodie Castle for lunch. Afterwards Jon and Jan took them to Inverness Flying Club where Jon is currently learning to fly and took them on a one hour flight in order that they could see our amazing scenery. The highlight was flying over Loch Ness at 300 feet!! Wow! I've seen the photographs that Lauren took and they are very spectacular. We then left them at Inverness airport, very happy but tired!
Raffle money from Saturday night
Another big thank you to those of you who generously donated raffle prizes. We took in £225 which is just fantastic. As always this money goes to charity. Most of you know that I am a huge animal lover and this time I chose two animal charitites to give the money to. Both very deserving and both doing amazing rescue and rehoming work. £125 has gone to Huskies in Need and £100 to Belwade Farm Horse Rescue Centre in Aboyne.