Caroline Coomber School of Dance
28 September 2015
Fastastic Medal Test weekend
We have just had the most fantastic Medal Test weekend. Congratulations to all of you who underwent their Medal Tests in Ballroom, Latin, and Rock 'n' Roll, covering Pre Bronze, Bronze, Silver, Gold and 1st Gold Bar Grades.
I now have all the results which I am over the moon about. They are very impressive and even better than last year, which goes to show how well you are all doing in your dancing and how much I must be improving too as a teacher.
Sue Cooper, our Examiner, and David Pollard, one of her colleagues, joined us on Friday. They were due in at Aberdeen Airport from Heathrow at around 10.30am but owing to a car crash on the M40 they didn't make their first flight and barely caught the next one but thankfully they arrived safely a few hours later.
We took them to Aberdeen Beach Ballroom where Eddie Maitland took us on a guided tour. The building has been undergoing refurbishment and it is looking fabulous. Sue and David were very impressed and said that if they had this building in their area (Sue - Oxford; David - Manchester) they would be using it all the time for Balls, events, dancing holidays, classes, etc.
Eddie Maitland and his late wife Betty are well known to anyone who followed competitive dancing in Aberdeen during the 1950s and early 1960s. For a period of approximately 9 years, the couple won all the major Ballroom Dancing Competitions held in the North East of Scotland. Many of you will have met Eddie at our social events. He was with us all weekend to give us his support which was much appreciated.
David and Sue took lots of photos and loved the newly refurbished Soda Bar. We also had the privilege of seeing a special album full of photos of the Beach Ballroom in its heyday.
Over the weekend we were joined by 11 dancers from Thurso who are taught by Lesley Gunn, a trainee dance teacher and who many of you will have met already. They all took their Tests and their marks were also very impressive and a step up from last year.
Medal Test day ran from about 9am until 4.30pm, and Sue examined 73 tests altogether. David helped 'backstage' by chatting to everyone and giving his support. Endless cups of tea and sandwiches were served by my niece and her mum, my sister Shirley.
Audrey and Colin Pope and Iain and Fiona Sneddon kept everything in order and running smoothly, and both Sue and David commented on how well organised we were.
Thank you to everyone who helped out because there is no way I can do this on my own.
Thanks also to Steve for all the background work he did preparing for these tests and for doing the music on the day.
There is a lot of planning involved. Most dance schools just have Medal Tests then that's it but we had a Practice Session, a Dance and Workshops in addition to all of that.
Saturday night at our Dance was great fun with everyone relieved that the Tests were over and they could relax at last. We had a very good turnout including Sue and David who stayed until the end. They got up to do a Rumba together which was absolutely beautiful. It's not often that you get the opportunity to see your Examiner dancing! David asked me up for a Quickstep which I really enjoyed because I don't get the opportunity to dance very much.
Around midnight, David and Sue taught us all a progressive party dance which everyone loved and if I can remember it, I'll use it in the future. The evening finished after 12.30am!
The next day we had our workshops. Sue taught us a fantastic 16 Bar Tango group full of interesting figures. I have typed it all up so if any of you want a copy of the steps and the timings, please get in touch. She also covered quite a bit of useful hints on Tango technique.
In the Latin workshop Sue went over basic Samba figures gradually building up a routine as she went. There were smiles from everyone throughout both workshops.
Steve and I then took Sue and David to the Craigellachie Hotel for most of Sunday afternoon for lunch, a few drinks and even a game of chess before taking them back to Aberdeen airport!
It was an honour to have them both here. They were fantastic company and so easy to look after.
I now need to speak to Sue to see if she will come back again next year. She is much in demand though, so fingers crossed!