2010 Remembered (Ken)

18th December 2010

(If you're interested, the equivalent 2009 and 2008 entries for us can be found in the December 2008 and December 2009 pages.)

January - March

This year started off with bad snow, poor attendances at venues and dancers not being able to get there, all worried about driving in dangerous icy conditions. This sounds a bit like the end of this year as I am writing actually.

We ventured forth to new Tango arrangements such as 'Let's Go To Carablanca' not really catching on yet, but exposing LGTN regulars to more traditional music (not my cup of tea mind).

Jag Jive started getting interested in attracting Tango folks down to their spare Tango/Blues/Swing room once a month, and a new push for a more definite Tango presence in the New Year is now happening. They are also dropping the Swing bit, and maybe even the Blues bit, which just leaves the Tango room...

Jive Addiction's first punt at a different venue from Skegness was 'Metropolis' in Manchester. Reading first the TripAdvisor reviews about the hotel got us a tad worried as accommodation horror stories emerged, but the proof in the pudding was to go and visit, find out and report back.

I did, I wrote up a report and actually the hotel wasn't as bad as it was made out. A certain Ceroc chappie (David Rokov, aka 'Rocky') wasn't impressed with my writings because I mentioned certain weekend chalet accommodation should be 'bulldozed' and he seemed to take it on himself to go to great trouble to dissect my review, but hey! It got read, he had his say and we all got on with our lives.

"Dance dedication" was another venue close to where I live (Sidcup) and handy to go and practice Tango late on Monday nights, but, Mikey (who ran it) had to let it close - a shame, he tried very hard to keep it going.

Bramshaw in the New Forest had another weekend of classes bringing over the Teachers the likes of Constantin and Ines from Berlin. They have now also got a purpose built dance studio which will need reviewing next year.

April - June

In April an idea developed to have a Tango trip to Berlin over the August Bank Holiday. It happened and 22 tango dancers learnt how to say Bitte and Danke. I have been asked to organise another trip next August.

Hev had her Rockbottoms Tango venture in sunny Torquay in May, but I can't report as I couldn't make it. From feedback heard, it went well apparently.

We went off on our annual holiday to the Island of Rhodes for 10 days and found that there was Tango there, but they had only started in February, so they were all beginners. It was really nice to get to know the locals and teach/show them some Tango moves though and it felt very strange bumping into them on the street and being acknowledged as friends (Rhodes is a small island).

We just got back before the ash clouds ruined everyone's holiday, particularly those folks that went on the Tango cruise down the Nile. There is another Tango cruise being organised in May 2011, and apparently highly recommended.

June was a month where I intended not going to do any Tango - nope, my commitment was to sit in front of the goggle box with my cans of cheap lager and saturated fat highly salted snacks and watch the Football World Cup. Well, what a load of crap that turned out to be - I could have been dancing...

July - September

Over the summer there was little dancing from me, and when I did go, it was far too hot to be inside, I'm grateful for not such a bad summer of sunshine and heat.

August finally saw us visiting Berlin for Tango dancing and sightseeing, a weekend that was stretched to fit everything possible in. It was really great to be able to go with friends and acquaintances from the dance world.

There was an increase in Sunday afternoon / evening Tango dance venues such as Nicky's Hammersmith venue (an Amir Giles and La Mariposa's old venue). The Stardust Milonga started doing Tea dances and Tango on the Thames used HMS President occasionally which resulted in La Mariposa deciding to extend their hours to retain Tango market share.

Stardust Milonga finally got away from Brixton and set up shop in another of Amir Giles's old venue at the Putney Club in Putney.

October - December

I ventured out in November on a Ceroc last chance weekender at Camber Sands - yes, the one I said they should have bulldozed! - and found that there really was not too many people I recognised there.

Personally, it wasn't for me, and my Ceroc weekenders are now pretty much dead and buried. Pontins went into Administration after saying they were going to invest £50 million into development - fat chance of that now eh?

Ceroc Hammersmith had their Christmas dance - in the first week of December (4th), so it just didn't feel like Xmas to me. Those that did dress up 'festive' to me looked a bit out of place, it was just too early you know.

So, here we are, in December, bad snow, scared of driving on ice, just like the beginning of the year. Was it a good year? It was a plodder. How was it for you guys?

- Ken Royden, 18th December 2010

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