Dance tutors want to get more people jiving in Dereham
© Archant Norfolk 2014
A couple of Dereham dance instructors hope more people will hot-foot it to their modern jive nights at the town’s Memorial Hall, which have raised £4,000 for charity during the last two years.
Adele and Andy Clayton are this week celebrating the second anniversary of their Foot-Loose evening sessions at the arts venue on Norwich Street.
More than 60 dancers of all ages and abilities turn up to the weekly sessions, while more than 120 attend the regular freestyle charity nights which have raised money for good causes including Children in Need and Marie Curie Cancer Care, and local appeals including Blake’s Wish to Walk.
The couple, from Dumpling Green, have been teaching dance for more than 20 years, and have run sessions all over East Anglia and in Europe, before finding their current base in Dereham in 2012.
They say the sessions are not only boosting the health and social wellbeing of the community, but also helping raise the profile of the recently-renovated Memorial Hall.
Mr Clayton, 43, who works as a self-employed builder by day, said: “It is a whole night out, where people can come and dance and socialise. The dancing is just a part of it.
“We couldn’t raise the money without people coming through the door. The more people that come through, the more money we raise when it comes to the charity side of it.
“Some people have been with us for years and have moved from venue to venue with us, but it is hard to get it across to local people.
“The Memorial Hall is here now and it is such a great venue for us, but it needs to be used - so lets get people through the door. The more people that we get in to see the place, the more people will want to hire it or watch a performance here.”
Mrs Clayton, 45, also teaches pop dance for children at Strikes in Dereham and runs aerobics and fitness sessions at Yaxham village hall.
She said the modern jive style is a fusion of salsa, lindy hop, swing, blues and 50s rock and roll.
“It is probably the easiest partner dance to try and learn and you can dance it to any style of music,” she said. A lot of people tell us they didn’t have much of a social life before, and now they have this big bunch of friends. So we would love more local people to come along.”
The Foot-Loose sessions run every Tuesday from 7.45pm-11pm. Experience is not required, and there is no need to bring a partner or any special clothing. For more information see www.foot-loose.org.uk.