Learn to Love to Dance
Bury St Edmunds
The Athenaeum and The Guildhall in Bury St Edmunds were the venues on Saturday for a wide variety of dance classes.
They catered for age groups from four to adults and included an exercise class for the over-fifties.
Jackie Marshall-Ward's class of historical Georgian dance and how the dance style developed through the long periods of several fashion changes fascinated me.
Its combination of upright yet relaxed style with finesse and delicate style blended well under the chandeliers of the Guildhall.
By complete contrast there was the modern jive class with the East Anglian dance company Foot-loose.
Appealing to the younger audience there was plenty of laughter, fun and even a little confusion. Nothing serious, just fun.
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Michele Lavender (with Paul Knight on the piano) took the musical dance theatre class. They began with the warming-up of the vocal cords, a little elocution, then flexing of the limbs and body before combining both into a song-and-dance routine. The chosen piece was from Chicago and the clear message here was of dancing in unison with attitude, which explained the moods behind the moves.
Street Dance with Tom Hobden was raw attitude on an individual basis, with what he describes as 'bad posture. Deafening music and rapid movement added to the atmosphere.
My last class was flamenco with Liz Lee, who not only came traditionally dressed but also brought in an array of clothing for the class to use and savour the atmosphere. The robust yet, at times, delicate nature of the dance proved a rousing ending.
Unfortunately there were many more classes I had to miss, including tap and ballroom.
As all the classes were so well attended, it not only highlighted the extreme success of the event but also the need for more of them.