Letting go of all the bad and upsetting events (Brexit and the humiliating performance of English team at the Eurocup 2016) that transpired in the last few weeks... Here is something that brightened up my day last weekend with 3 full days of modern jive dancing at one of the biggest events, Ceroc Jamfest, with some bright and sunny landscape beheld while laying on the sand by the sea (of course, not without the more than occasional cold gust of wind and shower, this is UK after all) at the golden beach, and lots of fantastic friends to jam all the way till 4 in the morning with...
Remember last summer when I had taken upon myself to travel to all the southern coasts of UK while the weather was still dandy? Well, it didn't quite go as planned, I had to stop after Bournemouth in September as the weather took a turn for worse since then and I got more and more engaged with my PhD. However, I didn't quite stop my weekend escapades to them coastal havens and did manage to squeeze in a few trips to Rye and the Isle of Wight before the end of the year, and finally picked it up again this year since Easter (March end) by travelling up to Kent and Rye again.
Anyway, coming to the reason I got to visit another southern coast of UK twice in less than a year is because every year Ceroc hosts a number of weekenders all year round in some lovely venues all over the country where amazing dancers of all levels, from complete beginner to veterans with years of experience, go and dance for a whole weekend from morning till sun down, and then until the sun is up again. Check out the full list of events for the year if you would like to try it out ;)
Starting with an all-nighter free style on the Friday evening, the weekender comprises of a massive gamut of dance classes including modern jive, cha cha, bachata, tango, ballroom dancing, salsa, swing, etc. to name just a few, all taught by some of the best teachers and dancers from across the country, starting from 10 in the morning, until 6 PM on Saturdays and Sundays. Followed by an all night long free style dancing, on music by DJs from all over the country, with anyone and everyone who asks, or you yourself would want to ask... The rule is to never say no to a dance, well, why would you anyway :D In total, 3 days of shaking and breaking legs, over 50 hours of free styling and of course, the mingling of people from all styles... The Ceroc community really takes these weekenders very seriously, making the best out of the opportunity to hone and further develop their dancing skills. I cannot tell you how fortunate one is to be a part of something so electrifying...
This wasn't the 1st time for me, in fact I had attended one such weekender at Camber sands, Rye, last year in November. But it was a bit more comfortable this time round all due to the cheery weather, with the summer slowly but surely settling in. This time again it was at the sandy shores of Camber sands. The holiday park where the event is generally arranged is situated quite close to the Camber sands beach and so, another tick on my southern coasts list. The chalets are pretty basic with a communal room with TV, a sofa bed, dining table with chairs, rooms with wardrobes that fit 2-6 people in one (in the room, not the wardrobe ;P), a bathroom, and an open kitchen equiped with all the necessary appliances. On both occasions I have travelled to the location via car so public transport vice there is not much experience but there are trains, a little over 3 hours from Southampton, that run all the way to Rye station either trasitting via Clapham junction or taking a more direct route via Brighton.
Anyway, here are my 2-cents for any future cerocer on how to prepare for the occasion:
- Bring along your comfy dancing shoes,
- Your best gaudy dress-to-impress outfit that shimmers (the more glittery, the better),
- Bedsheets as the chalets do not provide with sheets,
- A towel and a toothbrush since you still want to be a little civilized and look human in the end when sharing with other fellow dancers,
- Some food since the chalets are self catering, or arrange it with your fellow chalet mates (depending on how many you are sharing with),
- And yes, please please please stretch after the dances or at least at the end of the day before going to bed or so, I cannot stress enough how knackered your legs can get, especially the ladies who may end up doing a lot of dips and drops.
Anyway, sorry for the lack of dance photos, strict Ceroc policy of no photos in the dance floor... But here is a little view of the sunny sandy shore of Camber sands