Dancing An Hour Away

April 13, 2014 — 67 Comments

This is me with my serious face

You know what it’s like when you have to set yourself a goal and no matter what you do it just isn’t getting any closer ? Well after three days working on my compositions for College I was at that point tonight, where I needed to clear my head and take a break.

I find that if I face a difficult challenge, a good place to start is by breaking the problem into smaller tasks that are each achievable, (hopefully). But what happens when the path you’re on needs to change direction and suddenly the method you tried doesn’t work? I think sometimes it is good to take a break and return with fresh eyes.

So tonight I switched off my computer, put down my pencil and decided that if I was going finish off my compositions I needed a little fun and relaxation first. So I invited myself along to my Mum and Dad’s dance class. We started doing ballroom and Latin dancing when I was about eleven or twelve. My Mum wanted something that we could all do as a family so she found a dance school that we could all start together as beginners and have a little bit of family fun together.

The fabulous dance teacher is called Amanda Kirkby and her school is Northwich Dance Company

So tonight I joined them for their lesson and as my brother had a dance partner I was taken through my paces by Amanda.  My parents have been learning six sequence dances and I decided to give each one a go.  They were tremendous fun to learn and all my years of dance lessons from ballet to contemporary helped me remember the steps and fix the routines in my head to the beat of the music, although my dad said it wasn’t fair as it took him weeks to learn them all and he still forgets the odd step here and there 🙂


Amanda presenting me with my Ballroom Silver medal awards in November 2010.


IDTA Northwest Ballroom & Latin Newcomers Competition – Oct 2011 – First Place In Latin Under 21s – Charlotte Hoather

At the end of the lesson I felt energised and although tired it has given me the boost I needed to continue with my compositions and push on to the end of my chosen path.

Here are the dances that we learnt along with videos which will give you a flavour of the evening. Unfortunately these are not from our lessons but from another school of dance that has published them on YouTube.

Sweetheart Waltz

Mayfair Quickstep

Tina Tango

Saunter Together

Queen Of Hearts Rumba

Midnight Jive

67 responses to Dancing An Hour Away


    Very good ! go have find the good way !! ;-)) Give my “bonjour” to your parent.
    Have a beatifull week. Lion regards ;-))…. You see that I mean ……


      Hi Pascal, I wasn’t going to go with them because I still have lots to do but I’m glad I did, the music and dances were great fun and I had a proper chuckle at my Dads rhythm count in the Rhumba.
      They say Bonsoir to you 🙂
      Lion regards


    sounds like great fun – and definitely a great way to relax or at least put you in the right frame of mind for the tasks ahead.


      Do you both ever do ballroom classes in your resort? They are great fun and sequence routines are great to learn and do in a group.
      You are right about the right frame of mind too 🙂
      Best wishes

    Son of Sharecroppers April 13, 2014 at 10:57 pm

    How delightful! Your parents must be very, very happy to have you and your brother joining them. And your talents never cease to amaze me.


      My Mum loves us all doing things together as a family we just missed my older brother tonight but he’s got a couple of dance competitions coming up too so he’ll be happy. Working in the City now it keeps his creative side fulfilled.
      Best wishes


    What fun, hope that opened the floodgates of creativity 😉


    What a great evening! It’s wonderful that you can enjoy it together as a family, and you can rehearse at home, too. Changing activities when you’re stuck on a project is an excellent way to regroup and restart.


      We do all love dancing, I like these sequence dances because they’ll be easy for us to teach other people at parties a bit like the Scottish Ceilidh dancing that I so enjoy about Scottish parties, I really do think that English prom parties would be much more fun if the boys could take their partners through a few modern sequence jives, tangos and quicksteps.

      Best wishes


    You sound a wonderful family, very close, supportive and fun too! I am envious of the dancing. My hubbie brings superglue any time he suspects dancing is included on a night out. So he can glue his derrière to the chair!


      I love your new gravatar and hairstyle Gwen you look beautiful :). Amanda has quite a number of couples dancing in her classes which is brilliant; they have regular parties too to show off their learnt routines.

      Best wishes


        Thank you, so kind of you to say. I doubt I will grow the bob back again, since I let Bill chop it off with his beard trimmer when we were in Poland last year. BTW I am thinking of signing up for belly dancing this term – at least it is one dance that doesn’t need a partner 🙂


        Go for it 🙂 if I was there I’d go with you, sadly lots of dance classes are at the exact time of my rehearsals.
        Best wishes


    You are incorrigible! As a break from composing, you still go for something which involves music!
    Do you find the keyboard helps with composition? I still prefer using the mouse to put notes into the score.


      I hadn’t thought of it like that, I got some inspiration from the music at the dance class I must admit.

      I use both usually just the mouse because it takes up less room but every time I go home my Mum reminds me she bought me a keyboard for the Mac! In other words so use it.

      Best wishes


        Mothers! 🙂
        I have found that for orchestral writing, the chord on the keyboard doesn’t properly show the effect one is aiming for with a number of different instruments.


        It’s hard on a keyboard to find the tones of the orchestra. I’m making progress another couple of hours tonight and I should finish another piece.
        Best wishes

    M. Zane McClellan April 14, 2014 at 12:03 am

    Looks like you were having a lot of fun so it was fun for me to watch. Thanks. ~ Michael


    How fun is that! And it’s wonderful that you all have made it a family activity. Very special! 🙂


      Hi Linda, my Mum didn’t come to karate classes with us all so she wanted a fun activity that she was part of too and that’s why we all took Ballroom and Latin dance classes along with our neighbour Ellie to partner Tom. It was a good laugh.

      Best wishes


    I love how you and your family are so close and do fun things together!! 🙂 Thanks for sharing with us all the dances! Wishing you lots of luck in completing your compositions, and I know you will finish them with flying colours!!! ^^ Cheers, Violet


    I love your “serious face” and your sense of humor. It’s great that you know when it’s important to take a break. At the same time, you don’t just choose to procrastinate. It’s a fine balance, one that you seem to have gotten the hang of. I wish more of my students did. 🙂 I hope your composition work started to come together for you after the dance break. 🙂


      Thanks Deborah, I have lots of ideas it’s executing them to the rules for each composition and for different instruments that I don’t play that makes it tough. It’s true a good workout does lift the spirits and releases happy endorphins, I think I first heard that on the film Legally Blonde 🙂

      Best wishes


    Yes, me too when I have to figure out something – taking a break and keep the problem in the back of your mind can help sometimes.

    These dances video reminds me of younger year or high-school dancing class. I was not good at it but it sure was fun 🙂


      That’s what I love about these sequence dances, you don’t have to be a gold medal dancer to learn them, and they’re quite quick repetitive routines that none dancers could achieve good results in for say a family wedding. Having fun is what it is all about 🙂

      Best wishes


    Oh, by the way good luck with your project.


    Dancing is medicine for the soul. I only dance at events or in my room, though.


    I tried ballroom dancing at one time but could not get the hang of even the basics. I have no coordination it seems…but still, it was a nice try!


    Hmm..which one am I going to vote for? Well, overall, I like “Saunter Together” because the pace is safe for me and they use most of the ballroom floor throughout. However, “Midnight Jive” has to be the most fun (and exhausting) because of all the movement that I’d completely mess up. I don’t really dance. Don’t get me wrong, I used to cut a little rug in my day (but that’s because I was a carpenter’s helper). Otherwise, I have two dance moves: the Bob & Weeve along with the Tigger Bounce (which is simply jumping around the room until I’m tired). No worries, though, I’m a Pro at it. 😀


      Hi Eric, I love that you have two specialist dance moves! You should get along to a class they are so short of men you’d be most welcome and in salsa or jive classes you don’t need a partner to start because they move you around so everyone gets a dance. I think you’d love a salsa class 🙂 and in a new area it’s a good way to meet new people.

      Best wishes


    I’m curious, “Oh serious faced one.” Are you familiar with Audacity? It’s a free audio editor and recorder available for Windows or Mac. As far as I can tell, audacity enables the user to create separate tracks on one song. This means you can back up your singing with your own keyboard music on a separate track. Or is that what you are using in the first photo of your blog?

    If not, and interested, google “audacity” or “audacity download”.


      I use pencil and manuscript pad to jot down initial ideas and I use a program called Sibelius but I must check out audacity thanks for the tip. I had a much more serious face when I finally threw the pencil down lol!

      All the best



    I love dancing! It’s always good to get out and do something physical to help the creativity flow. I used to be an ice dancer, and I wish I’d kept it up.
    Unfortunately, I have too many interests and not enough time, so riding the motorbikes works for me as well as working out at the gym. I need to get back into playing music, though; sadly, I hadn’t touched my piano in weeks before I played a few minutes last Friday. All these things help me with my writing and photography.
    Keep up the great work!

    – Jo (azgsgirl)


      Wow Jo, you are quite the dare devil, ice skating just seems too many potential broken bones and I fall over a lot! My brother had a child skate over his hand after he fell over fortunately they went over the nails and that protected him! That’s the thing when you start to have to choose your main hobbies it such a shame that others have to take a back seat. Enjoy your biking and take care 🙂

      Best wishes


    It is actually really frustrating when there is a deadline and you are working really hard but you are not moving anywhere…sometimes I do the same thing by breaking it into small parts but most of times I start panicking 😛 Congrats for winning that dance competition (it’s really late for that 😉 ), the good memories always pump you up. I’m just too engrossed in my project right now that’s why using my blog a little less. All the best for you work 🙂 😀


      Luckily Gaurab I finished everything else so I just have these compositions to concentrate my none-singing attentions on. Good luck with your project too. It was my first ever competition I was a bit miffed that they wouldn’t allow sequins on the dresses otherwise I’d have been on that podium in a bright pink diamanté number 😉 but my medals still have pride of place at home.

      Best wishes


    Sounds like the break done you good. Unfortunately i have two left feet and no rhythm at all. So dancing is not one of those things I do much. Only weddings and funerals.


    you two look great! knowing how to dance is never a wasted skill.


    I fully believe in stepping away from the laptop etc when the brain screams “let me!” It always works. However, I’ve never partaken in a dance class as a solution! Great idea!


    Dancing is so much fun. Super nice video,


      The video sequences are great, I’m going to try to teach some of the sequence dances so I’ve put them up there so I can remember them and find them easily on my blog.

      Best wishes


    A silver medal in ballroom dancing in 2010. Remarkable and marvelous. Great photo that by the way 🙂 Best of luck getting restarted on a task that has stalled. When that happens I either go skiing or fishing depending on the season, cogitate a bit, and then go at it once again.

    Always a treat seeing a bit more into your fascinating and talented lifestyle.



      Thanks Jim 🙂 , it was only an hour and a half all together including driving and I definitely needed the break 😉 now there are two activities I’ve never tried, skiing or fishing, do you catch much and do you do river fishing or sea fishing?

      Best wishes


        We try to make an expedition to the Gulf of Maine off New Hampshire in the spring or the fall to fish for cod, haddock or bluefish. When they are running you can take 30 to 50 pounds of filets home with you. Also there is the chance of landing a yellowfin tuna which can be sold at the Portsmouth fish market for thousands of dollars as Japanese buyers relish it for use in sushi.

        Did ya notice how the names of places in New England were conveniently stolen from Olde England? I bet there’s some distant relatives of yours over here 🙂


        Yes I think there are some Hoather’s that way :). I’ll have to look these places up. Hope you’re having a great Easter Weekend. It’s beautiful and sunny in Glasgow, having a few days off before going back to RCS.
        Best wishes


    I dance modern every Tuesday evening and its great! Dance helps me the relieve the stress from college life, and other emotions that are causing me grief. I also play the piano and the violin, which lets me create my own composition’s but I’m pretty sure they’re dreadful lol Keep dancing though! 🙂


    You have a terrific support system behind you, no wonder you do so well! (Besides all the talent that is.)


    These are great, but you should try Lindy hopping some day. it really sorts your brain out.


    You’re right, sometimes you really just need to take a break and do something fun for a bit. And thank you for reminding me that one of these days I need to learn ballroom dancing. And swing dancing.


    интересная у тебя фигура ,Charlotte (the photo with Аmanda 2010 ).
    ….. молодец ! приятно посмотреть

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