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Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Dance Review: Ceroc

If you have been following my blog you will know that I am a huge fan of going Ballroom and Latin dancing. I started in March 2014 and have basically fast-tracked from there. It's really taken off for me and I'm eager to encourage more young people to start dancing as it's such a sociable activity and would be great to go out with a group of friends and DANCE!! (and drink) but mainly DANCE!

Also any man in my life is gonna have to be able to dance. And be tall... anyway I digress!

To get you started a great introduction to partner dancing is Ceroc (pronounced 'Se-rock'). Traditionally male-led, this dance has roots in salsa, jive, swing, lindy hop and rock n roll. Ceroc is a franchise brand name for what is also known as 'Modern Jive'.

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Apparently the name 'Ceroc' comes from the French "C'est le roc" (it's roc), used to describe rock n' roll dancing in France.
Ooh La La.

A relatively new dance Ceroc was created in the 80s in London, England but has become a popular dance style around the world. Compared to Latin Dance, Ceroc has minimal footwork so is easy to pick up and great for Beginners who are new to Dance. It's accessible for all age ranges. Ceroc is danced to Popular chart music so great for young people!

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The format of a class (UK based) is similar to that of speed dating.
(I say this- I have never speed dated but it's what i imagine to be like but with more awkward talking and less body contact)

A beginner's class starts off the evening (often regular nights a week) where everyone partners up in about 3 columns.
You've just gotta throw yourself into this situation if your a singleton, go up to Mr. Old Codger who leers at you with rapey eyes because i assure you, you won't have to be trapped in his grasp for long! 
And it looks more awkward if your dithering sheepishly in the corner.

Two instructors are up on a stage demonstrating the moves, broken down in easy-to-learn steps. You do a few steps, then move on to the next available person. At times if there are not equal women and men you stand at the side-lines for a few moments before getting back to the partner formation. You first go through the steps slowly, then with music piecing a routine together. There is then a 'freestyle' session where you can try out the moves you have just learnt and practice more Ceroc moves.
Another lesson starts up, one for beginners where you fine tune the general principle of Ceroc moves: the arm tension, dancing in time to the music and ironing out any steps and one for the Intermediates.
I have yet to experience an Intermediate class but next time I go, I'll enlighten you all- won't that be thrilling.

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 For the rest of the evening (till approx 22:45pm) is a freestyle. With loud music, dimmed lights, funky light lasery patterns and everyone is free to 'freestyle' any Ceroc moves they know. It's such good practice to dance with lots of different people at this time especially the experienced ones. I was flung around, spun around and left with the knowledge of even more moves than what I learnt in the beginners class. You get so much for your money! £11 pay on day, £9 with membership card.
It's not recommended to show off your bank of Latin moves as that involves lots of arm movements where people's faces can clash with your over enthusiastic flicks. Trust Me! Doesn't gain you any credit.  

Classes are often large so there's almost always someone to dance with! Girls ask the Guys, Guys ask the Girls and it's rude to say no.

There are people in labelled T-shirts called 'Taxi Dancers' who assist beginners. 
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What to wear: 
No special clothes, something comfortable to move in and breathe in- You get very hot!  
But you don't need the Strictly bedazzled Lycra just yet.

Wear shoes that are flat or with a small heel with smooth soles (non-rubberised). High heels aren't recommended. Something you can easily spin and turn in.

What to bring:
 Dance Shoes (optional), water (although ice-cold water is available at venues), Deodorant, small towel/tissues is useful! Your Membership card and £11/£9 in cash. 


For Me:
Coming from a disciplined Ballroom and Latin background Ceroc can be tricky to learn to let go: it doesn't matter what foot you start on and you don't keep your free arm up at the side. But it's relatively easy to follow a good lead as long as you just roll with it! It's so much fun when it goes right...
and when it goes spectacularly wrong.
It's very exhilarating, great exercise and so much fun, you get to meet so many people- and I'd reccomend Ceroc for a fun night out.

And This is what it looks like!

So what are you waiting for!?