Cambridge Dancers' Club

Announcements

Over the summer period there are ongoing changes to the regular timetable of classes but there may be some exceptional items noted in the term outline below, eg if we have extra RnR or salsa sessions popping up later.

Attendance on Mondays proved to be too low and variable to continue with further regular classes on that evening. Note that one of our teachers, Clive Hurt, has a few more of his own ongoing classes around Cambridge on various evenings. Otherwise the only option for new beginners and those needing extra coaching is to get to the Friday evening practices a little early to help clear enough floor space there.


XS Latin is recruiting

If you might be interested in joining a competitive latin formation dance team or even just in extra dancesport training over the summer, then XS Latin is looking for new recruits. Get yourself over to Milton Community Centre (CB24 6BL) for 20:00 to 21:40 on Thursday 29th June. They now have 3 formal teams and can take on dancers with varying degrees of experience.

Turning the tables at Friday General Dancing

The grad.pad management has decided to create a new (abstract art?) table layout in their Main Dining Hall with all the tables covering all the floor in a diagonal mosaic pattern. If you want GD to be able to keep running, we do need volunteers to arrive in plenty of time for the 8:30pm start to shift all the furniture out of the way and enough people remaining by the 10:30pm finish to shift it all back again.

However, if you're a regular user of the MDH (whether for GD or anything else) and you're not happy about their new layout, then we encourage you to use their catering feedback form to complain. NB it probably helps if you *are* part of the university in some capacity - student or student group or staff connected with any of the colleges or other departments and associated research centres or are an independent corporate hirer.

The Big Weekend, 7th to 9th July 2017

The CDC will be at Cambridge's Big Weekend Our slot is 12 noon, Sunday 9th July, in one of the dance marquees on Parkers Piece. There will be some free tuition - bring a beginner! We hope to have a team couple do a demonstration dance or two and, depending upon the furniture situation, we may also be able to have some general group dancing. Obviously we'll have far more dancing on the Friday 7th July but in our usual place in the Main Dining Hall at the University Centre.

Classes

We try to run as many different class options as possible during university full terms. We have a much reduced set of activities during the holidays when most of the students and some of the faculty and residents are away - including our volunteer staff.

Our scheduled timetable of regular events has its own page. (If you're seeing an out-of-date version, you may need to clear your computer cache.) However, there may also be occasional one-off special items and exceptional cancellations or venue or teacher changes. These exceptions will appear in announcements above, in emails to the membership and are also indicated in the outline for the term below.

If you're not already a CDC member for the 2016-17 year, you can print out and fill in a registration form in advance of your first class to save a bit of time in the queue (see our prices here). Don't forget to check where each venue is (see venue information here) as we always lose a few people who go to the wrong place first or don't plan how they are going to get to class on time.

If you're an existing dancer but changing styles or levels or teacher, then check the class revision notes for an idea of the relevant figures you should know and/or to hear suitable music. If you want to watch dance videos to help you learn new steps, then be very careful that you choose the correct style since US dance steps are often not the same as UK and international ones.

Summer 2017 Term Outline

ie the exceptional items which deviate from the regularly scheduled timetable:

Week 4 (Monday Jun.26 to Sunday Jul.02):
Mon. Jun.26 = combined summer classes and practice space in Parkside school gym
Tue. Jun.27 = DanceSport B+L practices continue at the reduced 7pm to 9pm time
Thu. Jun.29 = Russell's reduced set of summer classes are in St.Columba's main hall
Fri. Jun.30 = General Dancing continues

Week 5 (Monday Jul.03 to Sunday Jul.09):
Sun. Jul.09 = big weekend dance session at 12 noon on Parkers Piece

Week 6 (Monday Jul.10 to Sunday Jul.16):

Week 7 (Monday Jul.17 to Sunday Jul.23):
Wed. Jul.19 = there may be an outbreak of salsa for beginners in St.Columba's main hall

Revision Notes

Revision notes are available for a few of our classes. If you've danced before, these may help you work out what level of class is suitable for you - ie if you recognise the names of some of the figures and already know how to do them. This page also includes some examples of music suitable for the various dance styles, so that you can practise away from classes.

General Dancing

Our General Dancing sessions on Friday evenings, from 8:30pm to 10:30pm in the Main Dining Hall of the University Centre (grad.pad), are intended to be for everyone to practise together in a friendly social environment. It's completely free to attend GD, whether you want to dance or merely to watch. You don't need a fixed practice partner and you don't need CDC membership either. Eg some ex-members return from time to time and people also bring visitors and family along - including their children!

Sometimes there's a special seasonal theme to the music with matching decorations etc and the option of wearing appropriate fancy-dress costume for a more party-like atmosphere.

There's normally no official tuition at these social events (any teachers present are usually just there to have fun themselves!) but there are typically several experienced dancers around who are willing to show beginners (or improvers) a few steps. Although obviously you'll gain more benefit by attending proper classes too! You can try dancing with different people during the evening or stick with your one special partner as you wish. So do come along and introduce yourself to the regulars.

During normal term-time, the first half hour will concentrate on beginners dances (pairs of waltz, quickstep, cha-cha and jive tracks with some rumba and social foxtrot) to allow new students to start to integrate fully in the social side of the club and/or practise their routines outside the class situation. But GD also continues outside academic term times into the holidays - apart from national holidays when the building itself is closed or when booked by rival events.

Dance Practice Sessions

These practices are for people who already know what they want to practise as there is no formal dance tuition provided. You do not have to be on the team or even a CDC member to attend these sessions but you do have to agree to be bound by the club's health and safety rules (see the committee member in charge of the session). We try to book enough practice space slots to accommodate the expected number of dancers at a price the collective group of them can afford.

The subscription price for the summer holiday period is £25. Note that this is the rate for *members* of the Cambridge Dancers' Club because practices are typically subsidised somewhat by the rest of the club's funds to ensure that students can afford the necessary practice space. If you don't have a valid club membership (the 2016-7 membership card lasts until October), then you will be asked to pay the non-member fee of £8 per session. However, club membership this late on in the academic year is also only £8.

Music will be played as appropriate during the sessions - typically favouring latin american in the smaller venues and modern ballroom in the larger ones. That doesn't mean you can't practise different dances at a particular session. You just need to be considerate of other users of the space. Any RnR (or salsa!) people attending a public practice may prefer to bring their own tracks and co-ordinate with Reggie, Sofiya or Nina etc for these to be played when they want a complete run-through of a dance.

Private Lessons

The CDC as a whole does not arrange private lessons for people. Those teachers who are willing to have their details made public are included on our links page (and, if you already attend CDC lessons, you may approach them there too). However, if you are already on the DanceSport teams or are hoping to be selected, you may be able to arrange for a private lesson with one of the team coaches. Contact the CUDT Secretary to book a specific time slot. Non-team people should contact the new CDC competitive group to find out if there are any spare private lesson slots available with the coaches.

CDC Committee

The Cambridge Dancers' Club is a non-profit, combined town & gown, community organisation run by unpaid volunteers - ie those people you see everywhere helping out at classes. To keep costs down as far as possible for all our club members, only the professional teachers and venues we hire get paid (beyond absolutely essential expenses such as some printing costs and performance licence fees!). This means we really do need your help to keep the club going - especially as we have a high turnover among the student volunteers.

If you regularly attend more than one class per week and are committed to dancing, you might want to consider joining the CDC committee. Email the club or ask any door-duty person what this involves. There are a few perks, such as cheaper classes, too. This is obviously particularly relevant to people who attend more than one class per week (from the financial point of view alone!) and for those who want to improve their dancing, learn more things and progress more quickly (as you'll be exposed to more styles, more figures/steps and probably try out both roles).

Competitive DanceSport Ballroom & Latin

If you're a student in the Cambridge area who might be eligible to compete for Cambridge, or if you'd simply like to try the competitive side of dancing for fun, then come along to our DanceSport classes. If you were a beginner in the past competition year (ending with IVDC), then you should attend the intermediates classes and/or continue with team or squad sessions and private lessons.

Students who have not had formal lessons in ballroom and latin before can join the Cambridge University Beginners' DanceSport Team where there's no fixed limit on places and you'll only be competing against other beginners. Note that, for dancesport purposes, Anglia Ruskin students count as Cambridge students. If you're interested in competing but have other questions about eligibility etc then contact the CUDT Beginners' Captain at dancesport-beginners@cambridgedancers.org.

If you're a student but not a beginner then you can still trial for the Cambridge University DanceSport Team - by far the most successful university team in the country last year! The main auditions are at the start of the Michaelmas term for places on several teams. For more information, please contact the CUDT Captain(s) at dancesport@cambridgedancers.org.

The CDC also has members competing very successfully on the open circuit (in which non-students may compete). To learn about competitive opportunities for non-students, including out-of-term practice spaces or to seek a partner, please join the "CDC Competes on the Open Circuit" Facebook group. For more information contact our club Secretary at secretary@cambridgedancers.org.

Competitive Rock'n'Roll

Another dance style featured in the inter-varsity competitions is rock and roll. This has evolved from its authentic social dancing roots to encompass continental-style high kicks as well as showy acrobatics. If this sounds and looks like your sort of thing then anyone is welcome to join and train with the Cambridge University Rock'n'Roll Team. For more information contact the CURnR Captains at rnr@cambridgedancers.org.

This year they will have their own DanceSport RnR class and public practice on Wednesday evenings; but it's possible to try that as well as our social RnR classes (still on Tuesday evenings) if you want to keep your options open and learn a wider range of styles and figures.

CDC T-shirts


We are now able to offer CDC logo T-shirts again. The price is £8 each. The sizes range from adult small to extra-large (with most women being small or medium and most men being medium upwards). The new batch have red print on a black T-shirt and include some which are printed on the back instead for people who want to wear them while partner dancing; but we do also have a few other colour combinations left from the previous batch. See a committee member (ideally at St.Columba's) to purchase one.

Mailing Lists

If you don't want to join the CDC at the moment but do want to receive emailed announcements of our events during the year, you can subscribe yourself to our mailing list for interested non-members (by clicking on that link). You will then have to reply to the confirmation email you receive.

If you want to unsubscribe from our lists you *must* use the exact form of your email address which you originally used to subscribe to them, not some forwarded or modified version (eg gmail is not the same as googlemail and academic sub-department addresses are not the same as generic cam.ac.uk ones). Our system can only recognise automatically the information you gave it. If you no longer have access to your originally specified email address then you'll need to request a manual removal.

Elsewhere

See our links page for other dance groups (with their own classes and events), private teachers and suppliers of dance equipment etc.

Non-CDC activities in the immediate space-time vicinity include:

  • Ceroc is on Monday evenings at the University Sports & Social Club on Mill Lane.
  • The LindyHoppers have classes and social events on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.
  • CamTango run Argentine Tango classes and socials (though not currently their former Wednesday class in St.C's Gibson Hall).
  • Cambridge Cuban Salsa is operating the Thursday Salsa Social Club and the Sunday Salsa Lounge.
  • Wolfson college has cross-body salsa on Thursdays and Argentine Tango on Saturdays (7pm to 11pm).
  • There is more cross-body salsa on Mondays at St.Paul's, Wednesdays & Fridays at the USC and Thursdays at OLEM Parish Centre.
  • There is English, Scottish, Irish and American folk/country dancing in town plus morris and molly dancing.
  • The next Tea Dance at the Guildhall will be on Wednesday 13th September from 1pm to 4pm. This features a mixture of standard ballroom and latin dances and sequence dancing.
  • Tea Dances of a similar nature occur regularly in many villages around Cambridge (eg out at Prickwillow).
  • More local dance events can be found via meetup.


If you are intending to take your dancing more seriously at any point, then you may need to be fitted for specialist shoes. The best options are usually men's ballroom or ladies' latin shoes for DanceSport B+L (although you'll need heel protectors too for stiletto heels!) and jazz-ballet shoes for coping with *any* dance style, especially salsa or RnR (although light trainers / sneakers are the preferred choice of some salsa and RnR dancers).

Our local supplier, Attitude Dancewear, has recently moved a little further out from the centre of Cambridge to Level 1, 182 Histon Road CB4 3JP (ie towards Arbury, near the Aldi shop). The advantages are better parking and more space to keep more stock in store. They offer a 10% discount to anyone presenting their CDC membership card.

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