Cornwall Branch 14th Residential Weekend at Newquay.
At the end of March the RSCDS Cornwall Branch ran their 14th residential weekend at the Hotel Bristol situated across the road from Tolcarne Beach with views out towards Newquay harbour and Towan Headland in the distance
This year the weekend had a real international flavour to it with dancers joining us from Germany, Norway, Switzerland, America and Canada. Our guest teacher was Tom McKinlay from Paris accompanied by the very accomplished Robert Whitehead on Accordion and Alan Brown on keyboard from the Newcastle area. Tom calculated that although he came from Paris, the band had actually travelled the greater distance to play for us.
Members of the Cornwall Branch committee were on hand to welcome dancers as they arrived and checked into the hotel on Friday afternoon. The weekend kicked off with a complimentary welcome drink in the ballroom before the dancing started. Val Dawson was our MC for the evening. With her clear instructions and excellent time keeping we enjoyed a great evening of dancing. The band kept us light on our toes all evening with fabulous playing – wonderful tempo. It is such a joy to dance to live music.
Although I live just down the road from the venue I always enjoy staying at the hotel. The staff are very welcoming and look after us really well. The food is excellent and the rooms comfortable. If you are lucky you may have a room with a view out to sea and be rewarded by seeing a wonderful sunset during your stay. However the best bit is having time to relax and socialise with fellow dancers making new friends and getting re-acquainted with those you have met before.
Tom made our morning classes fun – he had the right balance between encouraging us to improve without making it feel onerous. He emphasized the importance of getting the transition between one movement and the next correct while teaching us unfamiliar dances Classes were accompanied by Robert and Alan. Tom was keen to get us listening to the music as we danced. Keeping in time with the music increases the chances of us all arriving at the correct place together!.
After lunch on Saturday we had some free time to explore the local beaches and Newquay town or for those more adventurous travelling a bit further along the coast to visit Watergate Bay and Padstow. At 4pm Ruth Thornton offered her expertise in recapping some of the more challenging dances on Saturday night’s programme. Having a quick refresher is always helpful.
All too quickly the weekend was over, and everyone set off on their homeward journeys knowing that we will meet again on a dance floor soon.
The Newquay weekend next year will be held between Friday 22nd and Sunday 24th March 2019 at the Hotel Bristol with guest teacher Mervyn Short accompanied by Iain Muir and band from Prestwick.