Blackpool is renowned for many things, the Pleasure Beach, the Illuminations, the civilised night life (cough) but it is most importantly the home of Ballroom Dancing.
Inspired by the Eiffel Tower and built in 1894 it is here that dance in England took a pivotal turn, some would say for the better and some for the worse. From the early days of dancing round the Maypole where there was very little contact between male and female partners, dance began to take a different path with the introduction of the Tango and Charleston. Some people believed dancing was becoming too sexual and would lead to 'trouble', going against the Christian values and Professionals believed it needed some order putting back in place.
A series of conferences were held where they discussed the removal of the 'freak steps' and introduction of a standardised way of dancing. This resulted in the 4 main types of dance to dominate the floors for years to come, the Waltz, Foxtrot, One Step and Tango. Victor Silvester even went as far as standardising the music with an orchestra who played a strict tempo.
Thankfully dance today no longer follows such strict rules, imagine how dull the music would be if that was the case, although as we all know there are 'rules' in Salsa (Jakes 3 moves). The Ballroom has seen all the latest dances come and go over the past 100 years and here and now one of those current dances is Salsa.
This meant that a couple of weeks ago a few of our StreetSalsa members could head to the infamous Blackpool Tower Ballroom to dance at the Salsa event hosted by 4 the Love of Dance.
Anyone who watches Strictly will know that the week the contestants go to the Ballroom it is a special occasion and I must agree that as we walked up the ornate staircase and I got my first glimpse of the dance floor I could see why. I cannot possibly describe just how breathtaking the building is, and even been there I struggled to take it all in. You can almost feel the history in the walls, including my own; following in the footsteps of both my grandparents who danced there in their youth. The ceiling is covered in a painting fit for the Sistine Chapel, the stage has beautiful marble surrounding it and the smooth sprung dance floor is just what every dancer craves.
In contrast the music was fresh and diverse with 3 DJ's playing a mixture of Bachata, Kizomba and Salsa, and the age range was even more varied. I can honestly say I didn't have one bad dance while I was there and spent the whole night with a huge grin on my face. We danced to the very end not getting back to Leeds till daylight the next morning, but I have to say it was totally worth it, and I would doubt that anyone else who went would disagree (even poor Rich and his flat tyre).
To prove it, head to the facebook for some of the photos of our dancers taken on the night-including the best pose by James and Sophie on THE stage.