Dance Taxi delivers a funky gem
I haven’t been on the Dance Taxi website for a while. For those that don’t know this website, it’s a great source of Modern Jive music, and has a constantly updating Top Ten chart of tracks, based on its members votes. At No 1 is Si Cranstoun’s Dance for everyone, but what caught my eye was the track at No2, Some like it hot by Club Des Belugas.
I couldn’t say I was familiar with this, so I tracked it down on YouTube and I found myself listening to it over and over again. I’m thinking it might not be that easy to dance to, so it’s one for the last part of a freestyle.
Its got a real funky feel, but there are changes of tempo that might be a bit of a challenge for inexperienced dancers. However it offers so many opportunities for more experienced dancers to express their musicality. (Posted Monday 30 October)
Strictly’s Rev Richard enrols at a Ceroc Class
Friday night and I’m watching Strictly – it takes two with Zoe Ball. The Reverend Richard Coles, who was the second person to leave the show is back on the panel with Ed Balls, commenting on how this weeks training sessions are going. He reports with great enthusiasm that he has joined a dance class.
Zoe, somewhat surprised, asks what type of dancing. I’m thinking ballroom maybe, or even tango. He explains that the class is in Higham Ferrers and my ears prick up. I reviewed a Ceroc Passion class there – surely not the same one? Well it is. The Rev Coles has started doing Ceroc. What a coup for Ceroc Passion. Can I get an exclusive from one of the Taxi Dancers please.
It appears that his parish is just up the road in Finedon. Here he is, with his strictly partner Dianne Buswell, trying out some moves in his church prior to the competition starting. (Posted Saturday 28 October)
A couple of chill-out tracks from Marc & Rachel’s Daventry set
Time to feature a little chill-out music. Last Saturday was another Daventry 3 Room Freestyle with Mark and Rachel holding court in the Chill-out Lounge. Sue, who is a regular contributor to the blog, was one of the people enjoying Marc and Rachel’s wonderful music. Sue picked out two tracks that are worthy of a mention.
The first, Havana by Camila Cabello featuring Young Thug, is currently getting a lot of plays in both main room and chill-out second rooms. In fact I first really took notice of this track at the Ceroc Beds & Bucks freestyle at The Bedford Corn Exchange a couple of months ago. Not surprisingly it was Marc who was spinning the tracks that night too.
Camila Cabello is a Cuban born American and this explains the tracks laid back Cuban feel. I was intrigued to know a little more about Young Thug who accompanies Cabello. It turns out he is an American rapper who has been featured on other modern jive dance tracks. He shares the vocal duties on Calvin Harris’ Heatstroke with Ariana Grande and Pharrel Williams. Seems his choice of name is not holding him back!
The second of Sue’s picks was Wild thoughts by DJ Khaled ft Rihanna and Bryson Tiller. This track has had half a billion views on YouTube, but Marc and Rachel played the Mercmonk Reggeeton remix, which has had a mere eleven thousand. They know their stuff as this version has that something extra that gives it real Chillout Lounge credibility. (Posted Tuesday 24 October)
DJ Mark plays a thumping Triple
I was at Kelham Hall last night with Ceroc Heaven, and DJ Mark set the floor on fire with a high energy disco triple. It all kicked off with Craig David’s Signed, sealed, delivered. This is a great dance track and I was lucky that my regular dance partner Jo was free to do the track justice.
Something told me that Mark was going to follow this up with another full on track, and that’s exactly what he did. Edwin Starr’s H.A.P.P.Y. Radio is my mine and Jo’s favourite track of the moment. This ’80s disco smash is a real floor filler and myself and Jo were going to give it everything – and we did, and so did everyone else on the floor.
The adrenalin was doing it’s stuff, my heart was having a great workout, and half way through the track, the enjoyment monitor hit the red MAX mark. As it ended I thought to myself. ‘OK Mr DJ how are you going to follow that?’ ‘No problem Paul, how about Sylvester’s ’70s disco anthem You make me feel (Mighty real)?’ ‘Nice one Mark. Now Jo are you ready – let’s smash it!’
There are some amazing dance tracks out there, but that’s not enough to set the dance floor on fire. The track that precedes these full on tracks is just as important. In fact, there is quite an art to creating these hi-energy triple sets and that’s a mark of a great DJ. Here then is Mark’s triple track climax. (Posted Saturday 21 October)
Another slow-down delight
I love those moments in a freestyle when the DJ slows it down a little. Not too slow, something like The Temptations Lady Soul or Tone Damli’s 40 Years is just perfect. No need to do the close hold Blues moves, simply slow your modern jive moves and you’ll have a lovely dance.
I was on YouTube listening to some Tina Turner tracks when this delightful track came on. It’s instantly catchy and I think its got the right tempo to be another Lady Soul. See what you think to I don’t wanna fight. (Posted Friday 20 October)
New Derby Venue gets off to a good start
Saturday night saw the launch of a new Derby venue for Ceroc Passion, and it seems it got off to a good start. For some reason Ceroc Passion were never able to establish their Rolls Royce Freestyle venue in Derby. I find this strange as it’s a wonderful venue, and has a very well established Monday night class. It is also the place that I started my own Modern Jive journey some eight years ago.
The new venue is The Waterfall, opposite the railway station. This iconic building was built by The Midland Railway Company as a cultural and educational centre for its workers. It’s great to think that it has found a new lease of life as a social venue.
Two of my favourite midland DJs were on duty. Rob Ambridge was in the main room and Roy Blewitt was spinning the tracks in the second chill out room. I understand that the attendance was very good and hopefully Ceroc Passion can build on this, and give Derby the outstanding Modern Jive venue it deserves. (Posted Monday 16 October)
Dance Tips for Ladies are on the way
After the success of my article Dance Tips for Men, I’m now doing the final edits on a sister article giving tips to ladies who are still a little anxious about making the jump from class nights to freestyles. I hope to have it published at the start of the week – I just need a few ladies to check it over first.
In the article I’ve used 40 years by Tone Damli to illustrate one of my points. What a delicious song this is and it’s such a joy to dance to. Here it is for those that want a fix of this gorgeous track. (Posted Friday 13 October)
On a London Class Night Road Trip
I’ve got the chance to visit my two daughters in London this week, so I took an opportunity to do a bit of a road trip around some classes while I was here. I’ll post a review of each of them during next week, but here’s a snippet of each.
Tuesday saw me at Dorking Halls with LeRoc Surrey. This is a very long standing class that was struggling to maintain viable numbers, but I’d heard that Colin and Evelyn had turned it round and it was very busy again. I was interested to chat with Colin to hear how he had done it.
On Wednesday I visited a class that perhaps has the best location in the whole of Britain. It was quite warm on the night, and it was great to wander out through the large doors and cool down in an open area. Here’s the view that greeted me.
The venue was Ceroc London’s Westminster Bridge class night that’s held in Shepherds Hall inside St Thomas Hospital. I understand that they hold two room monthly freestyles here – they must be very popular with this iconic setting.
Thursday night I was a little more provincial, as I drove through the suburbs of South West London to Ceroc Surrey’s West Byfleet class. This is a very busy class night that is overflowing with the joys of social dancing. Its all down to a great crowd led by effervescent teacher Jackie.
Three wonderful classes each with their own individual story. I can’t wait to tell you all about them and hopefully the first review will be on the blog early next week. (Posted Friday 13 October)
DJ Ian’s last Pirate Jive at The Shed
Last night was the last time that Ian McLeod span the tracks at Pirate Jive’s The Shed Freestyle in Nottingham, before he heads off for a new life in Scotland. This is a much loved venue that Ian has built up over many years with his distinctive playlist.
I thought that Ian deserves some kind of recognition for creating one of the biggest Modern Jive venues in the East Midlands, so I’ve started working on an article to pay tribute to his contribution to this great dance scene. Hopefully it will be ready in a couple of weeks.
Fortunately the venue will survive as Gary Wharton of Notts Jive Crew is is taking the venue over. Gary’s playlists have a similar feel to Ian’s, and so The Shed will continue to offer an alternative music choice to the local Ceroc franchise – no bad thing. (Posted Saturday 8 October)
Colin rocks the floor at Tylney Hall again
I got a chance to dance again at LeRoc Surrey’s Freestyle at Tylney Hall in Leatherhead last night. Once again DJ Colin Shaul served up a great set of dance music. As always there were plenty of rockin’ tunes including two big favourites of mine. The first is Johnnie Johnson’s version of the blues classic Kansas City. Johnson’s great piano playing ensures that this track rocks along from the very start.
The second is perhaps the best rock ‘n’ roll infused track I’ve danced to in the last year. It’s Club Savoy by Rockin’ Louise and The Mamma Jammers (what a name for a group). Be prepared before you hit the play button, because this track is going to raise your heart beat to danger levels. (Posted Sunday 8 October)
Thank you to all the readers of my Ceroc & Modern Jive Blog
I just wanted to thank all the readers who have visited the blog over the past two weeks – almost two and a half thousand of you. The three main reads have been the review of Medfest, the dance tips for men and the article about my top 5 freestyles (see links below). There has been a thousand sessions on the Top 5 Freestyle post and the article where I give tips to men on going to their first freestyles is not far behind.
I’ve been following the reaction and comments on Facebook, and I want to also thank the people who take time to give feedback. It makes me realise that people are enjoying my take on the wonderful Modern Jive scene, and encourages me to find new ways of looking at it. Here are the three posts that have proved so popular. (Posted Saturday 7 October)
Another remix gem from Marc Forster
DJ Marc Forster played so many great tracks during my recent visit to Bedford that I wasn’t able to feature them all in my review. Here’s one that I thought worthy of a separate mention, because it proves yet again how much we rely on remixes to keep the music we dance to fresh and exciting.
The Eurythmics had a massive hit with Here comes the rain back in 1984, but Marc dug out the Freemasons remix from 2016 which has given this track a new lease of life and made it perfect to modern jive to.
Researching this track has also focused my attention on the Freemasons themselves. I now realise that The Freemasons are responsible for quite a few of the tracks we dance to. It’s these guys who gave us the fabulous remix of Hurts’ Wonderful life. (Posted Sunday 1 October)