Ballroom Dance > Blackpool 2012

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by chomsky, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. chomsky

    chomsky Well-Known Member

    Have you ever attended Blackpool lectures? Would you recommend it? Was it worth it? If so, did you benefit from it? (To my dear admins- no advertisement intended. If this thread is not appropriately posted, kindly remove it...)
  2. Active Member

    I haven't actually been to one before, but I have benefitted tremendously just from watching the recordings of it alone. And even those recordings I watched were not complete so I guess a person who attended the real thing must have learnt much more.
  3. chomsky

    chomsky Well-Known Member

    Thanks for coming back, even if you haven't actually been there...
  4. sambanada

    sambanada Active Member

  5. Lorelei

    Lorelei Member

    I've gone to the lectures this year, and would absolutely recommend them. This year, the whole two days were devoted to the topic of musicality, and each of the lecturers offered their own take on the topic. It was really great to compare the approaches. The demonstrations were fantastic. I was particularly impressed with Mr. Sinkinson's footwork, having never seen it live before...
  6. chomsky

    chomsky Well-Known Member

    Thanks for being so thorough!!!
  7. latingal

    latingal Moderator Staff Member

    chomsky, if you are referring to the Blackpool Congress lectures they do every year, you can go out on YouTube and do a search under "blackpool congress" and there are some short snippets of the lectures and demonstrations out there. I have bought copies of the DVDs they sell of those lectures and have found them to be quite informative in some cases....
  8. ViviDancer

    ViviDancer Member

    I have never been to Europe, let along Blackpool save for England once a couple of years back when I was 16 and cared nothing for dance x.x But from the short recordings I've watched on youtube and other sources, I've really learned a lot. So yes, I'd recommend it, and if I could, I would be go too :)
  9. chomsky

    chomsky Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your input! I wish I can do the same!
  10. chomsky

    chomsky Well-Known Member

    Is that all? No one else has been there? Come on guys, wake up! Wakie Wakie wherever you are?
  11. chomsky

    chomsky Well-Known Member

    Anyone else been there? I know I should stop asking but I don't want to give up...
  12. shimkirina

    shimkirina New Member

    Hi chomsky! I haven't been to Blackpool yet, but I remember that Tonya Plank, who used to be a big ballroom blogger, has been to Blackpool and I think she attended the lectures as well. Just Google "Tonya Plank" and click on "Swan Lake Samba Girl", that is her dance blog. I would post the link, but I can't post links yet.....sorry. Her blog does have old blog posts about Blackpool and a way to contact her if you have further questions for her ;)

    Hope that helps.
  13. NonieS

    NonieS Well-Known Member

    I have been to Blackpool twice but have never been to any of the lectures... In the past I always only went to spectate wed, thurs, and friday so missed them. DF user Becca goes every year and sees the lectures, so maybe she will chime in here...
  14. chomsky

    chomsky Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys, U R wonderful!!!
  15. DancingJools

    DancingJools Member

    I've been to the Blackpool lectures many times. They are useful for several things: If you are not usually in contact with these dance celebrities, young and old, this is your chance to experience their personality and style first-hand, with bragging rights for later. The amount of information you will actually retain will vary widely. If actual learning is your goal, you would be better off buying the dvd's of the Blackpool Congress. You can then focus on the interesting/useful parts and repeat them as you wish. So the Congress is fun, as an experience, and it's your chance to talk to these teachers personally if you have something on your mind - not asking for actual advice on your dancing, but perhaps setting up arrangements for private lessons or a visit to your area/studio.
    Every congress will also include a few moments of awe-inspiring beauty, as when the "Standard Boys" took to the floor at once to perform a natural heel turn into a featherstep, or when Donnie Burns gives a small performance with Gaynor.
  16. twothreefourone

    twothreefourone Active Member

    I went this year and am converted; I never went before this year, making excuses like it costs too much or I can find it on the internet, but now I'll go everytime I have that weekend free! If you're already there and don't feel like watching the rising stars or amateur events on at the same time you should definitely go. I believe the congress tickets this year were about £25 on the door for the day.

    Pre-emptive TLDR: Even if you only attend once, you can't beat watching pros give advice in real life HD ;) and things you see/experience tend to stick with you better and longer. Go early and grab a seat because once you're in there it's difficult to make yourself stop watching. :p

    I agree with DancingJools that for learning the DVDs make a better tool and what you retain will vary because, let's face it, ca. 4-5 hours of pro-tips is a lot to take in. However, I would say, go with an open mind (and ears) and just sit back and soak it all up; at the end of it, you'll take away the messages that you connected most with.

    After watching the clips and DVDs from previous years and attending for the first time this year, I have to say that the experience of being there, fifteen feet away from these incredible artists made a world of difference. From a learning perspective, I made connections to things like timing, expression, centres of balance and shaping leads that I'd struggle to pick up from a video. Also, now having watched clips of this year's lectures, I get more out of them, maybe because I remember how the dancers did them and things like footwork are much easier to pick out.

    Maybe this is one place the 3D is better than 2D mantra TV manufacturers are pushing works; until they start filming the congress in 3D I think I'll stick with queueing up early for seats. Even if you have a particular hero or prefer one style over another, as a dancer, you'll probably find something useful in watching the other lectures. Massimo(& Alessia)'s lecture was my unexpected favourite, not only for his humour and incredible passion for dance, but showing how he tries to get the music into every cell of his body and conveying it's emotion through his movement. I've never really connected with ballroom(standard) properly, but they've given me hope that regular-sized people can dance standard with as much volume and graceful lines as the Mirkos/Arunas of the world; perhaps I'm being converted to ballroom too...
  17. chomsky

    chomsky Well-Known Member

    I am deeply grateful for your help, honestly!
    Allow me to please to take advantage of you.
    Is there a Congress this year round?
    Do you think I can find tickets when I go there?
    Last but not least, I've been told that when attending lectures you are asked to participate. Is that true? If so, is there a notification of which lecture requires participation from the auditorium?

    Sorry for all these questions, I don't know who to address them to, as my teacher hasn't been there himself.
    I actually dream to go there for no practical reason at all.

    No way for private lessons or visit etc, cos I'm in Greece and I'm just a newbie. And when I say newbie I mean it. I'm not even acquainted with International versus American styles. I'm only learning American style at the moment. I know it might all sound greek to me when I go there but I don't care I just want to have the experience of being there. I dream to be surrounded by those people even if I know only a little about dance...
    It's a bit crazy but I hope one day I'll make the trip. If not this year, sometime in my life...
    Honestly, things aren't looking that good here in Greece and it is more likely I won't make it this year. But, still we can always dream. And we should dream big, as DFers often told me...
    I hope one day it will be a dream come true. And I so so admire you for getting there!!!Thanks for taking the time to share this experience with me and everyone else lurking around here!!!:ladiesma:
  18. Becca

    Becca Active Member

    There is a Congress every year, alternating between World Dance Council / British Dance Council and Ballroom Dancers' Federation - 2012 will be Ballroom Dancers' Federation. You can buy tickets at the door or purchase in advance, it makes no difference really, it's still the same price - £100 for both days, £60 for one day and £35 for half a day.

    I've never been to a lecture there where they have asked anybody to participate. I know that years ago it used to be quite common (I have all the DVDs back to 2000) but these latest years, it doesn't seem to be something that they tend to do anymore.

    I agree very much with DancingJools - for the purpose of learning, to fully digest, break down and retain the mass of information that you receive in such a short space of time, I would say the DVDs are MUCH more beneficial than attending in person. However, being there in person is nice for the experience, the atmosphere and so on - like DancingJools said, it's all about those little special moments that you could never see elsewhere.

    I went to my first Congress in 2005 when I was 15 years old, and have attended most years since - but in more recent years I have only attended for specific lectures that have appealed to me rather than for the full two days, only because of the price though. If I was richer, I'd probably go for all of it!
  19. ViviDancer

    ViviDancer Member

    I managed to get my hands on the Blackpool lecture DVDs for 2009-2011. I haven't had the time to watch all of them but I managed to find time to watch the first lecture of 2009 by Mirko. Omg I learnt so much from just that half an hour! I don't know about you but I'm definitely going next year!!
  20. chomsky

    chomsky Well-Known Member

    Thanks guys, keep them coming! It's so nice to have guidance! I'll get back to you later on because now I have to rush. Coming back!

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