BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing has prompted a huge interest in dance-themed holidays.
Strictly judge Bruno Tonioli always gets over-excited about a fine flekerl. And fellow panellist, Craig Revel Horwood is known to go into raptures about a perfectly turned out foot!
Putting their best foot forward are more and more dance enthusiasts. They are taking to the floor on holidays where dancing is the main focus. From learning to tango in Argentina, samba in Brazil, waltz in Vienna and flamenco in Andalucia, to ballroom and sequence, dance-themed breaks at home and abroad, plus dance-focussed cruises, fervent Freds and gutsy Gingers are tripping the light fantastic in their thousands.
Privately-owned, tour operator, Personal Touch Holidays, has over 20 years’ experience in providing highly memorable, overseas, special interest holidays for mature travellers. Ballroom and sequence dance holidays are overseen by their team of established dance leaders, such as World, International and British champions, Ian and Ruth Walker.
Dance holidays are offered in Paphos (Cyprus), Madeira and Calpe (Costa Blanca), where dance enthusiasts enjoy days at leisure in these beautiful, sunny destinations (see below for more details).
Groups requiring special arrangements can be accommodated, too. Experts provide tuition to help you learn or improve on your steps during the day, then you can head for the ballroom in the evenings to show off your style and put it all into practice. Look what practice did for newly-crowned, Strictly Come Dancing winner, actor, Joe McFadden!
Personal Touch work closely with 4-star hotels to ensure the floor is just right and the sound systems really add to the atmosphere. All are welcome, from large groups to individuals, with teachers well able to create a really comfortable and fun learning environment, whilst a wide variety of dances are enjoyed. And when it’s time for a break, there’s plenty to do wherever you are staying: beaches, promenade walks, shopping and lively town centres. Or you could just soak up the sun, swim and relax!
It’s Strictly Cruising for dance enthusiasts, Pam Morgan and Hedley Neal, who sailed from Liverpool to Spain on Fred Olsen’s Boudicca to celebrate their 31st cruise in 12 years.
In 2004, long-term ballroom dance fan, Pam, 75, from Preston, joined dance host, Hedley Neal, 86, of Wolverhampton, for a waltz while cruising the Caribbean with one of her three daughters. Retired carpenter, Hedley, had become a cruise ship dance host to make friends, see a bit of the world and enjoy dancing.
When she was widowed, Pam remembered Hedley, and decided to try to get in touch with him. Eventually, she managed to locate him, and they started to correspond. Sometime afterwards, Pam, got a surprise. She says: “Hedley invited me to go with him to Blackpool’s Tower Ballroom. I was thrilled to dance on the beautiful sprung floor. We’re not up to the standard of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, though,” laughs Pam. “Hedley’s such a good dancer, and is qualified to gold standard. Our favourite dance is the waltz, but we also like the square tango and the sequence rumba.”
She’s a fan of Strictly Come Dancing, but adds: “I think Craig Revel Horwood is sometimes too hard on learners who practise seven or eight hours a day for 12 weeks.”
Pam and Hedley have already booked three cruises for next year: they intend to keep dancing (as Bruce Forsyth would have said) and cruising for just as long as they can!