The Heat is On…


Good day and happy Bank Holiday to you all! HOW is it that we find ourselves at yet another Bank Holiday Monday? So soon? If I were the Bank Holiday creator, I’d spread them out through the year – the first Monday at Easter is lovely, but now…does anyone else feel like it’s more of a pain than a treat? Spread them out, give us one in October/November when we’re struggling with the weather and need a helping hand to get us to Christmas (‘:

ANYWAY, my intention wasn’t to be negative. After all, how GLORIOUS has this weather been?! Particularly the last couple of days when it hasn’t been as hot. I don’t like the heat, I never have, particularly when training. And particularly when you’re doing a show – FLASHBACK to July 2014 and Bird College’s Summer Show, when I was in second year. Every day it was over 30 degrees and we had cast members fainting and being sick at the side of the stage. Teachers were coming round to our dressing rooms every half an hour with wet paper towels that had been in the freezer for us to put on the backs of our necks – every single person was looked after, the staff were incredible – but whilst I adore show time, that show week was one of the worst – all because of the heat!

img_0800‘Edward Scissor Hands’ Ballet from Bird College’s ‘Wonderlands’, Summer Show 2014
Photo (and partner!) credit: Oliver John Bylett

Last week we decided to officially start our summer and headed out to Carriage’s Beer Garden in Knaresborough. I’d never been, but was so happy to be introduced to it! The garden sits on a slight hill, on the way down to the station, but hidden from view from the road and covered in flowers and greenery. It was about 6:00pm, the sun wasn’t quite going down, but lower in the sky, and there was the most amazing vibe there – do you know what I mean if I say, it just had that ‘summer’ feeling? Chilled, happy, carefree? That was the vibe. I’m already looking forward to a summer of those evenings. 

Carriages

Having said all this – the RAIN on Saturday afternoon…?! :O I’ve never seen rain like it – and it happened JUST as we were driving back from Wetherby. It fell so fast that there was no where for it to drain away, so the puddles were DEEP, and unavoidable. Ed observed as we saw a bus heading towards the worst affected section, that the bigger vehicles would probably be okay – but our little smart car did struggle bless it :’) The carpet in front of the gaping living room window wasn’t TOO wet when we got in, it only took a few tea towels to soak it up -_-
Mental note (for both of us) to check the weather forecast when leaving the flat and the window is open. At least we don’t have a washing line… #adultprobs 

Of course, it’s miserable again today – typical. I’m cuddling myself up in the arm chair, reading Harry Potter with the window open (only a bit!) so I can hear the rain 🙂 Happy Bank Holiday!

Lynette x

Celtic Spirit…


Saturday 22nd April saw the return of Studio 3’s biennial show, ‘Celtic Spirit’. This was only the second show (the first was in April 2015), but the plan is in place to perform at the Frazer Theatre every two years. I missed the last show because I was in London training, but now I’m back… you couldn’t keep me away! 

It was a fantastic show. Act 1 loosely based on Michael Flately’s ‘Lord of the Dance’, and Act 2 a selection of other Irish dances the girls have been working on in class. Act 1 I especially enjoyed; I spent my childhood dancing round the living room to ‘Lord of the Dance’ and ‘Riverdance’. My Nan even made me a flamenco costume so that when that piece came on on her VHS, I could prance around the living room in full character. I can’t remember whether that was before or after the dress she made me for my first ever choreography competition in 1999 – because after all of that prancing around, when it came to making up a solo, it HAD to be from Riverdance (refer to Featured Image for Lynette in costume at Dance Krazy 2000). 

Watching the show DID make me a little jealous though. Whilst I had the opportunity to train in so many styles at Bird, Irish wasn’t on of them. So when I moved away in 2011, I waved goodbye to my Riverdance classes and haven’t done one since. Which is really quite sad, because I adored it, it was one of my favourites. And it was always that that got bought out at the school fairs and Knaresborough events. 

I find it very hard these days to go to a professional show and not find something to be critical about. But not Riverdance and Lord of the Dance. If you haven’t seen an Irish show live, I URGE you to get yourself to one. They’re absolutely incredible. I could say, maybe it’s because I had so much admiration for them when I was younger that I can’t find fault…but I don’t think it’s that. They’re such a spectacle for so many reasons, there’s something in those shows for everyone. Thunderstorm (for example) did, and always will, give me goosebumps:

A clip from the 1996 show, filmed at Radio City Music Hall.
(This was the version I had on VHS and grew up to)

Actually, thinking about it, I’m pretty sure my parents have been to more shows than I have! It seems that every year there’s a tour of one of the many Irish shows – and they ALWAYS manage to get tickets (get yourself in touch with Mama P, she clearly has the inside scoop). It’s been years since I last got to see one – I should probably find out how she does it and get myself to the next one! 

Just before I sign off for today, I want to say a massive well done to all the girls involved in Celtic Spirit, you were all fab. And Viv, of course – yet another fantastic show.

Lynette x

Hoppy Easter…


So I was under the impression that Easter weekend was gonna be warm. Hottest days of the year so far… I think someone was telling porkies! I’m not a fan of the heat, but I just had an idea in my head of walking down on Waterside without my coat on and grabbing a milkshake. Not needing a brolly and a cuppa (‘:

I’ve never been a big celebrator of Easter, I’m not religious and neither are my family, so it’s never been an important time. Having SAID that, now I’m grown up, I do miss the Easter egg hunts Dad used to plan for me and my brother. The amount of time he must’ve put in to all those cryptic clues each year…it was greatly appreciated, thankyou Daddy Pickering (‘: Pretty sure the best Easter egg I ever got was when Willy Wonka had loads of treats in the shops. Does anyone remember those? I know ‘Nerds’ are still around these days, but there used to be chocolate as well… and the egg I got was green and cube shaped and tasted of white chocolate and raspberry. It was amazing. Cadbury Cream Eggs are overrated 😉 Especially this year, has anyone had them with the new recipe? #disappointed


So, it’s not particularly ‘special’, but I DO happen to have a week off so I’m quite enjoying it this year! You know when you just need a bit of time for yourself and time to breathe? I’ve mentioned it before I’m sure, but it’s very hard with this job to switch off. Now I have proper time off, I can actually have time to chill out without getting distracted!
Having said that, I DID just upload a new video edit to YouTube… but they were from my Easter Workshops last week so I wanted to get it up there for the girls (and mums!) to have a look at. Here it is if you’re curious:

I LOVE a bit of Musical Theatre Jazz so having a full day of it with three different groups was so good! Massive well done to all the girls I saw, we went HARD, it was intense, but you gave me so much energy and enthusiasm. I just wish we’d had more time so we could’ve done a bit more! Watch this space, this won’t be the last 😉

If there’s anything that any of you girls particularly enjoyed, or if there’s something you’d like to give a go next time, just let me know! I already have some ideas of my own, but I aim to please and want to give you the experience you may not otherwise get 🙂
Hope you had a lovely Easter weekend gorgeous people, only a couple weeks till the next Bank Holiday 😉

Lynette x

Dance Krazy ’17…


Almost 2 weeks since Dance Krazy. I’m not quite sure how that happened. But seen as it was my first Dance Krazy in teacher mode, it HAD to get a specially dedicated blog post.
(I wish my camera was better quality – the pics I’ve included are from the back of the Grand Circle with my little Canon…but you get the idea!)

Behind the scenes of Dance Krazy 2017

Starting writing this though, I’m not sure where it’s going to go if I’m honest, I’m not sure what I’m going to say. Coz I don’t like being mushy – anyone who knows me knows I’m very blunt. I say it as it is – whether it’s something good or bad. But I DID get a little emotional on show day. I think it was probably a mix of relief and pride. Relief that all that hard work of running and cleaning and polishing and taking the pieces apart was worth it. And pride for my girls. For their outstanding work ethic and commitment to the routines. It was such a rewarding experience. And especially when you hear from the girls themselves how much they enjoyed working on/doing the piece. 

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‘Me and My Girls’ – Commercial Jazz

I’ve been very relaxed for the last week. I put a lot of pressure on myself for Dance Krazy. I know I did. And now I can breathe a HUGE sigh of a relief that everything turned out the way I imagined. 

The entire show was gorgeous. Viv did an amazing job (as always) and the girls and boys were all FAB. You could tell that they were all enjoying themselves up there on that stage.  And that’s the main thing, isn’t it? It was a longgg day, as it always is, and after the dress rehearsal I saw a LOT of sleepy faces. Especially after stuffing faces with tea. Although, this time, I heard no threats of being sick, so that’s a step up from Christmas Crackers! 

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‘Army Girls’ – Street Dance

I feel like there needs to be a massive shout out to the Studio 3 Red T-Shirt ladies – the backstage runners and organisation Queens in charge of the children backstage. The show simply wouldn’t happen without you. And, I’d like to take a selfish moment to shoutout to the original creator of the Red T-Shirt lady idea, the guru herself, my own Mama P. It wasn’t Dance Krazy until you saw Yvonne in Stage Manager mode, running round with her bits of paper, organising all of backstage AS WELL as being my quick changer. Forever grateful and proud of this wonderful woman. 

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‘The Mould’ – Lyrical Jazz

So I guess that’s where I went with the post. I got mushy. For which I apologise, I hate to get mushy. But if there was any time to do it – this would be it. I already knew I was happy being back home and doing a job I love. But when it’s so incredibly rewarding, and having had such a strong support network, both in the run up to the show and on the day (you know who you are ❤️) – it’s just confirmed what I already knew. I’ve said it to her before, but I’m so grateful to Viv for allowing/welcoming me back so warmly and letting me embark on my new dream. Forever thankful to the woman who’s been an inspiration since I was 4.

Signing off before I get any more cringey

Lynette x

‘Krazy’ Rehearsals…


How do you know it’s show time? When you blink and three weeks have gone by with no blog post! Didn’t even realise… SO! Here we go. Because Studio 3’s annual show, ‘Dance Krazy’ at Harrogate Royal Hall, is NEXT WEEK! Despite the title, I’m not going to talk TOO much about my pieces in the show – I haven’t really given much away on social media – about what we’ve been doing OR how rehearsals have been. But, as always, I’m just putting thoughts out there that have been influenced by what’s going on in my life. So let’s just roll with it…

Before going away to train, I performed in 14 Dance Krazy’s, 1997-2011. This will be the first one for me in teacher mode. I reckon it’s going to be a very strange experience on the day, but I’m so looking forward to it.
I’ve spoken before (in particular on my work account on Snapchat) about how it’s hard to switch off with this job. You don’t just work the couple of hours that you’re in the studio, there’s sooooooo much time spent planning, reviewing, creating, choreographing, video making, music editing… I love it, but it ends up being very time consuming. I definitely didn’t give my teachers the credit they deserved – you just don’t realise how in-depth this job is until you do it yourself. And I’m only a teacher – I don’t own the business or own the school. How Ms Hall finds time to sleep, I’ll never know!

girls-blur‘Me and My Girls’ – Commercial Jazz Rehearsal

AND the main thing about all this: you can’t switch off. My brain doesn’t care if it’s Saturday night and I have a film on, or if I’m out at the pub. If I get inspiration (for a piece, class, whatever), I have to go with it. Coz you don’t know when you might get it again! Thankfully my nearest and dearest are very understanding and have learned to deal with me if I suddenly say ‘hold that thought, I’ve just figured out how the spacing will work in section 7 – bear with whilst I write it down!’.

Show time is worse. There’s technically less choreography to worry about (coz now they’re all finished, it’s just my adult classes I have to plan for). But there’s 10 times more stress. Especially when you’re working to a short time scale.

choreo

BUT. Whilst it’s stressful, it’s SO exciting. I love show time. Being on the other side of it is different. It’s not the first time, I choreographed school productions etc, but this is on a totally different level – maybe because it’s my job and I’m so invested in it. Give it 9 days, I might decide that actually, it’s JUST stressful – I’ll keep you posted 😉 

Rehearsals have always filled me with excitement, however hard they are. And the feeling when things start going right is simply immense. So here we go. Last week of rehearsals. There’s still lots of hard work that needs to be done – but I remain positive and optimistic, look forward to seeing all my girls this week, AND going along to have a sneaky peek at other rehearsals too.

All that’s left to say, is that I wish all involved lots of love and luck! And don’t forget to use your peripheral vision 😉

Lynette x

Merry Blogmas…


‘It’s the most wonderful time of the year’. 

It really is. And even more so for me this year…this is the first time I’ve been around for the run up to Christmas since I was at school. Yes, I would come back for a couple of weeks whilst I was training. But I missed all the run up things. Studio 3’s Christmas Crackers, the Knaresborough lights switch on, Santa and Knaresborough Lions Club going round the estates visiting everyone with carols blasting from the sleigh. (As it happens, I managed to miss Santa, again, for the sixth year running – I was at work. Mental note to cancel classes on the first Monday in December next year in order to see him – sorry lyrical Jazz girls, priorities…) 😉

Knaresborough’s beautiful this year. As she is every year. Some of the decorations are gorgeous. Knaresborough House is magical! And so classy. I think we all know why there’s no decorations on the grass this year…but the new decoration plan works. Let’s stick with it from now on. And has everyone seen the window display at The Yorkshire Soap company?! That made me feel all warm and fuzzy when I saw that. 

soap

Welcoming Christmas with the Christmas lights switch on was magical. So many people, such high spirits. It was a cold night and even wearing fake fur didn’t keep out the cold. What DID help was the hot chocolate down at the Train Station after Studio 3’s final performance of the night on the platform. Mind you, I’m complaining… I feel for the piper who was there in his kilt…

And I have to do a quick shoutout to work – firstly to Danceology who started Christmas a month ago! And the girls I saw on the last Saturday of term – without you, I wouldn’t have had the excuse to pretend to be a Christmas tree or dance around being a reindeer. And secondly to Studio 3 who’ve been busy performing at festive events left right and centre for weeks! Christmas Crackers 2016 was such a lovely weekend, everyone happy and smiling, both the youngsters involved, and the parents. Most especially so when 6 of the mums did a flash mob and performed one of their daughter’s numbers on stage – step for step – the girls were mortified and the ladies were incredible – a job well done 😉

 I’m very much looking forward to this week. The last week in the run up to Christmas: last minute bits of shopping, the hustle and bustle of people in town, catching up with friends as we begin to find more free time, the quiet nights in with a cuppa and a Christmas film…or a loud night out at a party…  😉

And of course, re-connecting with family and friends. I know some of my friends are working away from home/overseas/on board ships. I hope you’re having the times of your lives, and sending love to anyone out there reading this who’s separated from their family. 

xmas-2And sending love to all of you reading this. The blog thing is still new for me…I’ve just kind of gone with the flow! Thankyou for reading and supporting both it and me. It means an awful lot.
I shall leave you with my guilty pleasure Christmas song. Just coz 🙂

Merry Christmas!
Lynette x

To blog, or not to blog…

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So. I’ve been back in Yorkshire for just over two months now. Setting myself up as a dance teacher in Knaresborough and Wetherby, finding my feet, having fun with promo vids and posters. And the one question that’s continually cropped up when I’ve talked to people… ‘Are you starting a blog?’

At first I would laugh and say no. But as more and more people asked, the more I began to think, maybe it’s something worth doing. Afterall, I’m trying to create an online presence for myself, to advertise my teaching work. So why not give it a go?

I’ve never thought of myself as much of a writer. Or that I had anything particularly intereting to say. Especially doing a blog…who would want to read about my life and my work? But there is SO much involved in being a teacher. More than I anticipated. (I’m pretty sure this subject deserves it’s own blog, so watch this space). I barely have time to breathe and currently, I only teach three days a week! But, what this DOES mean, is that I’ll actually find stuff to talk about (she says hopefully).

So we’re gonna give this a bash and see how we go…

Lynette x