ONE NIGHT ONLY
- and what a night!
Pete & Nikki review the latest Dance For Fun spectacular...
We have been to many Shows featuring Stevenage-based Dance Group Dance for Fun, and many of their own shows, like this one - but we must say, here and now, that this was the best so far...
'Dance For Fun' was started by Doreen Walker, and, since her daughter Lindsay became of age, she, too, joined forces withy her mum to teach children and adults to dance, and to arrange the music and choreography.
Now Lindsay is a driving force in these fields.
The Dancers have had success in other productions at The Gordon Craig Theatre and elsewhere, in productions ranging from Pantomimes such as 'Peter Pan' and 'Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs' to musicals like 'Singing in The Rain', which we watched at The Gordon Craig Theatre a few months back.
They have also performed at The prestigious Sadlers Wells Theatre, The O2, The Royal Albert Hall, and at Disneyland Paris.
This show, as we said, was the best and most spectacular yet, with routines ranging from Save all Your kisses for me, to songs from 'Frozen' such as Olaf, Princess and Let it Go.
It was a feast of magical fun, with 'Cinderella' complete with pumpkin and glass slipper, and even a guest appearance of Mickey and Minnie Mouse in a Disney-themed and very spectacular number.
There was a great surprise for us when the second act started with a choreographed version of 'Don't Forget To Wind Me Up', which got everybody clapping and singing along.
Embarrasingly, Compere Steve Beirne told the audience, 'That song was written and sung by the man who has been in Harry Potter, Midsomer Murders, The Bill, and lots of other films and TV productions, Pete Perry'.
He then invited us both up on the stage, where one of the child dancers presented Nikki with a lovely bouquet of flowers.
Dance For Fun is not merely for children though. The dancers range from around four years young to 80 years young! This proves the old adage about youth and age working together, - as indeed do we!
Special mention should be made of all the people working backstage, and in particular, we were impressed with the little blue car which featured in the number 'Blue Car' which was made from scratch by Darren Morris and Anthony Webb. A full list of backstage workers are there on the left...
...and this is how they did it...
The Show was in memory of our very dear friend JANE DEAN, who sadly passed away earlier this year.
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CONGRATULATIONS TO MADDISON
From Pete & Nikki
Pete & Nikki would warmly like to congratulate MADDISON MOLOCCO on her achievement of passing her GRADE 5 VIOLIN EXAM WITH MERIT.
This is a great achievement for the Marriott's school, Stevenage Pupil, who is also a rising star of DANCE FOR FUN, who have often been featured on this page.
Pete & Nikki went to see her in the Pantomime PETER PAN at The St Albans Arena on 31st December 2015, and what an evening it was!
Invited by Doreen Walker, Lindsay and Derry (see picture) it was a fabulous shopw, which took Pete back to The Sixties, when he played the part of a camp Genie of The Lamp in 'Aladdin' (see picture below).
All the elements were there, spectacular. funny, with plenty of corny jokes and audience participation, which kept the kids and adults alike, totally delighted throughout the performance.
Below: Pete plays The Genie of The Lamp (arrowed)
Indeed, this was the first panto that Nikki had ever attended. and much to her delight, Eastender's Jake Wood (as Captain Hook) called out their names along with Doreen's and Derry's, and they had to shout back that we were there.
This even came as a surprise to Doreen!
Particularly enchanting for the kids was when Peter Pan flew across the audience.
It is on until the end of February, so we would recommend it highly.
Afterwards, Pete & Nikki. along with Doreen, Lindsay and Maddison, wenmt along to The Postel's Club in Stevenage Old Town to see the New Year in...
A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL
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A brilliant Evening of Dance, music, song and colour
- with a fair amount of acting and humour thrown in!
By Pete & Nikki
INITIALLY, WE WENT TO THIS SHOW ON THE REQUEST OF DOREEN AND LYNDSAY WALKER OF 'DANCE FOR FUN', AND WE WENT TO CHEER THEM ON, BUT THE WHOLE SHOW WAS QUITE SPECTACULAR...
As a part of Stevenage Festival for 2015, the show featured North Central Herts School of Dance, Marriott's School, The Britton School of Performing Arts, Stevenage Stagecoach, NBDA, Footworks School of Dance and Musical Theatre, Premiere School of Dance, Dance For Fun, Molly Vickers and Claire Brooks School of Dance and Lesnick School of Ballet.
The show started with a great rendition of 'The Time Warp' from Molly Vickers & Claire Brooks, which set the standard for the entire evening.
Dance Apocolyptic followed, from the Britton School of Performing Arts, and the came The Lesnik School of ballet's version of a scene from A Midsummer's Nights' Dream. One of our favourite
See picture Right)
'A Chorus Line' followed, performed beautifully by Stagecoach of Stevenage, and this was followed up with 'Secret Pretty Hearts' from the NCH School of Dance.
'So Do I' was presented without flaaw by Molly Vickers & Claire Brooks, and then came aq rousing rendition of 'The Boy Does Nothing' from The Britton School of Performing Arts.
Masquerade was quite a spectacular production from The Lesnik Scool of ballet, when the mood change dramatically with 'Up Town Funk' from The NCH School of Dance (See picture above).
Molly Vickers & Claire Brooks took to the stage again with 'Show Time', and this was followed by 'Cygnets', - a beautifully choreographed ballet from The Lesnik School of Ballet.
The final offering of the first part of the show came from The Britton School of Performing Arts with aq funky piece called 'Hot Lunch Jam'.
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The second half of the show began with a humorous rendition of 'Here comes The Minions' from NBDA, followed by The Premier School of Dance with 'Putting On The Ritz', with all top hats and coattails, and then a mnore solemn mood was performed by Footworks, with 'Where's Our Happy Ending?'
NBDA then went on with 'Who are you?' before Dance for Fun wowed us with their own unique performance of 'Mr Blue Sky' (See picture left).
Marriott's School then took to the stage with their very own rendition of 6th Form Dance, which was highly amusing and entertaining.
The Garland Waltz was performed beautifully by The Premiere School of Dance, and then the mood changed again with 'The Book of Mormon' from Footworks (See picture right).
'Year Ten Betec Dance' was certainly something different from Marriott's Dance, whilst 'Dead Ballerinas' was a somewhat sombre performance from NBDA.
The mood picked up again however, when Dance For Fun took to the stage for the second time with a rousing sequence to the tune of that old rock favourite 'Proud Mary', which giot everyone jigging in their seats.
Marriott's School, who does many bgood things for the community, then gave a great performance of Let's Get It On, followed by 'Born This Way' from The Premiere School of Dasnce.
Once again, Dance For Fun blew us all away when the ladies gave us their unique performance of 'Fever'. Not quite Marylin Monroe perhaps, but done with great style and humour.
The final performance came from Footworks, with their rendition of 'The Charleston Hop'.
We would like to thank DOREEN WALKER (Pictured with Nikki) and Lyndsay for inviting us to this event.
Love & Peace
Pete & Nikki
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Dance for Fun presents
By Pete & Nikki
We have been attending various performances of 'Dance For Fun' shows now for quite a few years, and they just seem to get better and better.
As for this one, at The Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage on Saturday 4th October, - well - it was absolutely SPECTACULAR!
From the Opening number, through the Can-Can, The Elephant March, Anything Goes, Any Old Iron, to Belle (from Beauty and The Beast) in the first half, to Love & Marriage, Top Hat in the second half, to the Finale, - there was nothing you could fault.
Our favourites included Feed the Birds, Phantom of The Opera, Americano, Cabaret, Celebrity, American Patrol, Happy, - well, we could go on!
We loved the performances of Belle, the Dancers who played Miss Piggy and Kermit The Frog, The Roebuck School Cheerleaders, and The Sea Cadets Marching Band, who opened the show to spectacular effect.
Compere Stevie Beirne was his usual brilliant self, and of course Doreen and Lindsay Walker, who choreographed the whole show and made it happen, and all those who made the costumes and did back room work.
Proud? It was US who were proud, - to be watching such a colourful and professionally-presented show.
BOOK YOUR TICKETS FOR THE NEXT ONE!
Love & Peace
Pete & Nikki xxx
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Nikki & Pete
The MARDIS GRAS
ROYAL ALBERT HALL
On Saturday 3rd May 2014, Nikki & Pete travelled with 'Dance For Fun' Supremo DOREEN WALKER and lots of parents to THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL to watch the dance spectacular 'Mardis Gras', which featured Stevenage dance Group 'Dance For Fun' as well as several other dance schools from across the UK.
'Dance For Fun' is now mainly choreographed by Doreen's daughter Lindsay Walker, who did a terrific job.
It was a spectacular evening, with all dance schools giving a wonderful performance, which our intrepid pair enjoyed very much.
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Nikki & Pete at
THE MAYOR'S CHARITY CONCERT
Photos by NIKKI
WOW! What a great show! It could have easily been called The Royal Variety Show of Stevenage, except that it was The Mayor's event!
The acts were superb, and it was, indeed, a true Variety Show, - the kind that Pete used to produce and compere in The Sixties.
Our pair were accompanied at the event at THE GORDON CRAIG THEATRE, Stevenage on 31st March 2014, by 'Dance For Fun' producer DOREEN WALKER, (pictured with Nikki on the right) and the Dance for Fun Dancers were in the show.
The show got a rousing beginning with two songs from Britain's Got Talent, and all-Stevenage Girl, GABZ, who sang her latest offering, LIGHTERS (THE ONE) and her UK No 6 hit CHANGE THE GAME.
Lighters (The One) is due out this week, - so go get it, from the shops, or download it! That's GABZ, pictured on the left.
MARRIOTT'S GYMNASTICS CLUB put on a great, energetic performance, with a display by members of the Recreational, Acrobatic and Men's Athletic Squads.
Next up came ROXY SEARLE and LAWRENCE HILL, - two solo artistes, who only got together three weeks previously, to form a DUO, - and we can tell you, they perform together superbly.
Other acts included JAMES CRAVEN, who gave us a lovely renditon of When I was your Man, Arun Dhaliwai on the Viola, with a beautiful rendition of L'Agreeable by M. Marais, and then came an amazing performance from STEVE CLARK, The One Man Orchestra, who got feet tapping in the auditorium with a great medley of Disney favourites on the Organ, then CHARLIE TIPPETT gave a beautiful Heartfelt performance of Don't Cry For me Argentina, from EVITA.
Then the compere introduced DANCE FOR FUN, (pictured right) to a thunderous applause that threatened to bring the house down. Obviously a very very popular dance troupe in and around Stevenage!
It is easy to see why they have danced at such prestigious places as DISNEYLAND PARIS, SADLERS WELLS and THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL, as they effortlessly went into a superb routine of Making You Mind Up, complete with the skirt-removing routine!
Our loving couple will be in the front row of The Royal Albert Hall to see them again in May.
The first half ended with a great example of street dancing Dance Crew Routine from The WARRIORZ PERFORMING ARTS ACADEMY, and closing the first half they were treated to SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW, performed wonderfully and sensitively by BETHANY HUCKLE.
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The second half opened with GLAMOUR giving a rousing performance of COPACABANNA, which was then followed by a really beautifuly performnce of I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU from vocalist extraordinaire. JOCHEBEL MacCARTHY (see picture on the left).
Indeed, the standing ovation given to her as she hit the high notes of this song appeared to get to her in such a way, that she almost broke down in tears at the end.
A TRULY FANTASTIC PERFORMANCE, AND OUR INTREPID PAIR WERE GLAD THEY WERE THERE TO OBSERVE IT, SO WATCH OUT FOR JOCHEBEL IN THE FUTURE!
Moving on, Dancer JAMES KELLY gave us his interpretation of ELEVATE, followed by DIAMANDA TARDITI singing PUT YOUR RECORDS ON.
UMA JUNIORS gave us another Street Dance Routine, which made you feel the energy! This was followed by MEGAN COWLAM singing 1-600 KILOMETRES, and then it was the turn of a great singing girl duo, DOLLYMIX, who got the audience clappinjg along again to THE GREATEST MEDLEY EVER TOLD and RIVER DEEP MOUNTAIN HIGH, which again, almost brought the house down!
Local lads INTERRACIAL, who, apparently have recently changed their name from STREET CREW, treated everyone to a brilliant, and humorous Street Dance Routine, which beautifully reflected the lifestyle of the youth of today, complete with an obsession with texting!
Nikki & Pete met two of the dance troupe afterwards, along with deputy Mayor SHERMA BATSON (see photo on the right).
INTERRACIAL ARE WORTH WATCHING OUT FOR TOO!
The evening ended with a lovely sensual solo dance performance of TRANSITION OF THE SNAKE from SOPHIE RIDLEY, and the finale was THE LONDONDERRY AIR coupled with NEW YORK NEW YORK from the JUST SING COMMUNITY CHOIR, with Audience Participation.
THE CONCERT WAS SPONSORED BY MBDA, and raised funds for ALZHIEMER'S SOCIETY, BRITISH RED CROSS, RNLI and STEVENAGE CARER'S SUPPORT GROUP.
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Pete on the stage
Pete has been working on the stage since he was a child. Firstly, with his cousins, Kenny, Betty and Beryl Card, putting on shows just after World War Two, for local children in their street, (his Uncle Bert ran a Concert Party called 'The Nickelodeons' - see picture below)...
Then, in the 50s with his pals Derek Soall and Cyril Smith, doing comedy sketches, and then in the 60s, compering, performing in, and and producing charity shows, often under the pseudonym of Perry Peterson...
He was a camp Genie of The Lamp in Stevenage's Broadhall Players production of Alladin, developing the risque catch-phrase 'Rub Three Times and I Come' - much to the disapproval of the producer, Mavis Stannard!
Thia pantomime, performed at Heathcote school stage in Stevenage, was so popular, that it ran from the beginning of December 1965, to the end of March 1966. It also featured Doris Pearson as Fairy Goloightly, Bob Hubbard as Widow Twankey, Pete's old pal Albert Neech as Ping, and Arthur Dickson as Pong - two comic 'Bluebottles' complete with flashing blue lights on their helmets...
Pete wasn't the only pupil at Chapel End Secondary Modern School to go on the stage.
Also in his class was DOREEN WELLS, who went on to become Prima Ballerina at The Royal Ballet. She also became The Marchioness of Londonderry.
Doreen is the little girl on the far right of the picture (second row) with the bow in her hair, and Pete is second from the left on the bottom row.
The picture on the right shows Doreen in later years, as Prima Ballerina for the Royal Ballet.
Interestingly, both Pete and Doreen were given bad reports at school, for not taking enough interest in lessons.
Indeed, Doreen was always being accused of 'Daydreaming' and often had chalk thrown at her by the teachers.
On his final school report, Pete was even accused of being BONE IDLE.
We don't think Nikki would agree with that, - she calls him her RETIRED WORKAHOLIC!
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'The Stars' In Their Eyes
At Sadlers Wells Theatre
By Nikki & Pete
Well, another adventure for us, with the lovely DOREEN WALKER, co-principle, along with her daughter Lyndsay, of Stevenage Dance Group, 'Dance For Fun'.
Doreen had invited us to SADLERS WELLS THEATRE in London, for the latest Mardis Gras production, 'The Stars' In Their Eyes', featuring dancing schools and groups from all over the UK, including Stevenage's own Dance For Fun...
We have been along to see several Mardis Gras productions at various venues, and for Pete, especially, this was something special, as his schoolfriend DOREEN WELLS had studied at Sadlers Wells before moving on to THE ROYAL BALLET and International fame.
Oddly enough, although Pete supported Doreen right from the beginning, and his own best mate Ballet dancer Extraordinaire, JONATHAN HARTNELL (who sadly died of a car accident in 1954 at the tender age of 17 years) - he never went to see Doreen perform at Sadlers Wells.
SO THIS, INDEED, WAS SPECIAL FOR HIM.
BUT ON TO THE SHOW!
As ever, the show was superb, with presenter NIC GREENSHIELDS doing a great job introducing the acts, who put on a memorable show...
Unfortunately, rules mean that we cannot bring you pictures of this great evening out, - but as you can see from the photographs here on this page, we had a great evening, - along with Doreen Walker (pictured above with Nikki) who decided to watch from the auditorium.
WELL DONE TO EVERYONE!
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PETE, NIKKI AND SOME MUSICIAN FRIENDS ARE ABOUT TO GET TOGETHER WITH DANCE FOR FUN ORGANISERS DOREEN AND LYNDSEY TO PRODUCE PETE'S CHILDREN'S CHRISTMAS MUSICAL, CAROL & THE CHRISTMAS TOYS.
If anyone wants to help in any way, contact Pete at firstname.lastname@example.org
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