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Old Time Dancing

The Old Time School of Ballroom Dance was run by Mr & Mrs Adams (they lived in Queen Street), and they gave lessons in the upstairs room of the Athletic Club in Newton Road twice a week, Mrs Mitchell would help. The dance school entered into competitions along with other schools and I remember travelling to Desborough, Stevenage, London and other places to take part. There was also a sequence dance team that would perform and compete.

with Susan Richard Ekins & Cynthia Watts
Dancing Competition 1960
Cynthia Watts & Susan Reynolds
Richard Ekins & Cynthia Watts with Silver Statuettes 1963

The first exam in the International Dancing Masters Association (IDMA) was to obtain a bronze medal, then a silver medal, gold, first gold bar, 2nd gold bar and silver statuette. A lady named Mrs Chettle who lived in Denton Close made most of the dresses, which were quite elaborate with layers and layers of net underskirts and thousands of sequins. Mrs Chettle was an excellent seamstress, and I remember that any dress she was working on had to be kept secret so that no one would know the colour, style etc, so that it couldn't be copied, consequently all the dresses that she would be working on would be covered over when you went to have your fitting. We all wore special silver dance shoes and I used to carry mine in a vanity case.

IDMA with Gold Bar Silver Statuette IDMA Gold Award
IDMA Gold Award Pendant
Left - IDMA with Gold Bar
Centre - Silver Statuette

I can only remember 2 boys going, but there could have been more, and I can't remember how many children attended but there must have been 50plus; as I said it was very popular. I think I first started going in 1960 and gave it up 1964. Cynthia Watts, 2013

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