After months of planning the art of dance 5th Birthday Ball took place on Sunday night at the stunning Royal Plymouth Corinthian Yacht Club overlooking Plymouth Sound. The night was eagerly awaited and despite lots of behind the scenes disasters the night went ahead in front of a seated audience of 75 people.
The show kicked of with a duo performance by Nikki Brown and Charlie Hancock, two of our Liskeard students, Nikki & Charlie did a wonderful display dancing to Marilyn Mansun's 'The Dope Show', dressed in black shorts, red vests, red bow ties and black waistcoats they opened the show in style and did the art of dance proud. Next up were 2 more Liskeard students Helen Davis and Lauren Dodge dancing to Ultrabeats 'Pretty green Eyes' the two danced brilliantly despite Helen's pole coming loose and nearly falling of the ceiling! After the x-pole was repositioned the show continued with Jazz aka SJ , another Liskeard student who wowed the crowd with her strength and carried on despite missing a bit of her routine, it takes real guts to get up on stage and even more guts to carry on when something goes wrong. SJ also gained credit for her fantastic outfit of brown and pink surf style bikini with matching pink ballet shoes, she looked fabulous and danced beautifully to another Marilyn Mansun song 'Tainted Love'.
Act two saw Exeter student Nicole Windley dancing to the Stranglers Golden Brown, it was a very pretty dance with some fantastic Caterpillar climbs and some lovely choreography. Then it was Emma Barnes turn to amaze the audience with her beautiful routine to Beyonce' 'Halo', Emma had not wanted to perform and I had talked her into it and was so glad that I did as she really shone on the pole demonstrating her natural talent and grace.
I must mention our brilliant pole cleaners Kelly and Gemma Shattock who cleaned the poles brilliantly, looked wonderful and managed to climb the pole prior to each of the 13 performances!
Act Three was our showgirl section and the act started with an outstanding performance by Miss Melanie Clare aka Mel Scaffold, Mel danced to All That Jazz, from Chicago, she was dressed in top hat and tails. Mel's stage presence was truly superb and she engaged the audience from the start as well as landing some great ricks whilst keeping in perfect time to the music. Mel was followed by Miss Amelia B aka Mia Gilson whose cheeky routine to Shirley Bassey's 'I only want some' captivated the audience, Mia's facial expressions combined with stunning pole work was an act of genius and demonstrated why we have picked her to be our latest art of dance Burlesque instructor.
Finishing Act Three was our guest performer Miss Glory Pearl who rocked the house with her fantastic old Granny routine - see picture below- the act was sheer brilliance and I can't wait to see it again on the DVD, the act was true to Miss Glory pearls Burly-pole style and the perfoamcne climaxed with a very storng diaply of tricks on the pole inclduing knee conditoning and an aerial climb. A big thank you to Miss Glory Pearl for travelling all the way down from London to perform at the event.
After the buffet the guests were ready for the eagerly awaited Instructor exhibition and they were not about to be disappointed, Tamar Preston opened Act 4 with an electrifying dance to Linkin park's What I want. Tamar's first set of moves were a shoulder mount to Felix figurehead to shoulder mount to the Dove!! The dance was flawless and was a beautiful blend of dancing and pole tricks. The audience responded appropriately with cheers and applause for such a brilliant performance. Next on was Hayley Silk and once again the audience were in for a real treat, Hayley danced to a live version of Metallica's 'Nothing else matters'. Hayley's Pantera-esque style was crammed full of world class tricks that mesmerised the audince and seemd to defy gravity, her perfoance included the Eros (or flight attendant - a move that remains elusive to me!) a one handed bow and arow and a spin and snap to finish.
So the pressure was on for myself and the other instructors for Act 5 after the superb performannces by Tamar and Hayley but Rosanna Durban was not about to let the audience down: her superbly choreographed routine to songs relating to rain was fantastically executed, Rosanna started in full costume of umbrella, wellies and raincoat before attacking the pole with some wonderful tricks including a Gemini handstand and the Cupid at height! it was a magnificent show. Next up was our Burlesque Goddess Georgina Gale aka Sue Manser, Sue seems to be part of the pole and she moves effortless round it making her tricks look flawless yet majestic, Sue wore a pretty polka dot biking with a black skirt and she worked on one static and one spinning pole captivating the audience with every move.
So after all the acts it was up to me to pull of the finale, I had chosen Sarah Brightman & Andrea Bocceli's version of 'Time to say Goodbye', a classical opera track, I was going for a true balletic style and gentle flow which I hope I managed to achieve. Prior to my performance the Lordette of Darkness herself decided to reduce me to tears with an emotional tribute to my hard work and to the art of dance as a company, tears aside I rushed to get on the pole wanting to get my dance out of the way so I could enjoy the rest of the evening without performance nerves. I was horrified to realise that in haste to get on the pole I had forgotten my gloves and mighty grip, teh music had already started and rather than starting again I decided it was up to me to do what I had been preaching to my students and just get on with the performance regardless. I did omit a twisted hand stand combo due to slippy palms and replaced it with a plank to spider combo but was over the moon to get in my climb to flag invert without falling off. I received standing ovation and was practically reduced to tears again!
Now overall the evening was truly marvellous but things were nearly very different, I had been assured and reassured by the venue that the ceilings were solid concrete: After my finale I offered the poles to the audience for freestyle, Mia jumped up to do a classic fireman spin when the pole went through the ceiling, we couldn't believe that the poles had stayed in place throughout the night and now were able to see why the pole had moved for Helen's performance at the beginning of the night. We were very lucky that no one was seriously injured!
Anyway to summarise, it was definitely a night to remember, I would like to thank all the performers for representing the art of dance and all of the audience for creating a great atmosphere for the performers. I am looking forward to doing another showcase in October with a slightly different theme and layout so will keep you posted on that. I will also let you know when the DVD of the event comes out. In the meantime if any of you were there and took pictures or videos please upload them to the art of dance event birthday ball events page, there are also some pictures from the night on Michaela Roberts facebook, Hayley Prescott's facebook, Charlie Hancock's facebook and Nicole Windley's facebook. More pics and links to follow.
For those of you who are local to Plymouth and happen to be female don't forget that on Thursday is the annual Women's health fair at Plymouth Guildhall, the event is free and it starts at 10am and fisnhes at 4pm, The art of dance have an exhibiton stand and an x-pole in situ, check out full details by clicking here or click here to read the review from last years event, I simply adore the WHF and am really looking forward to Thursday especially seeing it is the place where I got married and on Thursday I will be pole dancing in exactly the same spot I did on my wedding day!