Wednesday 3rd December 2008 by C. Freeman
Sixth Formers have been learning how to waltz, rumba and cha-cha-cha in preparation for an old-fashioned tea dance. The Sixth Formers, who have previously run to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust, are now moving at a more sedate pace with tuition from dance teacher Miss Duguid.
Up to 30 students turn up for the sessions after school on Mondays, but more from Years 12 and 13 are welcome to take part, especially girls as there is a current shortage of female dancers.
Teacher Miss Gonda came up with the idea of the tea dance which will take place in February, as universities and colleges often hold them for students and locals in her native Canada. Miss Gonda said: 'When I was their age this was what we had to learn. When you go to different university dances you do the waltzes with the older people. They notice the ones who are waltzing more so than those standing on the side thinking, “I wish I could do that.”
'We want to make the best young generation that we can and give them these social skills. A few of the students want to go into the RAF and this also looks good for officer training, for business and it's a nice way of making sure they are well-rounded individuals.'
Grandparents and guests from the local community will be invited along to the event and there will be refreshments and cake supplied by the restaurant. Miss Gonda said: 'The tea dance is going to be absolutely great, good fun and just seeing the students dance is the best. They're learning a lot and Miss Duguid is an amazing teacher. The sessions last from 16:15 until about 17:30 and they don't want to go they just keep on dancing! It's just smiles on their faces, it is the best!'
Miss Duguid said: 'It's fantastic, the students are really enthusiastic, it's great fun. Maybe we might do a bit of rock and roll and I'm contemplating a bit of tango, adding something a little bit more demanding week by week. There are some people who have really surprised me, the potential they have and their ability to pick it up and dance is great. I'm trying to show them little complex bits to work on at the tea dance because at some point the older dancers may need a rest and so the students can get up and show what they can do.'