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Archive for February 2014

Wednesday, 19th February, 2014

Dancing with Norma Miller

Dancing with the Queen of Swing.. The Legendary, Ms Norma Miller..

After an amazing 3 nights, at GNSH 2014, we thought things simply couldn’t get any better. It was Sunday night and Chazz, accompanied by Norma Miller, led the final Shim Sham of the weekend, live to the Billy Bros Swingin’ Orchestra, playing Ain’t what you do.. It sounded just like Jimmy Lunceford.

Joseph Sewell, taking Norma Miller for what was to be, a careful dance
Photo by William Weaver

Anyway.. Whilst Joseph, was holding onto Norma very carefully, to slowly escort her off the dance floor, the Band Leader, Big Daddy Maurizio, announced, “this is a special request for Ms Norma Miller, Shiny Stockings”.. Norma’s face lit up, so Joseph bravely asked “would you like to have a gentle dance?”.. Certainly she replied, in a way only Norma could. Knowing that he had the responsibility of the Legendary, Queen of Swing at stake, Joseph carefully held Norma into a steady position in order to do a slow side to side two step. She rested her head on him, for  a few seconds, whilst Joseph calculated in his mind, what simple steps would be safe to try..  Everyone made space, as we were  careful to ensure she didn’t fall.

Norma Miller shout’s “Swing me Out!” to Joseph Sewell at GNSH
Photo By: William Weaver

 However, as the band started to Swing, it seemed that Norma had a ‘Hallelujah moment’ and to everyone’s surprise she smiled and shouted to Joseph “swing me out!” Joseph thought she was joking, so he smiled at her.. Then she shouted again, “Swing me Out!”  Joseph said “Norma, are you sure?”, then she laughed and let herself loose out of the close hold and swung out, forward, with her arms waving around, smiling at everyone. Joseph reports.. “At first I was afraid (but not petrified)”. Everyone stopped and watched in amazement, as non-one couldn’t believe what was happening. After about 30 seconds, just when things started to get exciting and crowds surrounded Norma and Joseph with camera’s, she suddenly stopped (a bit like Tom Hanks in Forest Gump lol..) and said.. “That’s your lot folks.”

But that’s not all.. She turned and said “Thank You” Joseph.. I’ve not swung out like that since Frankie.. :-)

Norma Miller in Day at the Races

For those few minutes, it seemed like we’d been projected back into the past of the 1930’s Savoy Ballroom. For Joseph, no other dance that night, would  have felt the same..

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Saturday, 1st February, 2014

Dancing On Ice – ITV

We feel very fortunate and honoured to have been selected by ITV Studios to provide training for ITV’s 2014 Dancing On Ice Stars and favourites, Hayley Tamaddon (Coronation St Actor) and Daniel Whiston.

We were meant to be working on joint Choreography, for them with the amazing skating icons Jane Torvill and Christopher Dean, but due to last minute logistics, on the day, we were working alone with Hayley and Dan.

Joseph Sewell, Charlotte Middlemiss, with Dancing on Ice stars Hayley and Dan

We arrived at the studio, early dressed to dance, as opposed to flapper dresses etc.. The camera crew surrounded us, the whole time, so the pressure was on to be fun, but relaxed and accurate.. We focused on authentic 1920’s Charleston moves and tricks that would compliment it, but the challenge was to find moves that could work on ice..

Both Hayley and Dan, were a pleasure to work with. Fun and really down to earth. We were invited to return to the ITV studios to watch them dance and skate along with their peers,  live on the show, that weekend. Phillip Schofield was on top form. It was a great atmosphere, as all the choreographers sat together, cheering on the skaters they coached. Amazing time..

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