Strictly star's flat performance at Far North dance awards
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Thurso, Come Dancing's UKA (United Kingdom Alliance) dance medal presentations this year, not only had the local Highland Vet TV celebrity but also a surprise guest appearance from BBC Strictly's judge Craig Revel Harwood – albeit as a cardboard cut-out.
Despite Covid restrictions the FarNorth Dancefest (FND) enjoyed a good weekend thanks to a Zoom internet link-up across the Highlands and the awarding of UKA dance medals at a specially adapted ceremony for 2020.
Cathy Earnshaw, from Thurso, Come Dancing (TCD) and the FND organising team said: "The Sunday medals [event] was just a fantastic end to a great weekend.
"We are all disappointed this year, so it was wonderful to see some of our dance friends again from across Caithness and also Orkney, Golspie and Beauly. We all miss getting together with our local bands including the Barracuda Boogie Band, the Caithness Big Band and our special guests for the FND, Dancing with Sharks from Inverness."
The weekend would have seen all the main Thurso venues fully booked said Cathy, and behalf of TCD she thanked all of them for their support.
"We hope before not to long we can return to classes and we have already started booking up venues and instructors for FarNorth Dancefest 2021."
Local dance and music communities have been hit hard by Covid restrictions with zero gatherings or classes. TCD had been looking forward to hosting its second Dancefest this November with up to 100 attendees and instructors from all over the Highlands.
Cathy said: "To cheer us all up, TCD decided over [that] weekend to spread a little strictly sparkles with a 'It's NOT a Live Jive' Zoom social over the weekend, a medal presentation and lots of photo memories on the FND page."
For the Friday Zoom social, dance instructor Lesley Gunn had choreographed some simple routines in a two metre by three metre space that all could enjoy from home. There were jive kicks, waltz, cha-cha-cha and a Covid calypso samba sequence dance.
"The routines were suitable for solos and couples as it will be some time before any of us can take up partner dancing or change partners while dancing," said Cathy.
"On the Sunday after Remembrance, the dance medalists had been invited by Lesley to put on some glad rags for photos in small, timed groups at Thurso guide hall.
"We had instructions to enter wearing face masks and go to our marked-out, socially-distanced floor area and that all medals would be sanitised. So we were totally surprised to find the hall decorated with bling fun, fairy lights, the Strictly theme tunes and special guest star Craig appeared. So good of him to fly up after the results show which as we all know is filmed on the Saturday night."
Though, for a change Craig did not have a lot to say and maintained a smile throughout, said Cathy, as he was actually a cardboard cutout standee.
"Well done to all the students in Thurso, Come Dancing ,who gained their UKA Dance association awards and medals in bronze and silver in a number of styles including ballroom, Latin and rock n roll – Tracey Taylor, Kay Gunn, Harriette Tueween, Ishbel Raffle, Su and Tim Hawes and of course our Highland Vet couple, Guy and Jennifer Gordon. Little did we know he had rushed there having saved a calf out west."
Cathy said that with all the tough times and tragedies around the world and many struggling mentally and physically throughout the pandemic "dance and music are so important to many people's wellbeing".
"So, we were all grateful for this fun weekend, as it was a real tonic."