Monday, 8 July 2013

Hepcats Weekender July 2013


Well as predicted no post last week, as the house was a hive of activity getting ready for Hepcats, so I’m afraid this had to wait.

Well now I’m back and sitting here exhausted, I feel I should be productive, but this is about all I have the energy for.  So I will tell you all about Hepcats.

For those that don't know Hepcats is a twice yearly weekender dedicated to the 40s, music and dancing.  They have lessons during the day and then dances with a great mix of bands and djs during the nights. It starts on Friday and runs through till Sunday night, with breakfast and evening meal included in the price.  I have to say I was very impressed with the whole dining experience, we had the same waiter throughout and he was lovely, really helpful. The venue for the July date is Sand Bay near Weston Super Mare, and our chalet was good, clean and on the whole I would say really good value for money. 

Friday Night and a red felt hat
Two sets of dance lessons run parallel from ten till five and last year the other half was still fairly new to lindy hop and balboa, so we felt that we should make the most of the weekend and do as many as we could (and it was raining a fair bit).  This proved to be a bit of a mistake really when you just have very achy feet, and can’t remember anything because you have tried to take in too much.  So we decided to be a little more selective this year and just pick 2 classes a day that really interested us. We have really developed a love of balboa dancing so the obvious choice was those and we threw in a Collegiate Shag class too for variety.  If you have no idea what these types of dances are then get yourselves over to youtube and search for them to see what I’m on about.  Balboa when done well is wonderful feeling.  It was a dance invented for very crowded dance floors when space was very tight, so it is quite different from lindy with its lifts, air-steps  and charleston moves that take up a lot of space and are real crowd pleasers. Balboa is danced for the dancers not for the audience, although when danced well it is really impressive, we are nowhere near that level, but just do it to have fun, which we have bags of.  Well we very pleased with our lessons and came away with a couple of really nifty moves to add to our repertoire (I  wrote them down too, just in case we don’t get chance to practice for awhile).

Saturday night saw a small crochet skull cap with beads

The weather was perfect this weekend which is possibly not really what you want when you have to be inside for quite a lot dancing, but since we had already made the decision not to take too many lessons during the day time it really didn’t matter, and we were free to enjoy the sunshine which made the whole weekend seem like a real holiday, even managing to sunbathe, go swimming and sit around and do some ukulele jamming with some friends from other ukulele groups who were down there, very pleasant all round.

During the evenings the venue did what they could to keep the ballroom and other rooms cooler, with large air conditioning units, they were filled with cold water at very frequent intervals, so it wasn’t as hot as it could have been and practically all vintage ladies carry a fan with them anyway, you really don’t want to be all sweaty after dancing in your vintage frocks.

40s hairdo
  Talking of frocks there were some wonderful ones on show, people really made the effort to dress up for the evening dances and it was a joy just to sit and watch the people go by.  During the day the venue had a number of vintage and retro sellers toting their wares, and let me tell you there were some beautiful things, the work that went into some of the vintage evening dresses with their beads and embroidery is really inspiring and I have lots of bits and pieces running round my head now that I need to pull into some order and think about getting some sketches down before they go, I think I’m being pulled towards lace, and I feel the need to do some tatting (a type of lace making) to use as lace for applique on pockets and collars. I will keep you informed of the progress of this little venture.
The little bag was so cute I was really pleased with it.

Sunday ran out of time so just
fabric roses to match dress and bag

On the whole this weekend was lovely, we enjoyed every bit, didn’t stay out as late as we had hoped but we are getting older and the heat made us sleepy. But we danced, meet old friends, made new ones and in general had a ball. I would recommend Hepcats to anyone on the scene or just interested and curious to find out more.

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