We have returned from another fabulous weekend in Dawlish with our FineSteppers – some might say the best trip to Dawlish yet!

As always Ms FineSteps headed down to Dawlish on Thursday with Robert, closely followed by Mr FineSteps, to get ready for the busy weekend ahead.


On Friday the madness began, with FineSteppers piling into the Langstone Cliff Hotel, excited about the weekend ahead. We kick-started the weekend with welcome drinks before settling down for dinner. As always the Langstone had prepared a wonderful buffet for us, which we all enjoyed immensely! The pudding was a particular highlight with many people going back for a second serving of Lemon Posset. Then it was time to dance. The first dance of the evening was a Barn Dance Jive, and we had everyone in the room up on the dance floor. For the first time in years, we made the dance progressive again. It went surprisingly well until the leaders had to move forward 5 spaces – absolute carnage! We danced and danced until it was time to say goodnight. Although a few did have a couple of drinks in the bar before heading off to bed – no surprise there!

Saturday Morning

Up bright and early, ready for a morning of learning! Our very own Nicky Sheppard set up a stall of her glass creations and Holbrooks arrived to showcase their collection of shoes. The ballroom started to fill up and we got straight down to work with Ballroom, Latin and technique workshops led by Nikki and assisted by Molly. We started with Ballroom, focusing on a new section of Foxtrot and then moved on to Latin where we experimented with a new Rumba routine. In the technique workshop, we concentrated on Rumba walks and spirals. The walks definitely improved but the spirals might need a little more work.

Saturday Afternoon

On Saturday afternoon the hotel seemed strangely quiet. As the weather was so wonderful most of our FineSteppers ventured out into surrounding towns to do a spot of shopping or to walk on the beach. Meanwhile, Nikki, Garry and Molly set to work decorating the ballroom for the Casino Royale-themed gala ball that evening. Molly was supposed to be writing a university assignment but decided tying ribbons on balloons and sprinkling playing card suit confetti on tables was much more fun!

Thankfully our quiz master had returned after missing Dawlish in April, so the fight for the Quiz Championship could resume! The Champions this time were team ’10 Left Feet’, although there were 6 of them in the team, so it’s a good job there wasn’t a round on maths. The prize for their triumph – a box of roses. Then time for a few hours rest before returning to the dance floor.

Saturday Evening

On Saturday night everyone dressed to impress. The ladies were dazzling whilst the gents channelled their inner James Bond. A group photo before taking our seats for dinner. The tables were accessorised with fake coins, chocolate casino chips, playing card suit confetti and casino-themed balloons. Dinner was served, and what a meal it was! Before pudding, we took a short break to celebrate Ms FineSteps’ belated birthday with a massive chocolate cake and an espresso martini. By the time we got to dancing Ms FineSteps was a little shaken, not stirred! Molly did the raffle round as usual but luckily she hadn’t had an espresso martini so wasn’t accepting fake coins instead of real ones. Finally, we saw the return of the party Paso Doble and it’s still a crowd favourite. We danced the night away, with laughter and joy filling the ballroom, especially whilst doing the Cheeseburger and the Party Samba. The highlight of the evening was when Ms FineSteps called the bartender grumpy for closing the ballroom bar at 10.45 just as he walked in front of the stage! His face was an absolute picture and we were all in stitches. We also discovered that after a couple of drinks neither Nikki nor Molly can remember the Lace Agate Swing. Dancing was due to stop at 12 o’clock but everyone was having way too much fun to go to bed, so we continued taking requests. Normally the last dance is a Waltz to wind down for the evening, but we thought why not have a disco? So the last Waltz was swiftly followed by Agadoo and More Than A Woman. Finally, it was time to say goodnight, well good morning, and off to bed.


Thankfully, we made the decision to start the workshops slightly later on Sunday morning and it’s safe to say we all needed a lie-in. Normally breakfast is a little sombre on a Sunday morning but not this time, everyone was still buzzing from Saturday night! In the workshops, we continued with the Foxtrot and Rumba and managed to finish both routines. Although there was a particularly comical moment in the Latin workshop when Nikki was talking about connecting with your partner and attempted to demonstrate but Molly couldn’t stop laughing.

Overall it was a fabulous weekend and thoroughly enjoyed by all. All the photos from the weekend can be found in our photo highlights if you’d like to take a look.

Thank you so much to the Langstone Cliff Hotel for having us once again. We look forward to another wonderful weekend in Dawlish!