Phoenix LDC on tour in Turkey – 2nd/9th November 2012

Posted in line dancing on 16/11/2012 by Steve

Phoenix Line Dance Club on Tour in Turkey – 2nd to 9th November 2012

A group of sixteen members and friends flew to Antalya before travelling on to Çolaklı on the Turkish Riviera to enjoy a week’s holiday. Çolaklı is situated approximately 8 miles to the west of Side, a town well known for its archaeological ruins.

The trip was organised by Steve & Denise Bisson together with the help of their line dancing friends from Ankara, Őzgűr and Műrűvvet Takaç. The holiday was arranged to include line dance workshops and to take the opportunity to visit the many attractions in the area.

The flight to Antalya on the evening of Friday 2nd November was trouble free and the group arrived on time at 10.15pm where they were met by an old friend, Űnal Gűngőr – a travel agent, who had arranged the coach transfer to the Grand Pearl Hotel in Çolaklı. The hotel provided an excellent all-inclusive service with three meals a day, plus afternoon tea/coffee and cakes, plus a mid-night snack of soup and/or dinner with meat and vegetables. Being all-inclusive meant that all local drinks were available until mid-night – so at 15 minutes to mid-night it was possible to obtain a stock of drinks to take the “night-owlers” through to the wee small hours!   

At the hotel the group were met by their friends, Őzgűr and Műrűvvet, who had travelled down by bus from Ankara together with 3 year old daughter, Belinay, and four friends. On Saturday the group were joined by Corrie and Leo De Roo who had flown in from Amsterdam to take part in the many activities. So all in all, the group comprised of 25 people.

Line dance workshops were held each evening before dinner on the hotel pool terrace. After dinner, the group were able to practice the dances they had been taught in the bar area much to the pleasure of the other residents – mainly Russian and German tourists enjoying the last days of the Turkish summer.

Members of the group went on several excursions which included: a nature tour of the Taurus Mountains, camel rides, Manavgat River trip and Manavgat Water Falls, Manavgat town market, shopping in Antalya, the Roman ruins in Side old town. One of the group, Arnold Lodge, even managed to take part in some white water rafting – Arnold later said that it was the best holiday activity that he had taken part in for 3 years. Nobody else was brave enough to join him!

The weather throughout was much like Northern Cyprus with daytime temperatures in the high twenties, cooling in the evenings but still warm enough to sit out on the many terraces overlooking the huge swimming pool.

All too soon the week’s holiday was over and the happy bunch of travellers from Northern Cyprus said their goodbyes to old and new friends from Ankara and Amsterdam before making the hour long coach ride to Antalya airport. The flight back early in the evening of Friday, 9th November went without a hitch – the Pegasus flight even managed to arrive at Ercan ten minutes ahead of schedule!

Everyone agreed that this had been a superb holiday. Phoenix LDC will be returning to the Turkish Riviera in November of next year and hope to make this an annual event.

The next Phoenix LDC trip will be to Handeloh, a village near Hamburg in Germany in April 2013. This trip is planned to coincide with a three day Country Music and Line Dance Festival in the nearby town of Wesel.

Author: Steve Bisson 

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Phoenix LDC On Tour – Handeloh/Hamburg, Germany – 2012

Posted in line dancing on 24/08/2012 by Steve

  Phoenix LDC on tour – Trip to Handeloh/Hamburg, Germany

Monday 13th to Monday 20th August 2012

Day 1 – Monday – we set off from Larnaca Airport, South Cyprus at 13.15 hrs. (local time). Our flight was delayed by two hours due to a passenger on the inbound flight suffering from a heart attack and the aircraft had to be diverted to Belgrade! Subsequently we arrived at Hamburg International Airport where we immediately met up with Liz and Dave Richardson in the baggage reclaim, having just arrived from Luton Airport.  We were met at the airport by René Schőn and taken to the airport train station for the first leg of our journey on three trains to the village of Handeloh – some 25 kms south of Hamburg. At the station in Handeloh we were greeted by Rita Hepp, René’s partner, and served champagne – a very thoughtful welcoming gesture. Also at the station to greet us were Corrie and Leo de Roo who had travelled up by car from their home in Holland. Our hotel (Hotel Fuchs) lay just around the corner, two minutes from the station. So now our party was complete with eight members of Phoenix Line Dance Club ready for action.

Day 2 – Tuesday – after a hearty breakfast, René collected us from the hotel and took us by bus to the nearby village of Undeloh. It was here that we embarked on a carriage drawn by two horses through the heathland of Lűneburg to enjoy the wonderful displays of wild heather – the area is famous for this and attracts many visitors.  At the end of our carriage ride we met up with Rita at a very nice “hostelry” for cold drinks – beer for the guys of course! We also paid a visit to Rita’s daughter’s Country & Western Wear shop, which was very close to our hotel, and couldn’t resist buying a shirt and boots! 

Dinner at the hotel was followed by our first line dance session with Heinz-Herman and the Beechwood Line Dancers at their lesson in a very nice restaurant in a neighbouring village. We soon got to grips with the dancing and made some new friends. After a very pleasant evening we all returned to our hotel for some “nightcaps” in our room – the usual place for ending an evening out!

Day 3 – Wednesday – this was the day that René and Rita took us on a guided tour of some Hamburg’s visitor attractions. The tour began at the Hamburg docks where we boarded a river boat/bus and travelled up and down the river Elbe – free of charge! The area is famous for its ship building industry and container berths. We took the opportunity to get off the river boat/bus for some refreshments – coffee and apple strudel although some of the guys preferred a cold beer!

After our boat trip, we walked to the Reeperbahn district, well known for its night life and other “entertainments”. From here we rode on the metro to the city centre to take in some of the sights around the Parliament building then back to Hamburg Central Station for the return journey to Handeloh.

Another sumptuous dinner in the hotel dining room was followed by the, now usual, night cap in our room.

Day 4 – Thursday – following our usual breakfast feast, Rita took the girls by train to the town of Buchholz for a bit of retail therapy. René on the other hand took the guys to a kind of Leisure Park that included, among other attractions, the “Snow Dome”. This is a large building that houses an indoor ski slope with “real snow” and even though the outside temperature was in the high twenties inside the ski area it must have been minus something! The Park area also included two outdoor Go-Kart tracks and one indoor track plus a very unusual building, an upside-down house – this just has to be seen to be believed.      

After an early dinner it was time to set off to our second line dance session, this time with Conny and her friends from Longhorns Dance Group. The venue was the same as Tuesday and many of the dancers from Beechwood were there too. We were given the opportunity to stage a workshop and taught several dances, including Pick A Bale, Slapping Leather (by special request), Cherhumba, That 55 Ford, Thinking It Over and Oklahoma Boogie. We also staged a special performance of Chilly Pepper Hot! as a tribute to our friend, Oscar the Cowboy.

Weary after our day out, and evening dance session, it was back to the hotel for our “night cap”.

Day 5 – Friday – thinking that we would be having a restful day, René and Rita had other ideas and suggested a short walk around the village, about half an hour, to take in the local scenes which would include many horse stables. Half an hour turned into two hours so we ended up being just as tired as if we had line danced for two hours! Apart from that it was a restful day to prepare ourselves for the two Line Dance Festivals that were due to take place over the weekend. And of course, we must not forget that all important “night cap” to round off another very pleasant day.

Day 6 – Saturday – this was the day of our first experience at a Country Line Dance Festival. The festival was hosted by a group called Country Dancers in Billstedt, an area to the east of Hamburg. However, before reaching the festival we spent a little time in the city where we met up with Angela Schatte, an ex-neighbour of ours in Northern Cyprus. The festival was well attended and we made many new friends, exchanging club details etc. We were also given the opportunity to provide our own music and dance some our current favourites that included That 55 Ford, Oklahoma Boogie, Chilly Pepper Hot! and a few others. The organisers did ask if we could do a workshop but, sadly time ran out as we had to catch our train to head back to Handeloh – we actually missed our connection in Buchholz and ended up hailing a taxi!

The evening dinner was its usual enormous feast followed by drinks on the terrace before heading up to our room for – you’ve guessed it – our “night cap”.

Day 7 – Sunday – time for our second festival, this was the Műhler Fest (Mill Festival) outside the town of Sprengel. A great day in a lovely area, which included a fully restored mill, and with weather at thirty degrees plus (normal for us!) it was an experience not to be forgotten. The festival dancing was done mostly to music provided by a live band known as “Little Country Gentlemen” that strangely enough included a female bass player! During the bands break the dancers were able to provide their own music and dance their particular favourites. The festival area had many stalls selling a variety of goods and one stall selling Country & Western clothing – so a new shirt was the order of the day – yes, another one for the collection!

We returned to the hotel weary but happy for dinner and the usual!

Day 8 – Monday – all too soon our German experience was over and it was time to finish the packing the cases. René and Rita joined us for a final breakfast at the hotel before goodbyes were exchanged. Corrie and Leo set off in their car for their long drive back to Holland while Liz, Dave and ourselves waited for our taxi to take us to the airport – no way were we going back on three trains with our luggage! So with just the four of us now, we spent what time we had left at the airport enjoying an ice cream and reminiscing about all that we had done before saying our final goodbyes to Liz and Dave. Then it was time to make our way to the departure lounge for the flight back to Cyprus.

All in all, it was a most pleasant and successful venture for our very first trip to Germany. If all goes to plan, we hope to return in April 2013 for a three day festival at the invitation of Longhorn Dancers.

Steve & Denise Bisson

 

   

Phoenix LDC – Gala Night Party – June 2012

Posted in line dancing on 01/07/2012 by Steve

Phoenix LDC End of Term Gala Night 22nd June 2012

The summer heat this year arrived sooner than expected but after a cold, wet and windy winter no one is complaining (in public at least!). The timing to end the linedance lessons for the summer break fitted perfectly with the sizzling temperatures we were experiencing and with the dancing starting to get more than an energetic workout. Phoenix members breathed a sigh of relief when it was time to hang up their boots for another season.

The only thing remaining was the end of term Gala night, held this year at the Golden Bay Beach Bar & Restaurant Alsancak. All the members were looking forward to a last fling and to test themselves how much they had learnt during the last 9 months or so at the classes.

To help them on their way Devon (AKA Mr Rodeo – Simon Burridge) made a special trip from his busy schedule from the UK and Europe to entertain everyone for this gala evening.

The dancing started, the floor was full, and YES, everyone remembered his or her steps. They strutted around the floor like the great dancers they are, enjoying every moment and laughing all the way to the bar for that reviving drink!

For a welcome break, Devon entertained everyone with his unique style of country singing. Many of the songs were suited to the dances taught by Steve & Denise and the floor was once again full during his performance with a fine display of singing and dancing.

The evening ended with a final session from Devon and a round of applause from the Phoenix members for Steve and Denise for their hard work and dedication to the club and members throughout the year.

Here’s to a great summer and looking forward to the next season of line dance lessons with Phoenix LDC 2012/2013.

Author: Mel Dale

Phoenix LDC Celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II

Posted in line dancing on 05/06/2012 by Steve

Phoenix LDC at the Royal British Legion Event June 2nd 2012

A taste of Britain came to Sunny Northern Cyprus on 2nd June 2012 to celebrate the Queens Diamond Jubilee.

The Kyrenia branch of the Royal British Legion held a festival of events to mark the occasion of her Majesty’s 60-year reign.

The Deputy High Commissioner for Cyprus, Mr Brian Olley, and the chairman of the Kyrenia Branch of the Royal British Legion, Major Brian Thomas, gave welcoming speeches to the audience, most of which were dressed in patriotic attire.

As part of the programme, Phoenix Line Dance team were invited to perform at the event, and after the community singing, the team took to the stage to entertain everyone with their first of three sessions of dancing.

With temperatures hovering around 30 degrees, and wall-to-wall sunshine, the team proved to be made of strong material and performed their dances to the high standard expected.

The second session was a chance for the young, and not so young, to have a go at linedancing. So when the kids were tempted away from the Bouncy Castle and beach games, and the older “kids” from the bar, a teaching session for the dance Darlin’ Who’s Darlin’ took place and with the participants getting to grips with the dancing, it was an enjoyable session for everyone.

The final session had three more dances with the last one being danced to the patriotic “Sailor’s Hornpipe” from Louis Clark’s Hooked on Classics. It proved to be a fitting end to the team’s performance, with the audience cheering away with the music.

A Diamond Jubilee is a unique occasion that none of us will see the likes of again. This was a day to remember for everyone.

Author: Mel Dale

Phoenix LDC Fancy Dress Line Dance Party – April 2012

Posted in line dancing on 01/05/2012 by Steve

Phoenix LDC Fancy Dress Line Dance Party at the Açmenya Restaurant 

Where would you find Captain Kidd, Elvis, Hiawatha, a 20`s Flapper, an Hawaiian Tropic Girl and Cross Dressing  Pirates in the same room?

The answer is easy if you attended the Fancy Dress Line Dance Party at the Açmenya Restaurant, Alsancak  on Friday 27th April held by Phoenix LDC. They were among the brave souls to be togged up for the Fancy Dress competition as part of the evening’s entertainment.

With members and guests totalling over 50, the evening was set to be a lively affair.

The “Parade of the Characters” took place and this year the independent judge was the renowned Marion Stuart of the Cyprus Star.

Her Task to choose the winner and runner up for best Male and Female entries was made difficult by the sheer quality of the entrant’s costumes and after careful deliberation; she announced the results as follows.

Best Female: – Jean Cameron as a Hawaiian Tropic Girl,

Runner up: – Cath Gray as a 20`s Flapper.

Best Male: – Mick Bone as a Cross Dressing Pirate.

Runner up: – Charlie Bell as the one and only “Elvis” (he has now left the building!)

The linedancing followed and it was good to see the floor packed with the members enjoying the dancing although Captain Kidd was looking hotter by the minute while he was leading the dancing in his curly Captain Kidd wig. Later on, the wig adorned the back of a chair and Steve continued the dancing feeling a lot lighter.

The evening came to a close with everyone having had a good time and as always-huge thanks to Steve & Denise for their tireless commitment to the enjoyment of everyone.

 Author: Mel Dale

Country & Western Music Night at Korineum Golf & Country Club

Posted in line dancing on 03/04/2012 by Steve

Country & Western Music Night at the Korineum Golf & Country Club, Esentepe

 

On Friday,  March 30th Phoenix LDC were taking part in the “Country and Western Music Night” at the Korineum Golf & Country Club Esentepe featuring Chris James, one of the United Kingdom and Europe’s  top country singers.

With members and guests totalling over 130, the evening was set to be a unique experience for everyone.

A hot and cold buffet was served from the renowned Korineum kitchen and after thoroughly enjoying the delicious food; it was time for the show to get underway.

Chris, with his mellow country singing voice, performed a varied selection of ballads and upbeat songs for his first spot to the delight of the audience who were now looking forward to dancing as soon as they had loosened a notch or two on their belts!

The first session of linedancing followed and it was good to see some of the residents take to the floor and try out one or two dances, with varying degrees of success, but great to see them have a go at something they have never done before. Well done to them all.

The evening continued with a further two performances by Chris, sometimes accompanied by Phoenix (dancing to his songs not singing!), and another session of linedancing to round the night off.

In an impressive setting with excellent food and entertainment, the evening could not fail to be the triumph it was.

Thanks to Steve & Denise for their commitment to the evenings enjoyment.

Author: Mel Dale

Upcoming Event – Country & Western Music Night

Posted in line dancing on 08/03/2012 by Steve