Plea for dance leaders to save rare Cromer club

Seasoned sequence dancers in north Norfolk are appealing for leaders to step forward and save a long-established and now rare club from folding.

Cromer Sequence Dance Club will have to close at the end of this month unless qualified replacements can be found for leaders Grace and Russell Webdale who are retiring.

The club, which meets in East Runton Village Hall, and another at Hoveton are possibly the only survivors in the area, according to treasurer Eric Roberts.

In recent years similar clubs, aimed at more experienced sequence dancers, have folded in Sheringham, Holt, Aldborough and, at Christmas, in North Walsham, he said. A sequence dance club for beginners, run by Sue Norman, is held in East Runton Village Hall on Friday nights.

'Without leaders we can't really function,' said Mr Roberts. 'We get new dances coming in from London and the leaders teach us them. Every Monday night we learn a new one.'

Although the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing series had seen a boom in younger people learning ballroom dancing, many were not yet skilled enough to tackle more complicated sequence routines, according to Mr Roberts, who will be 80 next month.

He and his wife Anne, 76, have been ballroom dancing since their teens and took up sequence dancing 20 years ago.

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The club, chaired by Robin Goddard, was formed over 50 years ago and has a membership of about 40 of whom some 20 to 25 turn up at each Monday session, and once a month on a Saturday. In summer, club nights are boosted by visiting holidaymakers.

'We enjoy it,' said Mr Roberts. 'There's the social side - you make friends - and it keeps your brain active. The dances are more advanced and it takes a bit of determination. It's much better than sitting and watching TV.'

Anyone holding the required National Association of Teachers of Dancing qualifications who is interested in the role can contact Mr Roberts on 01263 837276.