For sure it’s just another weekend.
Just another dance event.
Just another competition.

But it really doesn’t feel that way to me.
Surely there must be some kind of weird dance magic involved?

What else could be drawing so many fantastic, friendly and fun dancers to a little village hall in Buckden?

Our DJs Graham, Melanie, Alan, Gordon and David were certainly working their magic throughout the weekend. Set after set of the most delicious and varied tunes that cast a spell on the most tired and aching of feet – forcing the feet to keep dancing, long after the bodies are feeling the need to stop.
Myra, as well as being such a fantastic DJ, consistently delighting us with just the right track at just the right moment, also has the challenge of making sure we have just the right DJ at just the right moment too! And that isn’t an easy task!

And of course special mention has to go to Morris and his Ultimate Challenge tracks!

With the incessant hunger that dancers have for music to inspire and delight them constantly, I am in awe of how Morris always manages to pull out of the hat, tunes that just blow us away each year. I’m sure he had no idea of the mammoth task he was taking on when we started this 9 years ago, and the hours that he devotes to this one event, in amongst everything else he does, is way above and beyond.
DJs… You and your music were definitely magical – and I can’t thank you all enough!
And who would want to be a judge!?

That’s a difficult job for sure. No wonder we have to keep them topped up with cake!

Paul, Sungy, Rob, Hev and our new guy, Alan. You each bring to this a huge wealth skill, of dance experience, of understanding, good grace and diversity. You have the toughest job of the whole weekend and yet you give your absolute focus, to each and every round. You sparkle and you shine. And it makes such a huge difference that you give so much, each time, to this event – thank you for everything!

Crystal Ladies – how on earth would anything get done without you incredible ladies?!

Di, and your elegant and gracious ensemble, you are relentless in your determination that all will run smoothly and I love you for it!

Behind the scenes, Beverley, Andrea, Lesley and Di are an incredibly efficient machine. We might see them gliding elegantly around the floor, giving out and gathering in crystals – but that is only one part of what they do. These ladies ensure that everyone is supported, that everyone has what they need right when they need it. From cups of tea, to washing up, to giving out hugs when hugs are needed, they watch the room constantly to make sure everybody has somebody throughout the weekend. They scoop up, boost up and big up anyone who looks like they might need it. Quietly, considerately and with infinite grace and a really large dollop of good humour they sprinkle their special fairy dust wherever they go. Thank you! We love you!

Kitchen Queens – I know I’m biased, but I think you two young ladies are amazing!

For one weekend of the year you become a slick, smooth and tireless machine doing this thing that is so far away from your day to day lives it’s ridiculous!

All weekend I overheard people asking ‘Who makes the cakes?’ because no-one could actually believe that you were making them right there and then! Everything you made before the weekend went on day one, so you just stayed up until the early hours and made them all over again.
You make the best soup on the planet – that is an official fact.

And I know that you don’t sit down for even a minute from Thursday through to Monday!
You definitely gave them the edge in the lady-cupboard too…
Niari, Tass – I am so totally and utterly proud of you!!

Lilly – Dance is a magical moment that exists only in our memories once the music finishes. You manage to capture those moments and keep them alive for us, long after the music stops! Somehow you have to anticipate the moments, even before the dancers themselves have created them – and you do it so well. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Pauline – you take the tired, the broken, the damaged and the weary and bring them back to life again! I think that definitely makes you some kind of magician… It is a long way for you to come, you very rarely get to see outside of your little room, and you must be exhausted by the time you are eventually done – but we are so grateful for you!

Beth and Judith – it’s always the little things that make the biggest difference. And you ladies have a knack of making sure the details are dealt with. The crystal display was outstanding! And symmetrical. And really beautifully lit.

And there was not a single sequin missing from the display cloths… Thank you for knowing. Thank you for caring.

Blues Nites Team – what an epic adventure this weekend is!

We get to practice Tetris when we load up a van with flooring. We get to create a giant jigsaw when we lay the floor. We get to lift and shift furniture, carry heavy kit, hoover, sweep, and polish. We get to be parking attendants and deal with hot, cross footballers.

There’s the paperwork, the organising, the website stuff, the timings, the competitors to find and organise, the colours to keep track of, the desk to man and general whoosh of stuff that has to happen to keep things running smoothly.

There’s the painfully early mornings and the ridiculously late nights. There’s lady cupboard and man cupboard dance-offs to deal with. And there’s a sense of fun and camaraderie that is second to none!
Nothing fazes you guys.

You don’t need to be asked to do stuff – you are just on it like a car bonnet!

You smile, you dance, you give the best hugs ever and you are tireless in your support and in your enthusiasm!

Tim, Debbie, Zareh, Rachel, Laura and Duncan – we are all very lucky to have you – but I am especially lucky to have you, in my team and in my life.

So yeah, it’s just another weekend.
Another dance event.
Just another competition.

But one of the things that make it just that little bit different, is the attitude and ethos of the dancers who travel from far and wide to attend.

There is a spirit about this weekend that unites and bonds people together. It is unique and it is special.
So many times couples meet for the first time, dance and then decide to compete together all on the same day.
And those who do compete, compete FOR crystals – not AGAINST each other.
Everyone is willing each other on. Urging each other to shine. Wishing each other the very best of luck.
Of course there will always be disappointment. That is unavoidable. When you are brave and bold and you put yourself out there and give everything you can in those moments – it is inevitable that there will be some who feel elation, and some who have to face disappointment.
I love how dancers are so supportive of everyone who takes part and are there to scoop up and console as much as they are there to applaud and congratulate. And it is a wonderful thing to see people dealing with their intense emotion with such good grace and dignity.

So Crystal Blues is just another weekend.
Another dance event.
Another competition…

But it is laced through and through with the fairy dust, the sparkle and the magic that you each bring with you.

And I can’t thank you enough that you do – cos Crystal Blues is all about you…

– Sara