For a week now I have tried over and over to find the words I want to say about Crystal Blues…

Maybe it’s the laryngitis that stole them.

Maybe it’s the rather large dollop of tiredness that seems to have landed on me…

Maybe it’s just because there were so many moments throughout the weekend that seemed to take not only my words, but my breath away…

I doubt that any words could do justice to the weekend that was CBC anyway.

For me, the weekend was made up of moments.

Beautiful, blissful, fun, friendly, occasionally heart-rending, but always happy moments…

My girls were with us again this year – that always makes me happy!  The way they worked together, in that ridiculously hot and ill-equipped kitchen, to create delicious hot snacks and cakes for us all weekend made me smile – lots!  Team Sister Act – aka Kitchen Queens… You did a fabulous job, ably assisted by the closet dishwasher extraordinaire Andy Martin and all the lovely Crystal Ladies.  Butternut and Chilli soup is now, officially, my favourite!  As is the lemon tart – that has already been pre-ordered for next year!

I felt that all of our team were amazing.  I don’t feel that they could have done anything any better than they did.  Everything ran to time.  Everyone was in the right place at the right time.  Everything felt slick, smooth and effortless.  And every single member of our team wore a smile a mile wide all weekend – you’d have thought they were actually enjoying themselves!!

DJs – you all did yourselves proud.   So many hours of such musical deliciousness is a thing of joy and wonder!  I love the way the second room caters for the fusion of the individual tastes of our dancers.  No way could this room ever be considered to be an ‘overspill’ room – it has a heart and a vibe all of its own.   The only problem I have with it is wanting to split myself in two and be in both all night!

Judges – for all that you do, I thank you.  I know it is isn’t easy for you.  So many times I heard your frustrations as you so desperately wanted to make everyone the winner.  As ever, we are looking for ways of improving things so we’ll make a few tweaks for next year.

Pauline and Lloyd are an invaluable part of the weekend.  One makes sure that we are all fighting fit and the other makes sure we have fabulous pictures to remember the weekend by.  Both are wonderful!

But all of us involved in the running of the weekend are the practicalities….

It is the dance, and the dancers who are the heart of this event.

For one weekend a year, a sleepy little town in Cambridgeshire becomes the Mecca of the Modern Blues world as dancers from far and wide bring their love for dance to create magic.

In awe I watched…

I saw a man take his wife on to the floor in the Beginners section and deliver a dance that a year ago neither would have thought would happen…

I saw a guy and his partner nail every single nuance of a well chosen track in the most beautifully understated and often hilarious way – ticking off yet another momentous thing from his bucket list as he did so.

I saw a lady with legs that were literally shaking in fear taking to the floor to fight demons and I quietly cried with pride as she slayed and defeated them.   And I looked into the eyes of her man bursting with pride and love and I felt humbled to my core.

I saw a couple who put a year of time and effort into improving upon their efforts of last year, reduce a room to tears.

I watched as my man and my friend unveiled the results of their stolen moments of planning and prepping and did themselves proud.  I knew folks might be fooled into thinking I had had input into their work, but I also knew I hadn’t and could take no credit.  So far in such a short time and again, my heart threatened to burst.

I saw people start the weekend as strangers and finish the weekend as lifelong friends.

I saw encouragement, and support, and goodwill, and compassion and the best in human kindness.

I saw hearts and souls being ripped out and offered up time and time again on that dance floor.

I saw something that started as a dream be brought to life.

Is it really possible to create a competition where those who have taken part are respected and appreciated at least as much as those who win..?

Is it really possible to create an event that encapsulates all that is special about this dance that unites us?

Is it really possible that an event can give us the opportunity to value, to treasure and to delight in each other and what we bring to this shared addiction of ours?

It is.  Because YOU made it happen.

Music moved us.

Passion drove us.

Dance united us.

I thank you all…  For every single heart-bursting moment of it!

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