drawnonwords - A Writers Tale

My own views, posts, musings, stories and the odd picture for all to enjoy and let others know.

Category: Strictly Come Dancing

Passion for Entertainment 

Passion for Entertainment 

To stand on a stage, facing an unknown audience waiting for that first note must be both thrilling and slightly nerve-racking. At least I would feel that. The entertainment on board Discovery was nothing short of brilliant, breathtaking, wonderful and just dam good. 

I have had the pleasure to be entertained by the company on board Marella’s Discovery two times now and both have been superb. It has to be a difficult task to try and keep 1800 passengers happy over 7 days, given the vast differences. Yet the dancers, singers, bands and hosts do a remarkable job.

Each of the shows put on in the evening had such energy and enjoyment it was hard not feel uplifted. I must admit, some shows I had to watch twice on both cruises they were that good for me. Each of the shows in the main theatre, in my view, were West End productions.  Hard to do in such a small space and on a moving ship.

Musicals are great fun to watch. The show team put together a number of productions over the week. One show was called Best of Broadway ranging from Chicago to All that Jazz and Half a Sixpence ending with the Lion King. Really not easy to do but the changes not only in the songs but the costumes and pace was just right. Welcome to Cabaret was certainly right.

“Putting on the Glitz” combined the best of ballroom, latin dancing along with numerous well known songs. Hosted by a virtual Anton de Beck, the cast went through some outstanding routines. There was a buzz from the start, the cast basically beamed on stage and sang their hearts out. Even a wonderful Carman Miranda shook her banana’s. It is my favourite by a very small margin. 

Radio Ga Ga took yet another direction covering the 80’s and included one very special song ‘Whats Love Got to Do With It’ which includes Amy and Roland dancing, Bethany singing and the saxophonist Vernal. There is also humour in the performances as with Radio Ga Ga and wonderful take on Boy George. Additional there was Steel City with maybe the cheekiest performance of the Full Monty by the men.

The show team put everything into each performance, heart and soul reaching out to entertain everyone. But its not just the staged shows in the Broadway Show Lounge, they also sang classical works and host the farewell on the last night. Another element that showed just how talented each of the show team were. After each show, the team interacted with the passengers again adding to the feel of the ship.

But that was not all the entertainment. There were also a number of solo and band performances which meant you cold walk through the ship watching and listening to musical changes. B12 was often in the Live lounge again creating such a dynamic atmosphere allowing passengers to dance. Yes, I did attempt to dance but my hips often forgot to join in. You could see the sweat as the bands played their hearts out time and time again. They also interacted with the passengers not just in song and dance but in just the pleasure of meeting new people.

The hosts also added to the entertainment running quizzes, game shows and more. We had fun watching a four-handed play called ‘Cooking with Gus’ a straight forward comedy with some interesting twists. Spies like Us was one that involved the passengers trying to find out who might be a spy of course. And yes, it was very humorous with wonderfully silly jokes. Neverland, for the children, engaged everyone and once again made passengers smile. Especially when they were part of the play.  Even after doing all their work, when walking around the ship there was interaction with the passengers again keeping that uplifting spirit. It was a family feeling. 

All of this was under the watchful eye of the cruise director Gavin Carroll, himself full of energy and a duo with the Captain. There was so much entertainment at times you did not know what was best to see. In itself, that was good because they really tried to cater for everyone which has to be hugely difficult. Between all of the entertainers you could not help but be entertained, smile and enjoy yourself. The amount of times places were packed clearly showed how the balance was working. All of the teams in my view were talented, passionate to make the cruise memorable and fun. They did that in buckets time and time again, making it feel special. 

A credit to the Captain, Gavin, the ship and themselves.

Tagline: ‘One more time!’

Passion for Dance

Passion for Dance

At the tender age of 14 or 15, my parents ‘encouraged’ me to attend ballroom dance classes. At the time, they had reached their gold medals in ballroom and wanted to show myself and my sister what we could do. My initial reaction to say the least, was not favourable. In fact, I could not see any good logical reason to join in.

How wrong I was, given I was one of only a few ‘men’ there I had to dance with other girls and ladies. I managed to get to bronze standard which I was rather proud of myself. Sadly, I went of to university and my dancing became very different.

Years later, in fact only recently, we decided on a cruise, something which I had wanted to do for sometime. On board the Marella Discovery the first evening, I watched the dance duo Amy and Roland engage with passengers to come up and dance. The couple were rather amazing to watch and it made me think of what I had missed.

We managed to say hello to Roland complimenting his dancing and how they both made people feel good about trying to waltz or foxtrot. I thought that would be it and we could watch them as we had a drink before one of the shows. Again I was mistaken in such a wonderful way. 

The following evening while waiting I had the pleasure and surprise to find Amy wanting to dance with myself, whilst Roland danced with my wife. It sounds corny maybe but, I throughly enjoyed that one simple waltz. Both Amy and Roland were patient, kind and explained everything needed. I was privileged and secretly pleased to have the chance to dance a few more times, even pushed a little which added to the fun.

There was much more to their performances, as they are part of the entertainment team. In a couple of the shows they allow us to see even more of their passion. In ‘Putting on the Glitz,’ they have a few numbers accompanied by one of the very talented singers and Vernal with his saxophone. All three created a vision. It was perfect, harmonious and just wonderful.

Amy and Roland certainly have a passion for dancing and that was shown in the number of people taking part. It was noted by a few the ballroom dancing I did, not however my dancing to the bands. That still needs work. A lot of work.

The whole cruise was so engaging that we booked another with the same ship and crew. We took a few dance classes to help make us feel a bit better and to prepare. 

The second cruise was even more fun, more dancing and attending the classes when possible along with up to 30 other couples. Each class hosted by Amy and Roland was fun  and really well organised, starting with the basic steps then adding music and finally dancing with your partner. Later in the evening we would get a chance to do that days dance and in the main I remembered it. Nearly. But that was all part of the fun and enjoyment. Because of that enjoyment, I wanted to learn more and I will continue to go to dance classes.

On the last night we danced quite a bit and I was honoured to dance with Amy a couple of times. Now when I listen to ‘The Bare Necessities of Life,’ it has such a different joyous feeling. Flying around the dance floor, (slow, slow, quick, quick, slow), I could see and fully understand why people still have such a passion.

To be able to do something you love, to have that passion and to create such dynamics between the passengers was wonderful to see and be part of. Dancing is enjoyable thats a fact pure and simple. The final memory to take was of course the Captain and some of staff on the dance floor on the last evening. Again, what fun and pleasure was had by all and the credit went to Amy and Roland.

Tagline: ‘Slow, Slow, Quick, Quick, Slow’ 

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