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Cheyenne Festival - November 2017 - Brian Minns
Cheyenne ‘Turkey and Tinsel’ Country music line and partner dance festival November 10th , 11th, 12th 2017
Photos from Maureen Lincoln : Additional Photos may be found in the Gallery
November and it’s the Cheyenne ‘Turkey and Tinsel’ Country music line and partner dance festival once again, at the Grand Burstin hotel in Folkestone. Overlooking Folkestone harbour with its new walkway over the old railway bridge to the harbour wall that is undergoing much refurbishment, making for a really interesting walk and well worth a visit if time allows! We did on a sunny Friday morning.
The festival kicked off with a Friday afternoon workshop for those who arrive early ( or stay Thursday night) are kept busy while waiting for check-in. Line and partner dances kept everyone busy between 1 and 3 o’clock when the festival check in opens. This teaching session was well attended, and as always an excellent atmosphere to kick off the weekend.
After dinner our entertainment for Friday night began with The Twang Daddies an outfit I have heard lots about but managed to miss on circuit, so it’s always great to see artists you haven’t seen before. Excellent musicians even if, as a bit of a purist I found one or two track choices a bit questionable. But what do I know, and the dance floor was pretty busy. Alternating with The Twang Daddies was the room filling personality that is Richard Palmer, with his excellent voice and with some of the best tracks I have ever heard him sing, I thought this was a brilliant two sets of great Country music. We left at midnight leaving the talent that is “Honky Tonk Cliff” keeping the party animals well entertained right through to 1am.
At 10:30 we started the Saturday morning workshop, stopping at 11am as it was the 11th day of the 11th month for 2 minutes well observed and respectful silence. Once again the dancers brains and feet were challenged with line and partner dances. All too fast it was 12:30 and a quick lunch break, you could never leave here hungry! Back in the hall for 2pm to see one of the newest solo talents on the circuit ‘Shayna’ who is the daughter of Cheyenne’s Ky and Angie who seems to have managed to inherit both of their talent! This young lady is a real star in the making and if you haven’t seen her yet you have a treat to come. Ky Rivers took the second set of the afternoon. Always very popular whether it’s Ky and Shayna as Cheyenne, or Ky Rivers or Shayna solo some of the loudest applause and cheering was reserved for our popular hosts who never disappoint. Angie who is recuperating from illness came down to see us and joined Ky and Shayna on stage, this was a real treat and I thought the roof was going to be blown off the Burstin. Shayna very wisely left her parents to it for the requested “You Ain’t Dolly” track, if you wonder why? Listen to the lyrics.
Saturday night brought us Carl Shay another new act for me, I clearly don’t get out much! Carl Shay is a great showman and gave us an excellent show even though he was clearly suffering with his throat, he wandered around the room while singing as well as joining in and having a dance with the line dancers. Alternating sets with Carl was, as Honky Tonk Cliff described him, the ‘Peter Pan’ of Country, Tony Rouse, who as always was fabulous and is a really warm personality on the stage. To round the live entertainment off tonight we had a treat with Carl and Tony giving us a couple of numbers together. So, exhausted it was off to bed!
At 10:30 we started the Sunday morning recap workshop, once again stopping at 11am as it was Remembrance Sunday for the 2 minutes respectful silence. Sunday afternoon and our first act of the day was Nigel Slater, yet another new act for me. Looking forward to seeing him again as he gave a great afternoons show with 2 sets of country music, great performer.
Sunday night and perhaps we thought it couldn’t get any better, then it did! ‘Fools Gold’ with Paul and his daughter Melissa, as Debs was unwell, gave us a fantastic two sets, filling the floor all night. Last but by no means least the highlight of my weekend was the wonderful ‘Johnny and Lynette’. Great Country music that brought the house down, line and partner filling the floor and bringing this fabulous weekend to a rip roaring close the biggest bang.
If you add this up we saw an amazing 9 acts each of who performed (at least) 1 full set and 10 if we include Angie, and who wouldn’t as it was one of the real highlights of the weekend. I’m still aching from dancing and the variety of acts add to the strength of this festival. You can never ‘please all of the people, all of the time’ but if an act is not to your taste there will be another along shortly, so be respectful. There are very few festivals that have this number and variety of acts which is just one of the reasons we keep coming back.
I have said this many times before but as this was our last time teaching Partners down at Folkestone it’s worth re-stating. This Festival is Country music, Line and Partner tuition and dancing and it’s living proof that even on a busy dance floor with courtesy, patience and good old fashioned common sense everyone can “play nice” and have the most fabulous time together! No-one is more entitled than anyone else on a dance floor and at this festival everyone just wants to have a great time. Cheyenne, Ky, Angie and Shayna provide the environment, it’s you wonderful people who attend time after time that make this the festival it is and ensure it will continue to grow from strength to strength.
Julie and Myself are stepping down as we are retiring from teaching and hopefully going to doing a bit more dancing. Already booked for February so hope to see you then.
Dances taught over the weekend were:
Line: Be Yourself, Dumas Walkers, Imagine That
Partner: Dirt On My Boots, If You Were A Whiskey Girl For 2, A Little Mamba, Hell and High Water
Can’t close this report without mentioning Alan and Vera. While at this weekend we sadly learned that Vera had passed away. Alan and Vera handed the batten to us some years back now, they always supported us and Vera always had a smile for us, even if when we picked a dance she personally didn’t get on with. Blessings and our sincere thanks Vera, good night and God bless.
Country Superstars at The Burstin - Report 2017
West End Hit Show Cast put on the Top Weekend in Folkestone.
I've just attended The Country Superstars 1st weekend event hosted by Stars of the Award Winning Theatre Touring Show The Country Superstars Experience Sarah Jayne and Andy Crust and had the best time ever.....really great value for money.
It kicked off on Friday with the meet and greet where Sarah Jayne and Andy Crust had laid on complimentary tea, coffee and cupcakes for everyone.
After Andy and Sarah went through what was going on over the weekend we had some line dancing music with the wonderful Justine Brown. She played some great tracks over the whole weekend and everyone's requests were fulfilled. She really was the glue that kept it all together. In fact they have an amazing team of people supporting them; professional, organised and the friendliest bunch you could ever meet. Nothing was too much trouble.
We had a real mixed bag of entertainment from start to finish (in fact after talking to a few people, no one wanted it to end).
There was a raffle held on Sunday evening and pin badges sold throughout the weekend and donations all went to The British Heart Foundation. There was also Country Superstars merchandise on sale from the West End Touring show that was going to perform over the 3 days, and we had Ange and Mick Church selling their wares on their country and western stall called Western View .
There was live country music from the very talented and smooth voice of Ray Peters.The Little Eagles sang some great Eagles' tunes and had everyone up singing and dancing, but inbetween we had our first glimpse at the Show The Country Superstars Experience, which on this night featured Glen Campbell, Willie Nelson, Billie Jo Spears and Garth Brooks with The Tenesee All star Band.
Saturday afternoon we had an acoustic session with the lovely James Wilson and in the evening we saw a really funny comedian, Miki Travis.
During the mornings we had a country quiz and charity bingo session with Tracey and Matt, (who had me laughing so much I had tears in my eyes). A fantastic couple that did a great job chosen especially for the Country Superstars Weekender.. Last and by no means least were the tribute acts performed by Sarah Jayne and Andy with the backing of their amazing band The Tennessee Allstars.
Lead and Rhythm Guitar plus Drums, Bass and Keyboards.
We saw the awesome Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, Patsy Cline, Willie Nelson, Garth Brooks, Billy Jo Spears, Tammy Wynette, Glen Campbell, John Denver, Johnny Cash and Frankie Valli. Sarah also sang some beautiful Karen Carpenter songs on Sunday afternoon.
It was lovely to be able to get up close and personal with the acts too in the photo corner, and have random pictures of the groups,
All In all it was the best weekend away I've had in a long time and, speaking to a lot of people, I wasn't alone. Everyone was very impressed and many have rebooked for next year.
They also have a weekend event in December this year at Hemsby. Please take a look on The Country Superstars website for more information. http://www.richardsonsholidayvillages.co.uk/whats-on/?v=SEACROFT&ricmonth=12&ricyear=2017
And They have just announced they are returning the same weekend next year at the Burstin!!!!!
I would just like to take this opportunity to thank Sarah Jayne and Andy Crust, plus everyone involved in the weekend.....may there be many more xx
Cheyenne Festival - June 2017 - Brian Minns
A selection of other photos may be found in the Kent Country Gallery
Our 4th year of teaching the Partner dances for Cheyenne at the Grand Burstin in Folkestone and this weekend could possibly have been the best yet!
Cheyenne Promotions run the Country Music & Dance Weekends at the Grand Burstin Hotel and they just keep getting better. I have said before and am happy to be able to say it again, the people who come to this festival is the reason for its continued success. Dancers and loyal listeners just keep coming back for the atmosphere and comradery that is so rare to find.
This is a line and partner dance event and the etiquette is just brilliant, sure there are times when lines extend a little longer than the dance floor allows, and there's also times when partners cut the corners! But with patience and understanding and common courtesy everyone gets on so well the dance floor just works.
Friday afternoon the teaching starts at 1pm, alternating between line and partner (we taught the partners: “Happy Days” and “Some Town Somewhere”), this fills a couple of hours for the early arrivals before you can check into your room. Then dinner and a quick change for the evening’s entertainment. Tonight was the fabulous Tony Crooks and Steve Jay, both brilliant performers in their own right but then they re-united again as 'Plain Loco'.
Then comes Saturday morning and a couple of hours of teaching (we taught the partners: “Finest Around” and “Hazzard”), alternating between Partners and Line dances, with many joining in which is always good for a laugh. Then lunch, there is no shortage of food on this weekend. At 2pm the afternoon session kicked off with one of my favourites "Roots & Wings" who kept us dancing all afternoon. More food and a freshen up for dinner and the evening entertainment brought us two acts "Billy Curtis" and our good friends Ray and Steve who are "Stonecold Country". Immensely talented and both acts kept the floor buzzing.
Sunday morning and a bleary eyed re-cap of all 4 partner dances we had taught and the same for the line dancers. Followed by what is always one of my favourite sessions Ky and his daughter (Shayna) came on for the afternoon and were joined by the wonderful Angie for a song, much to the delight of the audience. The festival was finished off Sunday evening with the ever popular "Steve Lovett" and "Kickin' Country" who gave us an amazing evening.
Our first time working with Roger Shepherd (Absolute Country) who was teaching the line dances. Our personal thanks to him for making it so relaxed for the teaching sessions where we worked together to ensure the dancers had the great time they came for.
There is always a charity raffle and this time was no exception with a raffle in aid of NSPCC raised £255.40.
So we are already looking forward to the Turkey & Tinsel Weekend 10th & 12th November which is always on of the busiest of the year and a great party. Get in early to ensure you get in!
Great dancing, great country music and wonderful people, see you in November.
Julie & Brian JB
Cheyenne Festival - February 2018 - Brian Minns
Late St Valentines Party 2018
23rd, 24th & 25th February 2018
Romance was in the frosty air with the hardy stalwarts this weekend as Britain, including Folkestone was frozen in the grip of the coldest February week on record. The Grand Burstin’s heating struggled to cope but as one could of anticipated, the festival goers improvised and overcame the elements. Wrapped in layers, blankets and not a few hot water bottles between dances became the norm. I’m pretty sure I saw some ‘medicinal’ nips being taken between the flasks of hot tea (I think that’s what was in them). Many dancers with coats and gloves on but still having a great time and laughing in the face of adversity! The smiles illustrated the resilience of the Country music dancers and listeners who attend this excellent festival.
The entertainment line-up for the weekend was as follows:
• TREY JACKSON
• FOOLS GOLD
• SHAYNA (and Angie)
• ROOTS & WINGS
• KAY 'D'
• JOHN DOHERTY
• KY RIVERS
There are very few Country music festivals where you can see 9 artists in a single weekend and that’s just one of the reasons this festival hosted by Ky Rivers of ‘Cheyenne’ has such a strong following of regulars who just keep coming back. Combine with this the line and partner tuition makes for a full (if exhausting at times but that’s probably just me!) weekend of fun.
The line dancing tuition and our Compere for this weekend was the stylish Roger Shepherd of Absolute Country.
Partner dancers were capably looked after by Paul & Madeleine Jones teaching 4 dances, 2 of which Madeleine had choreographed herself.
‘Tennessee Whisky’ a great slow 48 count Waltz to the song of the same name by Chris Stapleton,
‘Indian Reservation’ an easy 64 counts danced to the original 60’s version of the song of the same name by Don Fardon.
along with :
‘Lovin’ You’ to “Just Got Started Lovin;’ You” by James Otto a 40-count starting in Sweetheart that was choreographed by Jim Vivis,
‘New Horizons’ I must confess to not being a big fan of this music (“Country Sings Disney”, the track is “A Whole New World” by Colin Raye). However this is a nice dance by Ann Williams (Country Cousins Western Dancers) that will go to many tracks.
I have been attending this, and other festival’s when time allows, for many years as well as being a regular at several Clubs local to us, which means within an hour’s drive. So it is always a very pleasant surprise to see new artists that I haven’t seen before as well as those established in the area, of which we are very lucky to have such talent.
Trey Jackson has been building a very good reputation in this part of the world for a while now but this was my first time seeing this talented young man. Great voice and an excellent choice of tracks kept the floor busy through his 2 excellent sets, alternating with the new Fools Gold with Melissa working with her father full time now. It’s wonderful to see exciting new talent coming onto the circuit. I did see this Fools Gold line up last year in an early gig together but now I understand it’s permanent and we were treated to 2 great sets.
Onto Saturday and following the teaching in the morning and a quick lunch our entertainment was Shayna, this is Ky and Angies daughter who has inherited their great voices and we are seeing her confidence and personality grow every time we see her. We were lucky enough to see Shayna at one of her first ever Solo gigs at the Westcott club where she provided 3 full sets of music for dancing and listening and went down a storm. Many classics as well as some very modern Country. What it is to be young and talented? I was one of those once. For Saturday evening we have 2 of the best duo outfits on the circuit who are also so different. Roots & Wings with Mike and Kelly providing many of my favourite tracks. This husband and wife couple work so well together, Kelly has a perfect country music voice and Mike plays a great guitar and backing vocal. As always a highly polished and enjoyable performance. Alternating with Calico who have been on this circuit for long enough to be well established and are among the top line dance acts around. Modern, professional and delivered with an exhausting amount of energy and entertaining as always.
Moving onto Sunday and our afternoon act was Kay ‘D’ who is another one of my favourite acts who never fails to provide the quality sets that we have come to expect. On her way home from the Isle of Wight, she explained that we were not the only hotel whose heating was not coping well but she sang for 2 hours except for a short break in a ‘sleeveless’ top. As always Kay ‘D’ kept the floor full from beginning to end. Excellent sets but then home to her poorly Daughter, hope she has recovered fully and was delighted to see Mummy get home.
That brings us to Sunday night and another of the new acts on me, John Doherty and my first time seeing him certainly won’t be my last. This is a young man definitely worth seeing, great voice and some excellent, different tracks to those we often hear many times over a weekend. This was one of the pleasant surprises as over this weekend there was very little repetition, and with our host Ky Rivers bringineing an excellent weekend to a close in his own inimitable professional style that never disappoints.
Ann Hinder and Bernie Underwood visited the festival on Saturday evening for a couple of hours. Very nice to see both of them.
The raffle, with many prizes kindly donated raised a fantastic total of £216 for the NSPCC. So very well done to all everyone.
Paul did his usual professional job on the door and Westernview Western Wear with their wonderful stall make this the complete package of a festival.
Next festival is in June contact Ky Rivers for more information.
Photos from Maureen Lincoln
Additional Photos may be found here
Cheyenne Festival - June 2017 - Ky Rivers
A selection of other photos may be found in the Kent Country Gallery
Another Cheyenne Promotions festival comes to a close as I can't believe we've entered our 4th year of running the Country Music & Dance Weekends @ the Grand Burstin Hotel and wow, what a line-up we had.
Friday night kicked off with the fabulous Tony Crooks and Steve Jay, both brilliant performers who were somehow even better when they re-united once again as Plain Loco. What a rare treat, sheer electric!
Then Saturday continued in the afternoon with Roots & Wings who entertained an enthusiastic crowd. Saturday night we were graced with 2 acts I'd somehow never had the pleasure of seeing until now; Billy Curtis and Stonecold Country. Immensely talented and both gave very impressive performances, will definitely be seeing them again.
Myself (Ky) and daughter (Shayna) filled in the gap as Cheyenne for Sunday afternoon's entertainment and were joined by a delicate Angie for a song, much to the delight of the audience. Everyone has been wishing Angie well and hoping to see her 'back in the saddle' again soon. The festival was finished off in style with the ever popular Steve Lovett and Kickin' Country who both gave us an amazing evening.
Huge thanks, as always, to Brian & Julie of JB Western Dance for their Partner Dance Workshops and help over the weekend plus a special thank you to Roger Shepherd (Absolutely Country) who joined us at extremely short notice doing an awesome job as Compère, DJ and Line Dance Tutor. I'm sure everybody appreciated how well he did in the face of having barely a day to prepare.
A big thank you also goes out to Paul on the door and all the helpers putting up and taking down the decorations; your help is always much appreciated. The raffle in aid of NSPCC raised £255.40. Thanks so much to those that donated prizes. So, a long wait now until our Turkey & Tinsel Weekend 10-12 November, but it'll come around soon enough. Hope to see you all soon, Ky ?
Cheyenne Festival February 2017 by Brian Minns
What a way to kick off 2017 but with another fabulous ‘Cheyenne’s’ St Valentines festival down at the Grand Burstin Hotel in Folkestone, with Friday, Saturday and Sunday all filled with great Country music for listening and dancing to.
Surely there must something here whatever your taste of Country music. Kicking off on Friday with line and partner dance classes from 1pm to 3pm keeping the early arrivals occupied as they waited to check in.
Below is the artist line-up, and remember this is just for a single Friday, Saturday and Sunday and just one of the reasons this is a great value weekend, if just a little exhausting but that may be my age!
· Martin Jaye
· Chris Harris
· Tony Rouse
· Henry Smith Band
· Colt Murphy
· Richard Palmer
· Glen Rogers
This ‘Cheyenne’ St Valentines Festival was hosted by the unique Honky Tonk Cliff who is not only one of the most professional Compere and DJ he’s actually a brilliant Line dance teacher, Cliff taught two of his own new dances ‘Hillbilly Hot Rod’ and ‘Turn Me To Love’. Partner dance teaching was by JB Western Dance (Julie & Brian) with a new partner dance choreographed for this weekend, “Missing (P)” converted from the line dance with kind permission of Heather Barton, details and the script are already on the JB Western Dance website (www.jbwesterndance.co.uk) and all the usual websites, and we also taught “Coffee For 2”, “New Town Cha” and “Cheating”, thanks to the line dancers who joined in with the partner dance teaching it was great fun. I often say our new partner dancers are there already dancing in the lines.
Paul did his usual great job on the door and Westernview Western Wear with their wonderful stall make this the complete package of a festival.
This is a Country music festival with line and partner dancing and a busy dance floor, but we all have a great time ‘together’. Nobody would deny it gets tight at times but that's half the fun! A separate small dance floor was put down for the hotel guests who wanted to have a dance to some great music.
The raffle, with many prizes kindly donated, and donations for scripts (over a brilliant £10) and a contribution from Henry Smith’s Flower raffle raised a fantastic total of £452.70 for the NSPCC and £30 for a Coventry Children’s charity. So very well done to all everyone.
This festival is so good and that’s the reason it attracts friends from France, Germany and of course all around the UK.
So if I wanted to identify a single factor that makes this festival so popular, and why people have been coming back for year upon year it’s the wonderful people who come along. Line, partner, and listeners all having a great time with Country music together as it should be! We are already looking forward to June 2017.
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