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History of the Southport Dance Festival

Ballroom dancersI am delighted to announce the return of the prestigious Southport Ballroom & Latin Dance Festival which will be held in one of the top venues in the country – The STCC Floral Hall, Southport.

The Bullen family are the longest serving Patrons at The Floral Hall, having presented events at this great venue for over 65 years.

The first event was The Bullen School of Dance Old Time & Sequence Ball in 1952 which was presented by Gerald & Betty Bullen (David's parents) with David eventually taking over events around 1966.

The 5-day Southport Easter Sequence Dance Festival was formed in 1971 with The Southport Ballroom Dancing Festival commencing in 1978. Le Classique de Danse Awards were first presented in 1988.

The Floral Hall is one of the finest venues in the UK offering excellent facilities – large dance floor, tiered seating and tables, buffet and bar.

The Southport Ballroom Dancing Festival was originally a 1-day Festival on a Sunday, but the entries were so high that, after a few years, it was decided to extend the Festival to a 2-day Saturday & Sunday event. In 2019, the Southport Festival will be extended to a Saturday & Sunday.

Certain memories always spring to mind – Stephen Hillier & Lindsey Tate dancing their Amateur Final at 1am in the morning and Marcus & Karen Hilton dancing their Amateur Latin Final at 2am in the morning!

Legends
Many Legends in the dancing world have adjudicated at the Southport Ballroom Dancing Festivals over the years including:

Len Armstrong, Bryan Allen, Donnie Burns & Gaynor Fairweather MBE, Shirley Ballas, Bob Burgess & Doreen Freeman, Freddie Boultwood, Paul Beeton, George Coad & Patricia Thompson, Geoffrey Clapham, Raymond Draper, Alan & Hazel Fletcher, Alan & Maureen Ford, Sydney Francis, Norma Graves, Richard & Janet Gleave, Constance Grant, Tony & Paula Goodyear, Beryl Holland, Eric Hancox, Michael Houseman & Valerie Waite, Harold Hulley & Doreen Edwards, Stephen Hillier, Lindsey Hillier, Nigel Horrocks, Bobbie Irvine MBE, Walter Laird, Eric Lashbrooke, Doris Lavelle, John & Joan Knight, Leonard Morgan, Alex Moore, Raymond Myhengen, Edna Murphy, Monica Needham, Graham Oswick, Stan Page, Dimitrie Petrides, Harry Rollins, Lorraine, Margaret Redmond, Richard Rose, Peggy Spencer MBE, David Simon, Harry Smith-Hampshire & Doreen Casey, Robin Short & Rita Last, David Sycamore & Denise Weavers, Michael Stylianos & Lorna Lee, Sammy Stopford, Carol Smythe, Paul Taylor .....to name but a few!

Orchestras
Many famous Orchestras have appeared at the Southport Festival Saturday Night Galas and David Bullen Special Events including:

Charles Barlow & His Orchestra, Ivy Benson & Her All Girls Band, Ashley Frohlick & The Empress Orchestra, The Mike James Sound, The Syd Lawrence Orchestra, Ross Mitchell & His Band, Todd Miller & The Joe Loss Orchestra, Ray McVay & His Band, Andy Ross & His Band, Bryan Smith & His Festival Orchestra, Victor Sylvester Jnr & His Orchestra, Irven Tidswell & his Empress Orchestra.

Compéres
Compéres are a very important feature
of the Southport Dance Festivals. Famous personalities have included Eric Lashbrooke, Gary Sharpe, David Johnston, Andrew Edmunds, Jeff Aldren and Caroline Roberts.

My team and I look forward to welcoming you to the 2018 Southport Festival and assure you of a great time in elegent surroundings, fabulous music, distinguished adjudicators, superb prizes and geat atmosphere.

David Bullen
Festival Organiser



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