Shuffles Dance Studio on tour to Oberursel

Shuffles is based at Samuel Cody Specialist sports college in Farnborough and has been there for 29 years, principals are Karen and Royston Shepherd.

Shuffles are proud to be associated with the town twinning project and in 2008 took a troupe of dancers to Sulechow Poland, in 2011 they hosted families from Muedon France and now in 2012 we have compeleted the set by taking a troupe to Oberursel, Germany.

Monday – travelling

Departing studio at just before 7.00 we headed for Dover. We had the luxury of a 53 seat coach with on board television, toilet and hot water facilities between just 17 of us. The journey to Dover was very quick so much so that we managed to get an earlier ferry. As the photo’s will show we had a few giggles on the ferry but otherwise all was smooth and going to plan. Calais – now it was time to get a few miles under our belt so for the girls it was film time or catch up on some sleep. Some 4 ½ hours later we had our first stop due to driving law and we had actually made it into Germany. As the girls left the coach to have a stretch one was heard to say “ Is this really Germany it does not smell any different “.

Back on the coach and as the hostess service got in to full swing (pot noodles etc) it was foot down and Oberursel here we come. The remainder of the journey was pleasant and uneventful until we realised we had no chance of arriving for the evening meal. So the next challenge was hot food, after a discussion with the staff of a petrol station near Oberursel we headed off in search of Burger King. Fed and watered the next stop was our hostel. Thanks to Paul and Karis this was achieved and very quickly we had arrived and had been allocated rooms. It was now 9.00pm and we had the news it was a short sleep and then get on with why we were here.

Tuesday - 1st day!

Woke up for breakfast at 7.00am ready to leave for 8.00am then went to Frankfurt International school and performed to their students in a dance studio, where there was snow outside! Then off for some shopping in Oberursel and back to the hostel for lunch, yummy chicken! We then carried on shopping in Bad Homburg.

We then went back to Oberursel and met the Mayor at the town hall and enjoyed muffins! We received two gifts, hats and books both about the Open Air festival.

That evening we performed at a bar/cafe for the mentally and physically handicapped. There were press (local and national) and council people from the town hall, who all said that we must return for the anniversary year and do bigger shows. They also requested footage of our dancing to be forwarded to governors in Berlin in hopes that Oberursel could get better funding for town twinning/ cultural exchanges.

Wednesday –

We had the option to get up early and get a tram to Frankfurt or to have a lie in, naturally we chose a lie in and had lunch at the hostel...though we weren’t supposed to! We then went on to dance at Hochtaunus School which seemed to have more boys than girls, needless to say the girls didn’t mind (Melissa and Bea!) Sian also got stalked!

We had free time in the afternoon and into the early evening so we went shopping again in Bad Homburg and ate out for dinner. In the evening we went bowling with the Russians at a medieval themed bowling alley. We mixed all the teams up so we could have fun all together. They all got talking and the girls learnt some Russian. Sian got the highest score, Sammy cheated by playing for herself and Royston, some of the girls and the Russians had never bowled before so there were many balls in the gutter!

We got back to the hostel and the Russians prepared to leave for the following morning, they had a two day coach trip ahead of them! Sammy spent the evening scaring the girls and some of the Russians with her Halloween mask!

Thursday –

Up in the morning said our farewells to the Russians and then into breakfast at the hostel which some people managed to miss! Then off swimming, where Georgia went down the slide about 1000 times! She also managed to lie down in the ice pool! . We also had a go on the rope ladder across the pool and dunked Royston! The more sensible girls spent their time in the Jacuzzi. McDonalds for lunch!, which everyone was extremely excited for and Lucy ate all she could!

Then off to a private retirement home for our final performance in their cafe, just wish we could have had some of their cake as a slice was the size of a doorstop! We said goodbye to Raine and his family. Paul meanwhile in the full on rain had been searching for the newspapers that we were in. A bit of last minute shopping in Bad Homburg again and then back to the hostel for dinner. As a thank you to the staff at the hostel we put on an extra performance in their games room where other guests came and watched as well. Then to finish off in true Shuffles style we had everyone dancing to big fish!

Friday –

Everyone was up on time for an early breakfast as the coach left at 8am. It was very peaceful as everyone drifted off to sleep...our small stop allowed for ping pong on a picnic table and a few more dodgy photos. Calais was reached quickly and easily and before we knew it we were back in Farnborough which smelt much the same as Oberursel.

All in all a fantastic time during which we made new friends both German and Russian and indeed tried speaking new languages. But the language barrier was not really a problem as we had so much fun with each other. A truly memorable time was had by all and everyone was left, wanting to go back.

This may mean that we have another huge fund raising task ahead but with the help and support we had this time hopefully more young performers can benefit in the way that we have.

Many many thanks to all those that helped us.

Royston