Welcome to

Dancing with Dennis

Welcome to what was known as Music for Dancing but is know recognised as "Dancing with Dennis".  With me, Dennis, and my lovely wife, Olympeas.
We are Dance Hosts for Ballroom and Social Dancing at venues in South Devon, Mainly here in Torquay and in Plympton in Plymouth. Also a Dance Break weekend in South Devon.
We are also Dance Teachers in that we run a dance class every Thursday in Milber, Newton Abbot, where we teach all the dances that you are liable to do when attending a properly run dance. These include not only Ballroom but also Latin, Sequence Line and Barn Dancing together with other dance styles that you may want to learn. See the Dancing with Dennis page.
For more information, please contact us by email on dancingwithdennis@btopenworld.com  or call us on the telephone on 01803 299791 or mobile, 07885 884052.
If you do not find on this web site what you seek please contact us and we will do what we can to help you.
Like all Dance Hosts, the arrival of Covid put us right back and even now, we are still trying to build up our circle of dancers who used to dance with us.
Some have passed, some are no longer able to dance and some just have not got around to returning to dancing.  If you are one of the latter, now is the time to support your local Dance Hosts.
Not only will it be good for them but also, good for yourselves. Dancing is still one of the best forms of excercise you can do for both your physical and your mental health.
First, some more information about what we do:
We regularly host Ballroom and Social Dancing on a Bi-Weekly basis on a Tuesday at the fabulous LIVERMEAD CLIFF HOTEL on the Sea Front. Torquay. TQ2 6RQ.  After the termoil of Covid we have only recently returned to this hotel as a Dance Venue where both Management and Staff have made us most welcome.
The Ballroom is great with a smooth dance floor and a handy bar where drinks and snacks can be purchased. Dancing is from 7:45 to 10:30 and doors open 30 minutes before the start time.
At this dance we also run a Charity Raffle which, this year, is in aid of the British Heart Foundation.  Our dancers are always most generous, not only in purchasing tickets but also in donating prizes.
We play music from our basic list but are always pleased to select something for you if you have a particular dance that you would like to do. This goes for any dance that we host. It is your dance and so you have the freedom to choose what we do.
Later in the year on 28th November we will have our Christmas Dinner/Dance at this hotel and the menu choices are already available to please ask for more information.
We also host a dance, once a month, at The Harewood House on the Ridgeway in Plympton. PL7 2AS. Again, a lovely floor and our usual raffle. We also provide Tea/Coffee and a biscuit at this venue included in your entrance fee. You are also free to bring your own nibbles.

This is a great location for Ballroom and Social Dancing and we look forward to welcoming both regular and new dancers to this venue.

There is plenty of space to park and also for dancing inside on the dance floor.
Once again, we have been able to book The Victoria Hotel in Belgrave Road. Torquay, for our New Years Eve Party Dance.                                       
Here, as in previous years, we will follow the hotel guests into the Richmond Ballroom and dance the night, and 2022 away. The cost of the tickets will include a Victoria Hotel Buffet which has always been very popular.
Twice a year we also host a weekend dance break at The Langstone Cliff Hotel in Dawlish Warren. EX7 0NA.  These are usually in October and then again early in January.
What a wonderful hotel this is with Superb Food, Helpful and Attentive Staff, Comfortable Rooms. A GREAT Ballroom with a Soft and Smooth Dance Floor.  And...  AND... What else could you want:   Me, as your Dance Host.
These are very popular dance breaks with a drinks reception on the Friday before our evening meal and then we dance the night away till late. Then off to bed for a good nights sleep before getting up early for Breakfast and a morning Dance Session.  The Saturday afternoon is free for you to partake of the hotel facilities or local area before yet another Drinks Reception and Dinner in the Ballroom.
Here we have a big Charity Raffle as well as Heads or Tails so that we can raise funds for those less fortunate than ourselves. There is always lots of fun and dancing with Sunday Breakfast before a morning dance session and a Great Langstone Cliff Sunday Roast lunch.
For more information and a booking form, please do contact us.  (We do it all again in January).
We are also Barn Dance Hosts where we lead every dance and ensure that your guests have a wonderful fun packed evening of Barn Dancing. We can also help by advising on how to set this up, catering etc.
For more information please go online to:   www.barndancesouthwest.co.uk
We are also available for private bookings. Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information.

Wherever we are:  we look forward to seeing you,  On the Dance Floor.

For details about LEARNING to DANCE, see the "DANCING with DENNIS" page.

           Olympeas & Dennis Samuel
              Dancing with Dennis Hosts

Special people who are sadly missed:

Sid Gateley
It is now some time since our Sid left us on Saturday 3rd February 2018. Sid Gateley passed away after a short illness.We are pleased to pay our tribute to him using the words of his neighbour, Leonard Mason who
gave his REFLECTIONS OF SID at the funeral.
I count it a great honour today to be asked to share with you some of the things in the long and illustrious life of our late neighbour and friend, Stephen Sidney Gateley.
Sid was a Black Country man, born in the town of Wednesbury in the West Midlands. Right from the days of
his youth, he was blessed with a special gift to create and play music. Not suprisingly therefore, at the age of sixteen, he walked to his first gig, carrying his double base over his shoulder.
I guess that of 'you've got the music in you,' as Kiki Dee and her band sang in 1974, then young Sid was certainly destined for greater things. It was not suprising therefore that during his service with the RAF he ran the Station Band at RAF Nairobi, and on his return to the UK, later became the BBC's resident double bass player for the Workers Playtime Radio programme, where he played with all the great names of radio and television. Later he moved into the Dance Band world and joined the famous Hedley Ward Trio which was based in Birmingham.
Sid then moved from the West Midlands to South Devon, and in the 1970's  formed his own band, and later became the full-time Musical Director for Pontins south west region. He made several recordings for the Pye record label before the band disbanded in 1989.
The Sid saw a new opportunity present itself in the world of dance music - to provide a programme of recorded music for dancing and social evenings. Using all his vast experience in this field, he turned this opportunity into a reality by providing quality dance music from Vinyl records, tapes and CD's and later by using computer technology. This new show was simply called 'Sid Gateley and his music.' Always the perfectionist, Sid made sure that the quality of the sound was perfect, and coupled with his unique personality, he just had to be a hit!
With his devoted wife Ross always by his sid, he travelled far and wide providing dance music for Dance Evenings, Social Events, Dance holiday and other events where people just wanted to dance.
Sid was a gifted communicator. In one of his books, Rev Roger Royal describes Sid as 'one of the best communicators he has ever met who manages to bring total strangers together and help them to enjoy themselves.'
Yes, Sid was a 'one off.' He was a master of his craft. He was also a quiet and private man, and knew how to separate work from family life. He liked nothing better than to return home from a gig, and close his front door at the end of a busy day. On one occasion when we were chatting as neighbours often do, about each other's life, he said to me: "All I want to do is make people happy."
If these people were here with us today, thousands of them from all over the country who met Sid at some time or other, would say "Thank you for blessing our holidays with your music and fun." For there is nothing like good music to lift one's spirit. Sid, we shall never forget you. In life you were an inspiration, and in death a legend.
Today as we mourn your passing, we thank God for your life, and extend to your dear wife Rosemary, to Mandy, Jane, Carleton and all the members of your family, our love, our sympathy and our prayers. God bless you all now and always.
We all send our Love to Ross Gateley who still attends dancing events and we thank her for her encouragement and help.

As you will also know, on Tuesday 22nd August, many of us attended the funeral of
Walter JohnWright. 'Wally'.
There were many dancers there to give him a good send off and, by now, he is organising
dances in a far better place and without pain.
A few people asked if there was a transcript of the eulogy that Wally's son read. I am pleased
to be able to re-produce the whole reading, by kind permission of his son, Paul Wright.
Eulogy by Son, Paul Wright

It's an honour to be standing here as Wally's son, and equally as sad that there will never be enough time for goodbyes, or to say all of the things I would like to have said. Not just because there wasn't time, but partly because you could never get a word in edgewise with my dad around.

For those of you that knew Wally well, you would know that he had a daft sense of humour, loved sarcasm and disputed that it wasn't the lowest form of wit, and had a way with the ladies (albeit not always reciprocated). He enjoyed life to the full, particularly the last 15 years.

As a lad, I have mixed memories of my dad, who became absent as a fulltime father when I was around 11 years old. He made sure regular weekend visits continued and that where possible he was still a dad to my brother Tony and I. One story he loved to retell {over and over, despite being told everyone had already heard it) was one evening Tony and I were sat near our gas fire being told a story by dad. After normal giggling and messing about, we were told abruptly to sit still and not say another word or the story would not continue.

After a few minutes, I couldn't bear it any longer and politely tried to get his attention, only to be shut down and the story continued. With more urgency I tried again to get his attention , and he begrudgingly and angrily replied with a 'WHAT?!' scared to interrupt my dad, I quietly told him I was burning and asked if could I move. Even then I couldn't get a word in despite cooking slowly in front of the fire.

Tony and I did share some great memories. The most memorable for Tony I suspect was the day the lake froze at Wimbledon Common. Tony, my dad and I walked across the lake as we watched people skating, but we got too close to the reeds where the ice was weaker. Dad told us to walk apart from each other, which Tony did, but being younger I ran towards my dad, absolutely terrified and both dad and I went through the ice. Clearly a scary moment and we were soon rescued and I cried all the way home. Tony on the other hand was screaming with laughter all the way home and was still holding his stomach, rolling around laughing, when we recounted the story to our mum.

Dad did love to flirt but when we told him he was a terrible flirt he almost took it as a compliment, not realising he was really terrible at it! Once in a Italian restaurant in Plymouth, he offered the expected gratuity at the end of the evening and cupped the waitresses hand in his as he asked in all sincerity where in Italy she was from as she had a lovely Italian accent. Not only was her accent clearly not Italian, he didn't know anywhere in Italy, so the reply would have fallen on deaf ears. Regardless, her response was very abrupt and single worded - "Poland". She took the tip and walked away whilst we laughed at my dad's attempt to flirt, yet again.

This was my dad. we expected nothing more, nothing less and loved him dearly for his ways. He was who he was and happy being himself.

When I met my wife Kelly, back in 2000, he was living in the 'Twin Towers' as he called them, in Devonport. He cooked a mean roast the first time Kelly met him and immediately accepted her as his daughter in law to be. We gave dad a beautiful grand-daughter, Morgan, in 2003 and we married in 2005, with Morgan as a bridesmaid. Having dad at our wedding and spending time with us, somehow changed our relationship with him. We became closer over the following years. My wife started calling him 'Pops' and he's always referred to himself as Pops or Grandpops in any correspondence with us. It was a lovely show of affection we all shared.

My wife loved him dearly, and my dad reciprocated his love, despite the fact she sat on his oxygen tube in the hospital just recently.

Aged 60, and having been unemployed for many years, he was told he had to retrain. Never being one to give up or sponge from the benefits system, he agreed to attend various courses. He then obtained a grant to help him start Wally's Dance Party, which became an overnight success. He had ten years of wonderful friendships, dancing and music, and he built a wonderful foundation on which his happiness was truly established. He loved to dance, he loved to watch people dance, he loved music throughout his life, and he loved to socialise.

I saw my dad try so many things in his life to find happiness, and he never gave up, having failed many times along the way. He would simply dust himself off and try again. As I watched my dad, who was talented at so many things, I saw someone who inspired me and gave me great courage. He taught me that we couldn't blame anyone for our failings and that we made our own destiny. I found a phrase that summed up my way of living as a result, "Aut Vincere Aut mori"  means either to conquer or to die. My dad conquered. He found his niche, he found a truly happy life and touched so many people in doing so.

He was so humble, and even when we told him a few days before he passed away, how remarkable he was, he genuinely had no idea that he brought a smile to those he met and helped so many people through his charity work.

I won't mourn my father through continued grief, although it is natural to be sad, but instead continue to honour him, make him proud and carry him in my heart for an eternity.

Before I close, Dad's sisters Rosemary asked me to say that he was the best brother he could be to her, and her final message was specific. Each Saturday, dad and my aunt Rosemary would chat on the phone for hours. At the end of each call they had their 'signature' sign off, which Rosemary will dearly miss, and as her way of saying a final goodbye Rosemary asked me to say, "Any road up Wally".

His granddaughter Phoebe, aged 7, said she wanted to say a small made up poem:

"My granddad was very funny, my granddad was great, he always was giggling, even when late.

We will always remember him for being funny".

Lottie, our 4 year old said she will miss him because he was funny and made her laugh.

Our eldest, Morgan says, "You were always making me smile and giggle, and I will never forget all of the happy memories we shared. I would like to say "thank you" for that'.

Kelly asked me to tell you dad, that she will do the Caribbean Calypso with you again.

My life, and many others, will be a little less bright without dad in our lives, but he will always live on in our hearts.

Until we meet again Dad, I love you with all of my heart. I'm incredibly proud of you and all that you are and will keep my promise and do the best I can to be the best father and husband I can be.

Wally. Will miss you?  There will always be room for you on our Dance floor.
Ladies & Gentlemen. Wally has left the building



Although both of these people left us some time ago, they were very special in our hearts and so we like to keep this information on our web site to remember them.

22nd May 2023