Meet the Planet Leroc Team
Mark & Jax
Planet Leroc Wales Modern Jive is run by Jax Robins & Mark Wilson.
Mark has been dancing Le Roc since 1993 and Jax since 1997.They first competed together in the British Swing Dance Championships in 1999, coming 2nd in the Slow Groove section. Later that year they came 4th in the UK Modern Jive Open Classic Advanced Section. They performed at Blackpool in March 2001, where they choreographed a routine with an emphasis on Street Dance Le Roc. This routine won the Spotlight Section of the 'Chance2Dance' UK OpenJive competition. They also won the Showcase Section of the Ceroc Dance Champions 2001, where they performed a new routine incorporating different styles. This was followed by 2nd place in the Showcase Section of the Le Roc 2000 UK Modern Jive Championships. In 2002 they came 2nd in the Advance Section of the 'Chance2Dance' UK Open Jive competition. In 2004 their showcase won the Leroc 2000 UK Dance Championships and their advanced freestlye got them 3rd place in the open. They have gone on to win many more freestyle and showcase trophies and now teach both at home in the UK and abroad.
Mark & Jax now teach weekly Leroc Modern Jive classes and are regularly invited to teach Advanced Jive/ Funky R&B and more recently Slow R & B workshops.
Jane & PhilJane and Phil partner each other in the second beginners team.
Jane Brunnock started dancing in 2005 but her first group folded due to venue difficulties. She sought out a new group and fortunately for us she heard about Jax and Mark's classes and has been here ever since. In 2007 she and one of her dance partners, started to teach beginners. Jane enjoys both the dancing and the socialising. 'Coming from an all male household it's nice to have some female conversation as well as to be able to dance - my husband has the original two left feet.'
Phil James has been dancing for 8 years. He started with salsa (as you might guess from the way he wiggles his hips!) but he wanted to try a different dance and decided to learn rock and roll. Phil came to Planet Leroc thinking he would learn R&R here, quickly discovered his mistake but fell in live with modern jive and thoughts of rock and roll went out of the window. The dance, plus the fact that everyone is so keen to encourage new dancers has kept him with our group and now Phil has joined the second beginners team helping new dancers consolidate new moves and develop their technique.
Editor's note: Phil describes himself as tall, handsome and curly haired and he has been known to be cheeky from time to time. We recommend you make your up your own mind and give as good as you get!
Chris & Chris
Christopher (the Photographer) Hyde, one of the second-beginners teachers and event roadie, started dancing in 2002. Despite initial reluctance, by the end of the first lesson he was hooked. The only problem was that he thought his head would explode from remembering 4 new moves every week. Fortunately that explosion never happened. 'It's fun first of all, plus great exercise and certainly beats going to the gym. When we have students at work, I always recommend that they learn to dance - where else do you get to hold hands with a lady within minutes of meeting her. Er.., perhaps you'd better not tell Christine I said that.'
'Christopher! Too late, I heard'
His partner Christine Hyde, looks after the website, arranges and participates in the receptionists rota, is an occasional second-beginners teacher, and helps to set up classes and events! She started dancing in 2002. 'It took 26 years to get my partner Chris dancing and now he's started he just won't stop! I'm not complaining, I love to dance and it's great that he finally enjoys it as much as I do. This has also given us a shared interest and transformed our social life. We have made a lot of good friends as a result of dancing.'
In 2007 Dave was looking for a way of improving his social life and saw an advert for modern jive lessons. He had always wanted to learn to dance so he joined Planet Leroc. Dave has tried other dance forms but stays with Leroc as it provides an excellent social mix. Since joining us, Dave has become a confident dancer and has successfully competed in numerous Cardiff and Bristol 'Dance With A Stranger' (DWAS) or 'Take A Chance' competitions. He has often been placed in the final 6 and has won 1st and 3rd place trophies for his efforts. His latest success was to win the Intermediate DWAS Indie Championships at Frimley Green, Surrey in July 2014.
Within the team Dave is one of the people ensuring equipment and venues are set up correctly for classes and dances.
Matt & Vanessa
Back in 1999, Matt Baker attended an aerobic exercise class and was enticed (!) by other class members to join them at a line dancing class. Matt admits to being an IT-geek and, being used to following detailed instructions, found line dancing easy to learn. He progressed from merely attending, to enjoying the classes, then competing and finally spent 2 years teaching line dancing. Matt came to modern jive, following a similar path and ran Swansea Jive for 18 months until he handed it over to a colleague. We are pleased that he and his partner have since joined our team. Vanessa Baker worked as a voluntary co-ordinator for a company and organised many activities; rock climbing, gorge walking and modern jive being a few examples. She describes her introduction to jive as 'FAB' and immediately found it a fantastic way to meet new people. Two years later she still loved dancing and admitted that she met Matt at a class. (Matt recalls the evening well, and can still tell you where each bruise could be found.)
Both Matt and Vanessa describe themselves as like a vocal 'tag team' - when one of them stops to draw breath the other one starts talking. You have been warned!
After a hectic period when Matt and Vanessa were too busy for our Tuesday classes we only saw them when they did (and still do) a brilliant job as DJs for our Saturday dances at the Paget Rooms. We are now very happy to be able to welcome them back as second beginners teachers.
Remember that if there's any particular music you'd like to dance to at the Paget Rooms, make sure you pass Matt or Vanessa your requests.