Lisa Ackerley joining South West Trainers Forum

On 12th May I am hosting the first CIEH South West Trainers Forum of 2011 at the Carlton Hotel. These forums are for all CIEH registered trainers and are an ideal opportunity to network with fellow trainers and find out information about CIEH qualifications and other food hygiene or health & safety topics.

As part of the forum I am required to arrange for a speaker to come along to do a presentation on something topical, such as new legislation or other important aspects of hygiene and safety training. On the off chance I contacted Dr Lisa Ackerley, who has worked with the BBC on numerous occasions. You may recognise her from her work with Rogue Restaurants, The Secret Tourist and Watchdog! Anyway, I thought I would send her an
e-mail and see if she would be willing to come down to Torquay and present to the group. Imagine my surprise and delight when she agreed to come along.

So, on Thursday 12th May I will be delighted to welcome Lisa to the Carlton Hotel and I’m really looking forward to her presentation and getting lots of useful advice and information from her! All you CIEH registered trainers out there who haven’t already put your name down for the forum, please e-mail me at to secure your place. It promises to be a really interesting afternoon!!


Dancing in Torquay at the English Riviera Dance Festival

For all lovers of dance, whether you just can’t keep off the dance floor, or you simply enjoy watching the spectacle, the annual English Riviera Dance Festival is a must.

Unless you’ve been living on the moon, you can’t have escaped the ongoing craze for all things dance related. It started with ‘Strictly’ a few years ago, but now we have ‘So You Think You Can Dance’, followed by ‘Dance with the Stars’ and ‘Got to Dance’. Dancing is even extended to the ice rink with ‘Dancing on Ice’. There is seemingly no end to our appetite to watch professionals and amateurs alike get their dancing shoes on.

And where better to indulge your love of dance than in Torquay on the English Riviera? Even a recent well-known insurance company advert made reference to Torquay as a dance holiday destination – it’s where the characters are off to for a dancing break!

So the English Riviera Dance Festival (ERDF), now in its 29th year, is in the very best place!

The great thing about the ERDF is that it is available to everyone. The June extravaganza, organised and hosted by dance impresario Philip Wylie, of Holiday and Dance, has wide-ranging appeal. The invitation to join this unique dance holiday is extended to learners, improving dancers, experienced social dancers, up to medallists or competition dancers and, of course, simply spectators. Ballroom dancing, Latin American and some Sequence are included in the programme. You’ll be able to see dance champions in cabaret, take part in dancing sessions morning, afternoon and evening, join in with learn and improve workshops, or master-classes for the more experienced.

Based at the popular dance venue, the Victoria Hotel in Torquay, the extensive dance programme is given some extra sparkle and glamour with two gala evenings at Torquay Town Hall, plus the added excitement of the Sunday competition session. A full programme of events is available online, or you can call TLH Leisure Resort on 01803 400500.

And if all the dancing gets too much, you can revive your tired tootsies in the luxury Aztec Spa, with a Luxury pedicure – 70 minutes of complete bliss. Or go the whole hog and try an Elemis Complete Spa Ritual for total top-to-toe pampering. As part of TLH Leisure Resort, this luxury spa is right on your doorstep and just perfect for a spot of ‘me-time’.

So dust down your sequins, get those dancing shoes on and come and join the English Riviera Dance Festival at the Victoria Hotel, Torquay between 3 – 10 June 2011.

Management Training from TLH

TLH Leisure Resort,Torquay, are offering a selection of their award winning management development training programmes to outside companies.

TLH won a UK National Training Award in November 2010, hold Investors in People and were the Large Employer of the Year and the Overall Winner in this years’ South Devon Skills Awards.

The courses on offer are:-

Supervisory Skills – Wednesday 11th May 2011

Leadership and Motivation – Wednesday 25th May 2011

Appraisal Skills – Wednesday 8th June 2011

All are full day courses and cost £75, or book all 3 sessions for £200

The trainers will be TLH’s Personnel and Development Manager, Gary Brenton and Training Officer, Jenny Shipton.

To book or for more information contact Gary Brenton on 01803 400132 or email or Jenny Shipton on 01803 400135 or email

Kettlercise is a first at the Aztec Studio

The Aztec Studio  Torquay, was one of the first places to offer the now popular Zumba and it seems they now have another first – Kettlercise.

Those fitness fans amongst you may already know all about kettlebells and how they can be used in a fitness programme, combining cardiovascular, strength and flexibility training.

If you’re new to the concept, a kettlebell is a cast iron weight, resembling a cannonball with a handle. It originated in Russia and has been used by Russian and Eastern European athletes for may years as an excellent all round way to get fit. Its centre of mass is different to that of an ordinary dumbbell and this allows it to be swung in a range of movements, engaging the core muscles and building strength and endurance.

Kettlercise is an exercise class developed by kettlebell expert Guy Noble, of Kettlercise UK, to make the most of using kettlebells. It is an amazingly effective workout consisting of a series of routines to music to cover all the key muscle groups.

Local fitness instructor, Deanie Rogers is a fully qualified Kettlercise Instructor and believes she is one of the first, if not the first, to offer a class of this kind in Torquay. Having tried the class myself I can vouch for its effectiveness. Its not for the faint-hearted, which is why it is important to make sure you go to a properly qualified instructor. You can take things at your own pace though and Deanie keeps a close eye on everyone to ensure they are using the correct techniques.

If you’re bored of aerobics or fancy a class to supplement your gym workouts, then Kettlercise is definitely worth a try – you’ll be hooked before you know it!

Call the Aztec Studio to book. 01803 400190. Classes are currently Friday mornings and Thursday evenings.

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See TLH in Action – TLHtv on You Tube

Cats that look like Hitler, Luna the Leaping Cow, Britney’s latest melt down – believe it or not, there’s more to You Tube than mindless (but occasionally funny) videos.

More and more businesses are realising the marketing potential of using the You Tube medium to spread their message. It’s not quite ‘try before you buy’, but the next best thing – watch before you buy and with 2 billion views a day, that’s a lot of watching.

There’s nothing quite like seeing live footage of your holiday destination. It helps bring the brochures alive and hopefully gives you a much clearer idea of where you may be holidaying and what sort of things are on offer.

TLH Leisure Resort, Torquay is pleased to now be able to add videos and photo films to its range of publicity material. You Tube is a great way of sharing videos, so the TLH marketing team have started to add a variety of short films to its own TLHtv channel. Some guests have started to do the same, giving a real ‘warts and all’ view of TLH – not that we have any ‘warts’ to be ashamed of!

You can find out how our Learn to Argentine Tango break went and see what our STARS staff training is all about. You can have a look at our TV advert, which went out last year, or take a tour of the Aztec Spa. Currently there are 18 uploads, with more planned. And of course we encourage our guests to post their experiences of the great time they’ve had with us!

You can find us by searching for TLHtv on You Tube. YouTube Preview Image

Fast-track Your Ballroom Latin at TLH Leisure Resort

“We’ve always wanted to learn to dance, but didn’t have the time before,” said retired head teacher Lynda Leigh. Husband Tony, a former personnel manager, added: “We’re at that age when everybody learns to dance! We wanted to learn waltz properly and spend some quality time together.”

Lynda and Tony drove down Coventry to take to the floor for the first time at a Learn to Dance Ballroom and Latin break at the Victoria Hotel in Torquay on Friday 11th – Monday 14th March.

Over the weekend, the couple joined 30 other beginners taking their first steps in rumba, cha cha cha, samba, jive rock, waltz, social foxtrot and quickstep. “Learning so many different dances at once is challenging,” said Tony Leigh. “But the teaching is excellent and nobody makes you feel silly if you don’t get it right first time.”

Host was veteran instructor Pam Peters, a pioneer of Torquay’s English Riviera Dance Festival along with Philip Wylie. With over 30 years’ experience, Pam has a tried and tested approach to teaching ballroom and Latin American. “My aim is to get people out on the floor and enjoying themselves as quickly as possible,” she said. 

TLH Leisure Resort’s new Learn to Dance holidays are designed to do just that. Breaks are tailored to suit particular levels of ability and link together to create an integrated course. This means dancers can progress from Complete Beginners (Stage 1), Beginners (Stage 2) to Improvers (Stage 3) over a series of breaks through the year.

Learn to Dance Pam PetersOver the weekend, Pam Peters and her team were set on making dancers out of a group largely made up of more mature first timers. Pam’s strategy was to pare down a complex syllabus to basic footwork and rhythms. Dancers had plenty of time to practice separately and in partner-work, with and without music. Pam also devoted half the course to Latin styles.

“Latin is especially good for beginners, it’s much less technically demanding than ballroom and people can get instant results,” she explained. “For instance, in ballroom, men and women perform different footwork, whereas in Latin, the man and woman simply mirror each other’s steps. There is no close contact in Latin, so lead and follow is so much easier. The foot action is simpler as there is no rise and fall as there is in ballroom styles – with the exception of the paso doble.”
learn to Dance - Pam PetersBy the end of the first session on Friday evening, Pam Peters and her team had winkled the whole group of beginners out onto the floor. Confidence grew over the weekend as more styles and rhythms were introduced. By Sunday night, the seats in the ballroom were empty. All15 couples were busy whirling around the ballroom, making a reasonable fist of the host of styles taught.

Try a Learn to Dance Ballroom and Latin (3, 4 and 5 night) break at the Victoria, Carlton and Toorak Hotels in Torquay: Stage 3 from 17th June with host Pam Peters; Stage 1 and 2 from 18th July with James and Claire Taplin; Stage 1 and 2 from 12th August with John and Linda West; Salsa for Complete Beginners with Tony Morrison from 1st July 2011 and Argentine Tango for Complete Beginners from 12th February 2012 with Fernando Guidi.

More information on Learn to Dance breaks: Call Linda at the TLH Leisure Resort on 01803 400147 email:; visit Booking hotline: 01803 400500, email: Prices from £156 pp, including half board accommodation.