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Ballroom dancing at the Oxford URNU

21 November 2017
On 9 Nov 17 the Officer Cadets of the Oxford URNU took part in a ballroom dancing lesson at Falklands House. Ballroom dancing was a skill that used to be taught at BRNC to Officer Cadets under training a number of years ago which has since been discontinued.

The instructor, Miss Ellis-anne Dunmall, a civil servant on the fast track scheme, began by leading the group of 30 with warm up exercises. The large group was then split down into males and females and taught the basic steps each group needed to know for the Waltz.

After several practice steps and a brief on the technique required for dancing together the groups paired off and began dancing. Throughout the evening dance partners were continually switched over and it was clear that some were far more coordinated than others!

A more advanced step was then introduced which enabled everyone to dance in pairs across the entire floor in unison to complete the lesson.

Also attending was Lt Freddy Mounsey RN who came up with the idea of the event during a previous Unit visit and Lt Chris McElwaine RN who had given the Unit a MARCAP brief earlier in the evening on the future vision of the RN looking out to the year 2050.

It was fantastic to see so many of the Officer Cadets giving this naval tradition a try.

Lieutenant Will Jones

The Guy Hudson Memorial Trust, who generously provide support to the Unit, kindly agreed to finance the lesson as a naval education and the feedback from all participants was immensely positive.

CPO Gary Maskell, Coxswain and 2I/C of the Oxford URNU said: "A brilliant night, I can no longer justify my matelot two step."

Lieutenant Will Jones RN, Commanding Officer of the Oxford URNU said: "It was fantastic to see so many of the Officer Cadets giving this naval tradition a try.

"It was a great evening and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves, as such we'll definitely be doing this again and we'll be looking to learn some more advanced steps next time."

Oxford is one of 15 URNUs located across the UK offering opportunities to 750 undergraduates from the country’s leading universities.

The URNU's mission is: "To develop an understanding of the Naval Service in undergraduates, so that those who go into civilian employment are positive advocates thereof and to facilitate a Naval Career for those who choose one."

The URNU is a chance to experience military life without commitment and gain new skills applicable to all walks of life.

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