MUSIC for DANCING             JIM FURSDON            SID GATELEY            JOHN WESTLAKE



These are some of the people featured on this web site

Dennis SAMUEL:  Music for Dancing.  Please click on the Music for Dancing page for lots of information about Dance Classes. Dance Host and many more services that Dennis can offer.

Jim FURSDON and his CANDLELIGHT DANCING: In 1987 Jim was dismayed to find that Big Ballrooms filled with beautiful music and happy people sadly no longer existed in the South West. He decided to do something about it and presented his first dance with recorded music on 20 May 1989. To help the dances to appeal to the widest range of people he developed the formula he grew up with when playing piano accordion and trumpet in a band for Dartmoor village socials in the 50s. Here dancing for fun as best you could was everything and 'strict technique' was unheard of!

Now more than 26 years later, Jim's considerably upgraded “Big Ballroom Mixed Social Dances” still retain the fun elements of a village knees up and attract both singles and couples of all ages and dance abilities. Ballroom, Rock and Roll, Latin, Popular Sequence, Line, Olde Tyme, Barn and Party Mixers are all danced in one fun evening and those who arrive without a partner can be sure they will not be left sitting out for very long. Excellent weekly attendances, plus the hundreds now happily coupled, or even married, after first meeting at “Jim’s”, is testament indeed to the success and quality of his highly popular mixed social dances.

If you are a couple or single, fairly new to dancing or have been doing it for years, do get along to one of Jim’s Candlelight Dances. A warm welcome awaits you.

Jim’s weekly dances alternate between Exeter and Plymouth. The Exeter Corn Exchange, Market Street, EX1 1BU, has a beautiful cushioned oak ballroom floor just asking to be danced on, plus excellent full bar facilities with tea and coffee always available.

On alternate Saturdays, Jim can be found in the Woolwell Centre. Darklake Lane. Woolwell. Plymouth PL6 7TR.  A fabulous venue where he creates just the right atmosphere with his own special lighting, trademark ruby table candles and beautiful mix of high quality music. The Centres staff run a bar offering drinks as well as tea & coffee.

Jim has now run more than 300 dances in Plymouth and a staggering 400 dances in Exeter and he gives us, the dancers, so much to enjoy.
For more information see his entry on the Database of Information page or contact him on: 01626 335123.

For some additional information, see below...............

SID GATELEY and his Music:  Sid  was in the Entertainment and Music business for many years, having performed with Dance Bands and Show Bands alike. Prior to becoming a Band Leader in his own right, Sid was under contract with the BBC, having broadcast with many famous Artistes and Entertainers over the past. With his own Show/DanceBand, he also performed many times on TV and Radio, produced several L.P. Records, and appeared regularly at the Royal Albert Hall.  He also enjoyed an appearance on Sunday Night at the London Palladium.

Apart from running very successful evening dances in Torquay, Sid, along with his wife Ross also hosted dances at the Winter Gardens in Weston Super Mare,  Somerset, and many other towns in the South West. They also organised Residential Dance Weekends where their own unique brand of entertainment is very popular with the Ballroom Dancing fraternity.

Sid, with his extensive knowledge of the Dance World, used pre-recorded music for dancing always gave a warm welcome to all dancers, be they regulars or visitors.

Sid Gateley will be missed by many people both locally here in the South West and far and wide.  Our condolences go to Ross and the family.

John WESTLAKE:  There are people who can play the organ and then there are people like John Westlake who can really make his Yamaha Tyros 4 keyboard speak.  (The Tyros 4 is the very latest organ from Yamaha)  John has been playing for Ballroom and Social Dancing for 35 years now, yes, he really did start very young, (7) originally learning with private lessons but later working with people like Len Jackman.

John’s style is easy and is just as enjoyable to dance to as it is to listen to so, if you need a break from the dance floor, sit back and enjoy.

John, working with his partner Mike, runs his own Dances and Tea Dances and is available for bookings for special events, dances, birthday parties etc. Usually decorating the hall with lights but it is the special atmosphere that he creates with his music that attracts dancers, be they regular ballroom dancers or beginners. All are welcome.

For more information see his entry on the Database of Information page or contact him on: 01626 355093
For a preview of John at work, go to You Tube and search for John Westlake.


In 1989 Jim Fursdon spotted a gap in the market which he duly filled with something called “Jim’s Candlelight Dancing”.  That was 25 years ago in May, 2014. In fact he actually started the dances in Newton Abbot at the Courtney Centre and he has also used other venues such as Torquay Town Hall.


One week, Jim drives to EXETER. The venue is the Corn Exchange, previously known as St. Georges Hall. This is about 18 miles from Jim’s home which takes about three quarters of an hour.
He sets up his equipment which takes another hour.
People arrive which takes about three quarters of an hour.
He runs a dance of 3½ hours.
He then packs up, which takes another hour.

He drives home which is another 18 miles, and another three quarters of an hour.


To add that up, in 25 years of dancing Jim has hosted about 525 dances in EXETER.

Total Mileage to and from those dances 18,900 miles.

Total Travelling time is 790 hours. That is more than 33 days, just to get there.

Actual Dancing Time comes to 1837½ hours which is equal to 76·56 days.


Then, the following week he does it all over again but this time the dance is in Plymouth where Jim has been appearing for 18 years.


The Woolwell Centre is the venue this time (Previously at the City College) where in those 18 years Jim has appeared about 378 times.

The venue is, let’s say, 35 miles away from his home in Newton Abbot which takes about an hour. Oh for a tail wind, dry roads and light traffic!

He sets up his equipment, which takes another hour. People arrive which takes about three quarters of an hour.

He then runs a dance of 3¼ hours after which he packs up which takes another hour. He drives home which is again 35 miles, and another hour
behind the wheel, arriving at about one thirty on Sunday Morning.


So, to summarise, in 25 years of dancing Jim has hosted over 900 dances.
To provide dances for us, Jim has driven 45,360 miles, which is the equivalent of nearly twice around the world. No wonder his Volvo is knackered!
With a total travgelling time of 1,543½ hours that is more than 64·31 days.
Actual Dancing time comes to 3066 hours which is equal to 127 and three quarter days.

Jim Fursdon has celebrated over 25 years of providing dancing in Devon together with 18 years of dances in Plymouth. You know, that's a total of 43 years of Dancing.


And it’s not just the dances. You have to add to all of that the many hours that are used for planning, constructing new equipment and servicing old, dealing with all your letters and e.mails as well as the many enquiries etc., plus the hours loading and unloading of the equipment trailer and getting to bed at around 2.30am on a Sunday morning.
For more information contact Jim on:  01626 335123 or send him an e.mail to: Object