About Us

now ~ celebrating  25 years  in dance. . . 

"Southern Stomp" is organised and run by Joy and Phil Ashton, both qualified teachers of dance with the International Dance Teachers Association. The Club has held classes and dances in the Peacehaven and Brighton areas since 1995.  Joy also has a BEd.(Hons.) Dance degree and both are qualified Teachers in their own subject areas.

There are currently five classes catering for levels from 'Beginner' through to 'Good Intermediate' throughout the week in various venues throughout East Sussex. See the weekly timetable of 'Classes' for the latest teaching schedule and the 'Latest News' for updates on classes, social events & information.

Classes are graded very carefully to help Dancers select the most suitable class for their level. The difference between classes is not only the complexity of dances taught but also the speed at which they are taught in the class.

All classes have a planned programme that comprises:

  1. Well known dances that can just be danced and enjoyed, 'straight ins' !
  2. Dances that may need a quick walk through / review or preview.
  3. A New Dance that is taught thoroughly from scratch. 

The emphasis is on fun and enjoyment and not having dancers leaving a class 'brain dead' with too many new dances. We try to cover most popular dances currently being danced across the UK Line Dance Clubs and also those around the world; such is the spread and popularity of this form of dance, and to keep hit dances in your growing repertoire!
We also organise an extensive social programme of monthly 'Events'...  ranging from Socials, Line Dance Holidays, Theatre Trips, Walks,10 Pin Bowling, Picnics, Barn Dances, Pub Skittles & Supper etc...

There is usually a different event every month to look forward to and of course non-dancing friends and partners are welcome to join us on these special occasions!

“Southern Stomp” Line Dance Club - Celebrate 25 years in Dance [1995~2020]

Where did it all begin?’ Joy’s BEd(Hons) first degree was in Dance & Drama at Leicester University in 1975 and since then her love for dance has taken her on a journey through ‘dance-your-way-to-fitness’, “Pop mobility” craze of the 80’s, becoming a qualified (RSA) professional instructor teaching Keep Fit, under my then aptly named Club “Flex & Stretch” featuring Popeye and Olive Oil respectively in the logo and, ultimately on to Line dancing.

It was actually at a Keep Fit convention in 1993 where Joy first saw and trialled a ‘Line Dance’ workshop – it was like a light went on… Joy thought it was really great fun, and the future, as they say, was set.  Joy first taught ‘Line dancing’ for Lewes District Council, in their temporary ‘Bubble’ sports facility, before finally moving into a state-of-the-art Dance Studio in Peacehaven.

Line dancing became a great pastime for both Joy and Phil (‘Hubby’) and it was only a matter of time before both were qualified with the International Dance Teachers Association in 1995; I guess that was the date we official started “Southern Stomp” Line Dance Club as we know and love today.

Joy was pleased as punch to be the Linedance Magazine ‘Teacher Feature’ in November 1997 edition (just look at those boots and hat!), however, we’ve been featured in many articles and publications throughout our careers – from craft ideas, decorating shirts, holidays, theatre trips, and included our own dances choreographed by Joy.  We were featured on Channel 4 in 2005 as part of constructions answer to Jamie Oliver’s 15 to1 series called “Brickin’ It”, where Phil swapped a Stetson for a Hard Hat to project manage 10 young people as they learned to trades required to renovate a warehouse into a luxury apartment in South East London, and of course this included them calling in to the Club and learning a few dances.  Joy’s passion to make this more than ‘just a Linedance class’ drives her to organise and run Linedance holiday’s, theatre trips, Ten-Pin Bowling, Murder Mystery evenings set in the ‘Silver Garter Saloon’ and many other events, but, ultimately, she wants to provide opportunities to engage with a wide audience and included ‘partners who don’t necessarily dance, but, who want to be involved and enjoy ‘Club’ activities – it’s so much more than just learning the latest dance.   

We have used our transferrable ‘teaching and management skills’ to do many things and support lots of charity activities and events, from MACMILLAN, Food Banks, Mayors Charity events, Cancer Research UK, but, probably equally rewarding was when we were both volunteer Ambulance ‘Emergency Community Responders; qualifying as trainers by the South East Coast Ambulance Service and ran our local team of volunteers responding to ‘999’ calls within our community; ultimately being awarded the ‘Scheme and Responders of the Year’ in 2008. 

Taking this time to reflect on the past 25 years reminds us of the various choreographers/dance instructors, bands and acts we’ve enjoyed over the years… Max Perry, ‘Dynamite Dot’, Jo Thompson(Szymanski), ‘Jonny-2-Steps’, Alan Gregory, Frankie Cull, Maggie G  and so many on the circuit today; and as for holidays there is only one Isle of Wight Tours Ltd. ~ thanks everyone for all the fun, dances, music and memories.

Whilst we’ve tweaked class timetables over the past 25 years, in essence we still run classes ranging from ‘Two Left Feet’, Beginners, Improvers, Easy Intermediate, Intermediate and our ‘Very Good’ class (we never use the word Advanced – it goes to their heads !!! but, they are amazing).  We have dancers who have been dancing with us since we started in 1995, with new members joining all the time, and sadly, some who are no longer dancing, but, have left us with fond memories of their time with us and their friends.

To survive and indeed grow, we’ve embraced new technology, running our own website, (www.southernstomp.com) using the internet to keep up to date, whilst maintaining tried and tested methods of learning and teaching is crucial.  Nurturing beginners until they become happy and established improvers is vital to continue a successful Club; so, as long as our “Southern Stomp” Line Dance Club members keep coming and enjoying our social events;… we’ll be here – looking forward to great years ahead.  

All the very best wishes ~ Joy & Phil Ashton “Southern Stomp” Line Dance Club