National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

16 July 2019

Two upbeat and entertaining performances from Devon wowed the crowds and the judges during Competitions Day, earning a double win for the County in the Choir and Ballroom Dancing competitions.

The Haldon YFC Choir was made up of members from six different clubs within the Haldon group in mid-Devon. The team compiled their own arrangements and performed Hold Back the River by James Bay and A Million Dreams from The Greatest Showman.

Fran Mobbs, who performed with the winning Choir, said: “We have been practising since January with a few ups and downs along the way – people having to leave or going off on holiday – but I think in the end we have obviously put enough work in. None of us were singers before we got involved in this competition.”

Devon’s united voices beat six other teams to the winning position, with Staffordshire and Brecknock coming second and third respectively.

One Choir in the finals from Cumbria FYFC said that singing had been good for their mental health and the Devon team agreed.

“I think it has helped us all come together,” said Fran. “We’re from different clubs so it’s just really lovely to spend some time together each week. It’s got new and younger members involved as well and it’s a fun thing to do and that’s got to be good for your mental health.”

Fellow choir member Vicki Griffiths said: “It definitely lifts the spirits just to all sing together and have a laugh when something goes terribly wrong.”

From vocal talents to fancy footwork – Devon’s winning streak continued into the Ballroom Dancing competition, despite a technical glitch with the music. The team were asked to perform their routine again after half of it was danced in silence when their music went off.

Dressed in bright blue and swirling rainbow umbrellas, the County performed a show-stopping routine that impressed the judges Neil Lunt, a fellow and examiner for the International Dance Teacher Association and Rachel Almond who runs a dance studio on the outskirts of Manchester.

The dance team was made up of members from Withleigh YFC – a club celebrating its 90th anniversary this year.

Team member Philip Palfrey said: “We’re over the moon. We’ve been practising since the end of September last year so to come this far is a great achievement and we’re very proud. None of us have ever done any type of dancing before – we have entered YFC dancing competitions but never got this far.”

One of the dance team had to attend her sister’s wedding on the day of the competition, so fellow club member Sophie Pratt stood in for her.

“I’m pleased that I didn’t let the team down,” said Sophie. “We’re going back to the wedding to celebrate tonight.”

To watch all of the Ballroom Dancing or Choir performances, see the playlists on YouTube.  


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