Arts and Entertainment Natalie Gumede dances the tango on Strictly Come Dancing 2013

The actress impressed the judges with her spirited tango

The fight for the soul of salsa It's war on the dancefloor

The British dance establishment wants control over the teaching of Latin rhythm. It faces fierce resistance.

Travel: Miscellany

A train

Music: Blame it on the Bossa Nova

Brazilian music suffered from the cliches of the Fifties. Now new styles of samba, jazz and even pop are being created out of old traditions. James Maycock sways to the beat.

Way we live: Salsa: apart from the groping, it's perfect for single women

"It's perfect," says Caroline, 30, who dances lambada ands salsa about three times a week. "It means I can go out any evening I like, on my own, enjoy myself, and keep fit at the same time."

Dilemmas: This week: how can I ask for a rise, after years on the same salary?

For 10 years, Hattie's been getting the same salary in a small firm. Her boss is sympathetic to the problems of a working mother, but now a junior position's been filled by a woman on much more money. How can Hattie screw up courage to ask for

Do, do, do the funky baseball bat

Dance crazes come and go. We've had them all - the twist, the jerk, the swim, the hitch-hike. Now the macarena is here, the latest fad to drive you mad.

Humphreys beats the pain

Ice skating

Ready to rumba

Ballroom dancing, the bingo of Terpsichore, has long since achieved cult status on TV: the sequins, the Mr Whippy hair, the impasto make-up are competition for anything Lily Savage has come up with, and that's before you even look at the competitors. Everyone should spend one evening in a lifetime at a live ballroom competition: like greyhound racing and eating snails, these things expand the horizons and boggle the mind. And where better than the bright lights of Blackpool? The Las Vegas of the North is currently playing host to its 21st annual dance festival, in which couples and teams rumba, foxtrot, waltz and cha-cha-cha their way round the floor of the legendary Winter Gardens, with only the world's stocks of spandex between them and freezing. It's so good to see people strive for excellence with only glory in mind.

Save the next jive for me

My friend Jill rang the other day and proposed an expedition to the theatre that evening.

Edinburgh nights: There is more to Scotland's capital than sitting in hot, sweaty fringe venues. Calvin Bush checks out its hottest, sweatiest nightspots

It may be flyer-mania up here but even the famed Scottish hospitality has its limits. During the Festival most club-runners are content simply to pander to the needs of anyone out after midnight looking for somewhere dark, licensed and noisy. You want it, they'll tell you it. Not Burger Queen (Saturdays, Vaults) however. The notorious scallywags are well-known for their irreverent attitude, both to musical snobbery and to the boundaries of good taste. Every Saturday, Kylie and Take That rub turntable shoulders with upfront house music. Looking around, the boys could be girls, the girls could be boys, as long as fashion is king. So their aggressive flyer, laid out in Jamie Reid / Sex Pistols style should not deter anyone who is still filled with teen spirit.

She's been tango'd: Confessions of a dance addict

Trouble began when I bought special dancing shoes: gleaming black patent leather T-straps with two-inch heels and customised suede soles for traction.

Panama vote

Panama's voters cast their ballots Sunday in this country's first fully free election in nearly three decades, Reuter reports from Panama City. The latest polls show Ernesto Perez Balladares, the presidential candidate for the party driven from power after the 1989 US invasion, holds a 4 per cent to 9 per cent lead over the Caribbean salsa music star Ruben Blades.

Ice Skating: Torvill and Dean in lead: British pair take the upper hand with a pair of perfect sixes in European Championships

THE champagne is back on ice. Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean retrieved their position at the European Championships here yesterday as they rose from joint second place to the joint leadership in the ice dance with a rumba that was smoothness and assurance itself.

Ice Skating: Stutter by Torvill and Dean: British pair end first day in second place at European Championships

JUDGED by the absurdly high standards they themselves have set, yesterday represented a wobble for Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean. Returning to international competition for the first time in 10 years, Britain's feted pair ended their first day of competition at the European Figure Skating Championships in joint second place after the compulsory figures.

ROCK / Que Guerra sera: Juan-Luis Guerra has opened Dominican music to the world. After him, the deluge?

ON Saturday, citizens of the Dominican Republic celebrated Independence Day. In the capital, Santo Domingo, the event was part of Carnival.
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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
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