In the words of the Nat King Cole song ‘Let’s face the music and dance’ appears the immortal line ‘there may be trouble ahead’. Never has there been a more appropriate lyric.
Following the challenge thrown down last Christmas I found myself at a dance studio in Wrexham for a dancing assessment evening.
I was late, I’m never late! But then I’ve never had to find a dance studio before. As I waked in I could hear the sound of excited voices and my heart sank. I was about to dance.
To set the record straight I have danced before mostly in the 80’s and mostly in nightclubs and always badly. I remember the sweaty end of evening ‘floor fillers’ being played and being dragged to the dance floor to avoid handbags and spilled Midori.
The studio was filled with some familiar faces who thankfully looked as nervous as I was. We chatted briefly before the sound of clapping brought the room to order. I’ve since discovered that clapping is an important tool in the armoury of the dance instructor.
We were introduced to our assessor and instructor for the evening TV’s Chloe Hewitt. “She’s AJ’s partner” someone whispered, I was confused I immediately assumed AJ was Dec’s cohost but apparently that’s not the case. My excitement was getting to me 🙄
Chloe looked very much the professional dancer, small, graceful and stern. I don’t know why she was stern I guess the prospect of bringing a room of ‘amateurs’ to order and assessing their ability was weighing on her mind. She reminded me of the dance instructor from the Kids from Fame, she just lacked the stick. She explained the purpose of the evening and introduced the professional dancers.
Over the next hour she taught us the cha cha cha and some waltz steps. I was terrible! On lookers smiled and nodded but in a funereal way.
Surprisingly Chloe seemed pleased, I can only assume we exceeded her expectations. She encouraged us into a more complicated waltz step, a turn no less. My confidence was shattered I couldn’t turn, try as I might I couldn’t get it. Thankfully at that point my rotation placed me with one of the more ‘experienced’ professionals. ‘Don’t worry she said “I’m going to place my knee between your legs, fear and momentum will make you turn” guess what? it worked.
We exchanged dancers regularly and I wondered which of these poor professionals would be putting their careers at risk by landing me as their partner.
The night was nearly over and my head was spinning I’d learnt some valuable lessons. Not least that Chloe can lipread and apparently that’s not going to get me many votes on the night.
I left feeling a little more confident, I just had to pray for an easy dance.
What could go wrong?