In a moment of madness last week I suggested to Helen that one way to achieve our goal of getting out more and doing some exercise would be to join a dance class. To hear me utter those words came as much as a surprise to me as they did to Helen, almost as surprising as her positive response.
As it turned out there was a course starting at the County School of Dancing in Reading that very evening. Unfortunately (fortunately?) Helen was busy so we couldn’t join but last night we did turn up for an hours ballroom and latin dancing. The first surprise was that there was a large dance school tucked away at the bottom of Southampton Street in Reading. I had always assumed that this was a hall for the church next door. The second surprise was the number of people that were also there, twenty couples at least and we weren’t the youngest by any stretch. I’m not sure if this interest has been stoked by Strictly but it certainly can’t have hurt. What came as no surprise, however, was how many left feet I had (three).
We were somewhat at a disadvantage having missed the first lesson last week and so were playing catch-up all the way through. So when the instructor said “remember when we did xyz last week?” and Helen and I would go “No!” However, by the end of it we were still rubbish and in serious need of practice at home. All the instructors were great though and very positive about what we were doing as we stumbled our way through a waltz, foxtrot and cha cha cha.
Maybe it’s my advancing years but I had to concentrate really REALLY hard on what I was doing not to completely muck it up. There was a rather unfortunate side effect to all this which was that the physical manifestation of this concentration wasn’t better dancing but a brused hand for Helen as I was squeezing so hard!
It was an interesting hour spent and given that the steps that we were doing were so simple I cannot work out why it took all my concentration to do what is effectively slightly complicated walking! However, I’m sure that more lessons and a bit of practice in-between will have me dancing like John Travolta in no time. And yes, that is how I see myself!
As we left all I could think of was the Paul McCartney song from the Tug of War album, Ballroom Dancing, which you can enjoy on the video below.