Midsummer evening

Midsummer evening

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Keeeeeep dancin'...

We were tired out on Monday after a big weekend of moving and a few too many drinks on Sunday night.



The drinks were prompted by irritating ex-marital shenanigans which are too boring to go into details about here. I should have been taking part in the final pub quiz league match but, because of Diarmuid’s non-cooperation, chose not to put my friends and other customers of my old local through any awkwardness and didn’t go. Very annoying and unfair but not that big a deal in the scheme of things.



Anyway, Rich and I ended up going out to our new local instead “for a couple”. It was one of those nights when, after a weekend of hard work, you’re in a good mood, lots of people you know are out and the chat is flowing along with the beer so “a couple” turned into 5 (yikes!!). Suffice to say, the coq au vin liquid did NOT require reducing and the chicken was EXTREMELY tender (ie. fallen off the bone…) by the time it was picked over much later that night….



So that explains why we were under the weather and tired out yesterday. I had picked up a bit by the afternoon but was still not really in the mood for dancing. I know, I know…. But last week the teacher, Tony had hinted at a new series of steps in either the waltz or quickstep and we were too scared of missing a big new sequence NOT to go. Yeah, that’s right folks, we go to dancing every week because we’re genuinely scared we will miss something!!



We hauled our sorry carcasses all the way into Sheffield and were hit by 10 minutes of jiving “to warm up”! Double yikes. I like the jive but it is fast and our concrete legs and befuddled brains were struggling. Luckily after the warm up he launched straight into a long new sequence of waltz steps which, although complicated mentally, was blessedly slow. The new sequence is about as long as the bit we already know so it was initially very daunting. When Tony and Jean first demonstrated it there followed an awed hush and a ripple of applause. Not helped by Jean adding a couple of spins to the end as a kind of flourish!! How intimidating was that??



We then split up into men on one side and women on the other to pace out the steps and learn the sequence. In the women’s section there was much giggling chat and plotting to attend one of the club’s Social Dances on a Saturday night sometime soon. (The men are not keen on this concept yet but we’re working on it collectively and eventually they will crack!). I’m told that in the men’s half the conversation went along the lines of “we may as well get our coats now” and “pub?”. So, a very different approach between Mars and Venus as usual.



Anyway after slowly walking us through the steps and breaking it down into miniscule sections, we eventually got the hang of it and were allowed to dance it through with our partners. It came together and will look really good soon. You feel absurdly pleased with yourselves when one of the teachers walks up and, watching you to make sure you’ve got it straight, says “well done” or “very good”! Talk about reverting to childhood; we were like puppies being praised for weeing on a newspaper!!



We’ve now got a long series of steps involving the basic waltz step (back, side, together), a “whisk and chasse”, a three-point turn (that’s not the proper name for it!!) and a weave step. It looks highly romantic and twirly but I have NO idea how we’re going to manage it going round the room with everyone else trying to do the same. The potential for crashes and bashes is going to be immense. So far we have been learning to do it all going in one direction down the room. This is fine but, as most ballrooms are not 100 metre long tracks, we will eventually have to learn to go round corners with these new twirly steps. This will, I think, place a lot more pressure on the chaps who are (meant to be) leading us. At the moment the women’s steps are generally a bit harder as we have to go backwards and turn and change direction more than the men. The leading stuff and plotting a course round the room is going to put the difficulty factor back on them – good luck boys!!



Rich takes the leading thing quite seriously and I really do try NOT to be too pushy. Trouble is, when you’re both struggling to remember the steps, there’s a fine line between “helping your partner” and leading and also, it’s not always easy to pick up on signals when you’re concentrating so hard yourself on not mucking up. Hey ho. It’ll come and I’m nowhere near as bad as a colleague’s wife who was, he told me, so unable to let him lead that dancing became “all in wrestle mania” and they gave up after 6 or so weeks!!



It’s great though. I’m so pleased we gave it a go (back in September now!) and that we both enjoy it equally. If and when we ever make it to a Social Dance, I will try and have someone take some photos of us in action so you can see just how poor we are!

2 comments:

Claire said...

It sounds great!

Lexie said...

Dancing sounds like loads of fun! I have no coordination whatso ever though :( xxx