Sunday, 18 October 2015

Dance memories!

There can be few things more pathetic than an old woman watching Strictly and saying out loud" I could jive better than that!"
But I could!
I used to enjoy dancing long before I went to college but there was where my skills were honed!
We were an all girls establishment and every weekday after lunch we went into the common room , someone would switch on the music and we would dance! I watched the contortions to start with but quickly learned how to do it myself!
Watching the ballroom dancing awakens even more memories. The church hall in Rochdale was very close to where I lived and as a girl I went with my friends from school where we danced the old steps of The dashing white sergeant, the Dream of Erin and the rest of the Victorian set steps dances. But the foxtrot and the quickstep were altogether different and required skill!
At one of these dances I was joined by my parents....this in itself was amazing. They never ever attended anything to do with the church!
When a foxtrot was announced I did not get up...I had never mastered this particular step. To my consternation my dad turned to my mum and said, " Shall we show then how to do it ."
I froze with embarrassment. I wished to hide in a corner somewhere and closed my eyes! To my astonishment my mum and dad took to the floor and glided swiftly around it in perfect step. Other people stepped to one side to give them floor room and at the end they were clapped!
I now look back , realising that in this tiny memory I saw the real parents, glimpsed once only...before the drink took its hold for ever on my father and before my mother became the shrew she was  in response to my fathers drinking..
It's now a precious and amazing memory...and watching Strictly brings back the real people my parents were that I only glimpsed once!

1 comment:

  1. We love Strictly. Jen used to dance with the Peggy Spencer group back in the days of the original Come Dancing program.

    When we got married I wanted to learn, so we went to a dance school for lessons. The elderly lady who ran it had great patience and she needed it for me. 40 years of military marching and drill hadn't really equipped me for the waltz, fox trot or tango, but she bravely tried.

    Jen spent most of those lessons curled up laughing at my antics. Just when I started to make some progress - the poor lady died and they closed the school down. There ended my dancing career. But I can do a tolerable waltz and some basic steps for the other ballroom stuff, But sadly out of practice these days.

    Jen is convinced that it was coping with me that killed the poor dance tutor. In fact she had a heart attack, which stopped herheart outright. We hadn't realised how well known she was until her funeral made all of te local media with tributes from far and wide about her career as a dancer in the 1930's and 40's and years of teaching. She'd have given Len Goodman a run for his money as a judge if she was still around.