Dancers in Need
Tina and Graeme
Dancers in Need blog: Wednesday, 1 October
By Graeme McLoughlin
I'm starting to appreciate my wife's favourite films: Dirty Dancing, Strictly Ballroom, Saturday Night Fever, Staying Alive. I could go on. The people in those films have the moves. I do not, in spite of what Linda Walker says.
The competition is just a day old in theory (it's official launch being yesterday on BBC Radio Suffolk). However, around six contestants had already been shown some basic steps on Sunday morning, and we were partnered up on Monday night.
I've been paired with Tina (pictured) who has been dancing for just 18 months, and in spite of my lack of any dancing skills that don't involve air guitar and Bryan Adams' Summer of '69 played at full pelt on a loudspeaker (pictured), we have been dubbed the early favourites by our fellow competitors.
Go Graeme, go go go
The pressure is telling. My first proper lesson was last night. I couldn't sleep afterwards.
There is so much to think about. The hold, the posture, the steps, the knees, and most importantly (especially when it comes to jive and cha-cha-cha), the hips.
I don't seem to have any hips, well I have hips, but they don't work. They're broken.
Tina has shown me some ways of getting my hips to move. It's sound advice, but I'm still too tense.
Meanwhile, when it comes to practicing the hold, it has been suggested that I walk around with my hands up in the air and a broom resting on my shoulders, like Richard Gere in Shall We Dance?
Gosh that film is unrealistic. There is no way you can get that good that quick.
And as for Dirty Dancing, there is no way Baby is 17. She looks much older. That's probably why she was in the corner, because she was lying about her age.
She then becomes the greatest dancer in the world in under a week. It's safe to say that won't be happening with me. I'm starting to hate my wife's films again.
Graeme says relax
But there's hope. Tina is impressed at how quickly I've picked up the basic steps. She's confident we will be ok.
In theory, we have only had one session together and there's still over a month to go. Once I get the hips sorted things will hopefully start fitting into place.
I need to relax, and avoid watching certain performers at the Ipswich School of Dance. My oh my are they impressive.
There was a young couple there last night that took the floor by storm. When they finished their routine they just walked back to their seat as if it was all a piece of cake (like Roger Federer in the early stages of Wimbledon pre-Nadal).
If I had moved half as well as they had, I would have been punching the air and shouting 'that's what I'm talking about!' like that chap who won The Apprentice.
I guess that's something to aim for. The better I get, the more likely it will be that one day I might walk into a nightclub, do some amazing routine when Hungry Eyes comes on, and then waltz out of there, never to be seen again, but to be talked about by the other clubbers a lot.
I fell asleep in the pub the other day though. But that's another story.
Anyway, the fact that myself and Tina will soon be performing together in-front of 800 people at Felixstowe's Spa Pavilion doesn't phase us all that much...yet.
There's still time. And when it comes to the big day, you bet I will be quoting John Travolta in Staying Alive in saying "d'you know what I need?... ...Another week.'
last updated: 13/11/2008 at 01:09
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