‘Wow! You dance? What got you into that?’

My Facebook and Instagram, and possibly Twitter are filled with an array photos, videos and statuses about dancing!  Anyone who follows me or has me as a friend on Facebook will be in no doubt as to what my favourite past time is!   If I get chatting to someone who doesn’t know me on social media, when they find out I dance generally say the same thing ‘Wow! You dance?  What got you into that?’………….

As a 7 year old, I started dancing at Parkfield Dance Centre in Manchester…dancing Ballroom, Latin, Disco and Formation…..part of a team called the ‘Dolly Mixtures’ in little pink outfits with ballet style pumps was surely cute???  Right??

Attending a dance class at any age must have an impact, my brother was only little at the time (just watching with my Mum!) and I remember one of his first phrases being ‘Chassis, Chassis, Cha-cha-cha’!!

A couple of years later, wanting to go to a Brownie camp weekend, my teacher didn’t take to kindly to the fact I needed the weekend away from dance class and stopped me from being part of the formation team 😦 ….. Mum took me out of the school altogether after that!

Fast forward some 20 years and probably in the midst of the Strictly Come Dancing hype, I decided to look if there were any dance classes near me….but I did not want to go on my own and there was no way my husband was going to go …. (wait for the update on that!  :P)  I recall a trip to Blackpool with my husband and boys where we had a look around the Tower, including a walk through the Tower Ballroom.  I stood watching people just enjoying the atmosphere of a social afternoon dance with the traditional music being played and saying to Stuart, I’d love to be able to dance, and to be able to go on that floor and dance properly!

DanceRite….run by husband and wife, Fredric and Vicki Frennessen was the school I enquired to, checked out their website, You Tube videos etc….but still didn’t start because I was too scared to go on my own!

My younger sisters and even my Mum eventually decided they would try it so back onto the enquiry track and class booked to have a go!  Mum and Sarah couldn’t commit to classes weekly due to work (add to that Mum turned the opposite way to the rest of the class on every instruction :P) so it was just Sophie and I with me dancing the lead role and Sophie, follower.   As College life started, Sophie wasn’t able to carry on either but by this point, I was happy to keep going on my own…..back to the husband never dancing…yep, he decided to join!  (Turns out dancing with your husband isn’t always the best idea….we dance socially but compete with different partners now….for both our sakes!!!) 

Thinking back to that trip to Blackpool and looking down on the Ballroom floor, little did I know the following year I would be not only dancing, but going out onto that historic dancefloor as a competitor in a National Grand Finals!  Surreal and quite overwhelming spring to mind!

This was all 7 years ago and as they say, the rest is history as I now prepare for my 7th trip to Blackpool!  So much has happened in those 7 years its impossible to retrospectively blog about it all but through a series of classes, workshops, private lessons, exams, competitions, dance partners, aches, pains, tears, laughter, and a whole host of other emotions on this rollercoaster of a journey, I am the dancer that I am today.  Working my way through the medal system, getting out on to the competition dance floor, experiencing the highs and lows.  The lows can be awful when you put so much into it, physically and emotionally, to the brink of believing I would give up but the highs make it so worth it and I laugh at the believing I would be able to give it up….it’s an addiction pure and simple.




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