The Sweaty Face of a Social Dancer

There is the general external perception that dancing is such an elegant activity ~ it’s all glitz and rhinestones; you’re perfectly coiffured; are demure and look like a princess … the reality is quite different, especially when you social dance, especially if you’re me and especially especially when you’re wearing a dress entirely inappropriate for dancing! It’s raw, it’s visceral and it’s sweaty ~ especially when you’re at it for 3-4 hours. But damn-it, it’s fabulous.

At the end of a day of Competitive Edge seminars and workshops there was a gala ball where you dressed-to-impress, so I wore the dress I intended to go out in afterwards … because I didn’t intend to stay until the end … because my ability to leave a social dance before the end is well documented … it isn’t, I just can’t leave, and I didn’t and I danced and danced and then was about to leave 10 mins from the end … and didn’t.

My brother asked me what I was up to, so I sent him a picture of my “current state” to which he replied “dear god do they have the paramedics on standby?!” … rude!  I was about to be offended when a cha cha came on and I abandoned my phone and took to the dancefloor again.

You just can’t explain the joy-of-dancing to someone ~ to me it’s just utterly joyous – even when you’re limping home covered in crusted sweat! … especially when you’re limping home, covered in crusted sweat!

… I eventually got to my friends birthday, after midnight …!

Mary’s 50th in Absentia

Today would have been Mary’s 50th Birthday. I still can’t believe that she’s gone, nor can I believe she would have been 50 ~ both feel utterly mental.

Prior to her death, she had talked about going to the Shard to have cocktails to celebrate and so a few of us fulfilled her birthday wishes.  Flying high on the 52nd floor of the Shard we toasted Mary, looking out over a beautiful skyline.

Mary, wherever you are, Happy Birthday, god we miss you so very much.

Back on the Dance Floor

Oh my god, I have been excited about going back to the Rivoli since before New Year, before the flu started, well before I really should have been excited about it. I was like a clapping seal, I was that excited. But boy was I pissed off that the flu nearly put paid to that. But it didn’t. I did however hold back [a bit] … I only did one jive and didn’t mind that I sat out a few dances.

It seems like I haven’t been social dancing in ages … October …! This is not right, this is very very wrong! Dance competitions seemed to fall on Rivoli weekends throughout last year. This year, very few do … Super Excited!

I ache all over after dancing for 4hrs … including my face ~ it was such a joyous night. I’m not sure I’ll be able to sleep, I’m in so much pain, not be able to walk in the morning. One thing I am sure of, is that I don’t care … can’t wait until the next social!

In. Your. Face!

My Aunt’s cat doesn’t take well to strangers ~ even though (s)he somewhat invaded their lives, and despite “officially” living round the corner, spends most of his/her time at my Aunt’s.

I was sat in my Aunt’s usual spot when P-Cat decided they’d clamber on me and inspect my face and own me.

Blackpool Tower

We decided in our infinite wisdom to book our train back to London, the day after the competition, after lunch, which would give us time to explore, have lunch and not have to rush.

Only one problem with that … the day before *was* the end of the season. Everything was closed. Including the Tower, the arcades and most of the restaurants. The town was closed. To top it off it was windy and bitterly cold.

We wandered for a bit; took a few photos; and had a hot chocolate ~ then we gave up and got an earlier train. So long Blackpool ~ until next year … hopefully.

Why I Dance

Why I dance … the short answer is, because I can. The longer answer is because 18 months ago I couldn’t ~ I didn’t have enough energy to walk 50m, let alone dance. I’d been in and out of hospital, had a blood transfusion and finally had an operation that left a not-really-very-disposable internal organ in a bowl.

Some people criticise me for never sitting down at socials, I don’t apologise for that. I literally care not-a-jot.

I dance now for all the times I couldn’t dance in the past and for the times I may not be able to in the future. I dance because it brings me joy.  I dance because I lose myself and all the stresses of my life.  Dancing was my focus and motivation on the long road to recovery.  I push myself, because it may be taken away in an instance.

Dancing is joyful, it is when  and although my nerves sometimes cripple me in competitions, I will keep going and strive to achieve.  Because that also makes me happy.

A photographic journey through my life