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!
It’s only 6 weeks since the ISTD Grand Finals in Blackpool, but it seems like an absolute age ago. Yet here we are again back on the dance floor, well gym floor, in Southend, trying to qualify for the 2018 Grand Finals.
It was quite a small competition, especially in my category, which meant I was very fortunate to come second and get an early qualification for Blackpool.
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 … 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.
Some people would say dancing is beautiful and graceful, and it is. It’s all that and more ~ it’s joyful and soul warming. But it’s brutal at the same time.
My dance teacher says when it starts to hurt is when you’re starting to dance. This is true when I rumba extending every muscle and sinew, to create a graceful line. It is also especially true when someone back heels you in a social dance, scraping you from ankle to floor. That fucking hurts!
This is what happened on Saturday night at the Rivoli ~ three days later the bruising has definitely developed and is working its way down my foot … *retch*
Last year I missed all the Spitalfields Tea Dances due to illness and recovering from the operation. This year I was determined to go to as many as possible and most definitely the last one of the season. I only ever go with Tony and I managed to persuade him [it wasn’t hard] to come to the last one of the year.
We met a few other people we know from our dancing circles and danced the lunch time away. I’ve started to venture into leading (without any lessons) which is even more tricky when you’re trying to navigate fifty odd other couples.
Michael even got Sharon and I to do a 6-legged rumba, which was great and stressful, especially when I had to lead (because I fucked-up). Looking forward to next season.
As I stepped into Bishopsgate Institute's Ballroom, I realise I hadn't been here in probably 18 months. Not since before surgery and probably a while before then too. The lighting's different, as is the set-up. In fact it's all different, but lovely and atmospheric. And more importantly, it's a dance floor and I have my feet on it.
For four hours we whisked and weaved our way around the floor; we jived and rumba'd; we sweated and laughed. By the end of the night we could barely walk, but it was all worth it.