Tag Archives: Ballroom dancing

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 …!

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!

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.

Back to the Ballroom

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.