There’s a quote doing the rounds on FaceBook at the moment: “We’re fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.” A similar one that pops up every now and again, is: “Dance like no one is watching.” My own personal dance-related favourite is a line from Hotel California by The Eagles: “Some dance to remember, some dance to forget.” Contrary as ever, I like to do a bit of both.
I once overheard someone referring to me as “Dancing Clare” in the social group I belonged to years ago and I was known for being the first one on the dance floor and the last one off. Don’t even try to talk to me while I’m out there; you will get very short shrift if you interrupt my moves (such as they are)! “Disco Queen” by Hot Chocolate just about sums it up for me – that, and “Lost In Music” by Sister Sledge. Listen to those two and I defy you not to be up and bopping about, as well.
From a very early age, children instinctively know how to move to a rhythm. It’s only as we grow older that we become more self-conscious, which is a great pity, I think. Very few things make me happier than dancing with a bunch of like-minded friends to a favourite live band, with a bit of silliness and mucking-about thrown in, and I hope to continue doing it until I can’t stand up any more. I will dance to anything, including TV ads and themes to programmes, and I’ve even been known to linger in shops if a really good song comes on; often giving a discreet little jiggle while moving around the store.
I was very flattered and touched when a close friend recently said that I had got her into dancing, and another friend said to me once that he noticed my face changing when I danced! Oo-er. I’m not entirely sure what he meant by that, unless it was similar to what the OH said about me, on observing me dancing to one of our favourite local bands: “You look years younger when you dance.” Even more of an incentive to continue, then. Who needs plastic surgery?!
Now, I don’t want you to think that I think I’m God’s gift to the dance floor. Far from it. I am only good for doing my own thing, and then only with the lights turned right down. I don’t wish to frighten anybody. I’m not a show-off. A Dancing Queen. I’m actually quite shy until the music gets into my blood, and then I’m away with the fairies and you’ll be lucky to get any sense out of me after that. At least, not until the break.
I can’t remember formal routines or steps within seconds of completing them. I’ve tried ballroom and line-dancing and was useless at both – though I much preferred the country-rock vibe of the latter. If I were ever on Strictly, I guarantee I’d be the one voted out in the first week. A pity, but I’d still qualify for the after-show party, which would be well worth hanging around all those extra weeks for.
Years before I met him (thank goodness), the OH attempted to learn John Travolta-style dancing. Must have been a wow: imagine a whole classful of them let loose on the dance floor, all strutting their stuff. No, don’t. Not much room for anybody else! Just as welI I didn’t know him back then – it would never have come to anything. The grim reality of me trying to emulate Olivia Newton John’s luscious, lithe body in that skin-tight little black number would have been a sight too much for anybody’s eyes. No wonder I prefer to dance in the semi-darkness.
Like lots of people at the moment, I have been having plenty of really odd dreams that are hard to explain clearly, but which leave me feeling anxious and confused on waking. Recently, though, I had a lovely dream about dancing. I dreamt lockdown was over and I was walking towards a large venue, a club of some sort, knowing a great evening’s dancing was ahead of me, and I felt real upliftment and excitement at the prospect. It was a wonderful feeling of anticipation I have been carrying around with me ever since.
I’m feeling more than a bit wistful, this evening, because I should have been seeing (and dancing to) a brilliant Who tribute by one of my favourite covers bands. I just can’t wait for things to be back to normal, but, like many others, I’m scared to look too far ahead. When will it end? What will it be like, after? It doesn’t bear thinking about too deeply. All we can do is take it day by day – step by step, even…
I was sad and sorry to hear that the journalist and broadcaster Lynn Faulds Wood has died suddenly. She came to speak at a freelance media group I belong to, a few months ago, and was full of fascinating stories. I could happily have sat and listened to her all afternoon. She was funny and warm and took a genuine interest in everyone in the room; taking the trouble to sit at each table and asking all of our names and what we did. I was very impressed by this. She also gave us all a great beauty tip. Years ago, she interviewed the world’s top dermatologist and he told her the best thing for skin was Vaseline, mixed with a little water, day and night. She swore this was what she had been doing ever since and she had very good skin. I bet she enjoyed a good dance, too. Bless her.