It's something I learned as a young girl and the 'conscious co-operation' that Robert Holden talks about in his book 'Happiness Now' is something that never leaves you. It is a delight and it is something that my soul misses, even all these years later.
My sister, some special friends and I used to trek up to the local Bill and Ann Legge School of Ballroom and Latin American Dance a good few times a week and, to the disconcertation of our parents, we were all always thrashing out Jives to Abba's Waterloo in our living rooms, Quicksteps in the kitchens and Sambas, Rumbas and Cha Cha Chas wherever we could get away with them. None of us ever got to grips with the Tango or a Foxtrot, but we could follow anyone who could lead us and even though none of us competed, we all managed to get to a few medals of attainment.
|My dancing certificates still proudly kept in a safe place!|
One by one, as the older girls amongst us went on to senior school, homework sadly took its place.
However, just before we'd all left, the best boy in our class (and there were remarkably few) would ask me to Waltz with him. He and his partner were very ambitious with their dancing and had loads of private lessons. Bearing in mind how young we all were, the rest of us didn't really appreciate them forever showing off their skillz, but for that particular dance, he would often choose to whizz me around the studio floor instead of her and despite it being a struggle to keep up, it was worth it, because, for that short time, perhaps once a week, I would feel like a Dancing Queen!
Then he'd dump me again, obvs.
But my he's not the man in my dreams. That's someone who is not always recognizable. Once it was a man I used to know and with whom there's never been any romantic involvement. It's nearly twenty years since we've had any contact and we never discussed dancing, so it's an odd thing (although he is very George Clooney like so my subconscious is clearly switched on!) and yet, still, the magical memories come back.
Nowadays, I must settle for having introduced the children to Strictly Come Dancing and we Waltz around at home really rather badly, but it's fun.
Which brings me to another part of my life that's decidedly in the present. You may remember me recently revealing a quite longstanding but confidential crush on Jeremy Vine, the lunch-time presenter on Radio 2. Although I was a bit miffed when he took over from Jimmy Young yonks ago, he quickly won me round with his wit and amazing devil's advocate during debates on his show. He clearly loves his music and I admire a clever man, so he has honestly been very good company while I've been a Stay-at-Home mum and it's a joy to be able to continue listening to the station since starting my new job.
But can you imagine how startling it was when these two secret worlds of mine recently collided? Once the news was released about Jeremy Vine joining this season's Strictly as one of their celebrity contenstants, I went into a panic, fearing my fairly harmless feelings were going to lurch quite seriously in one direction or another!
I needn't have worried though. It turns out he's really very gangly - to the extent Craig Revel Horwood, the harshest of the judges, said it was like a lotto for where his limbs would land last week and, another one, Bruno, compared him to being like Woody from Toy Story as he was dressed in a cowboy outfit!
Admittedly, when the boys and I watched the film in tribute the next day, we found it difficult to disagree, but we have enjoyed watching him do his best nevertheless.
Unfortunately, this week was his last. He took an enormous amount of flack in characteristically good spirit and was massively popular. He received a standing ovation from everyone present as he thanked everyone involved and his partner praised his dedication, passion and love of dancing. His good grace refelected very well on him and he was described as 'An awesome bloke' by Anita, one of his fellow competitors.
|His accidental Woody impersonation, his response to a member of the public missing the point and he has his partner embarking on a Waltz.|
So it comes as some relief that my worlds will no longer collide, causing an inordinate amount of wincing and we can all go back to normal.
Len has already threatned to pickle his walnuts, Darcey will always give Craig daggers for ever single one of his scores and we will continue to wonder what on earth Claudia Winkleman is going to come out with next! Her irreverence is making Tess irrelevant.
And at home, we will be treated to a running commentary from the youngest. He will make notes of everyone's scores, and recall who gave them what last time. I will rave about every single exquisite dress and keep saying how they should get rid of the gimmicks and just get on with the dancing.
The eldest will be inspired. He will learn to love to Waltz and, all being well, it won't be just in his dreams.