Tuesday, 17 May 2016

The Haunted Ballroom

Rock'n'Roll revival event

I'm a dancer as well as a singer, having danced since I was 4 years old learning tap, ballet and stage dancing (the sort of choreographed dance you'd see in a musical). I've danced ballroom, latin and modern jive as an adult, and over a period of several years went dancing every week to keep fit, in touch with dancing and have some fun.

Things - like other life events - had taken priority over the weekly dance session so I'd lapsed. But last week husband & I decided we'd try a local ballroom dance group in our area and get back into the swing of it again. We dusted off our dance shoes, dressed appropriately and set off, not knowing quite what to expect. The only thing we were sure of was that we'd have forgotten a fair bit of what we'd learned, and hoped it might start to come back once we hit the dance floor.

Well, some of it did, and we managed reasonably well. A few refresher sessions or lessons would probably do the trick, and we did manage to whizz around the floor to the quickstep and broke some sweat along the way.
 
But what a disappointment both the teacher and the group were at the new venue we tried. The room was fine, the floor good to dance on, but the ambience and atmosphere was deadly dull and staid. Most of the time the music was dire, didn't inspire us to dance and was beyond sedate. The teacher didn't inspire either and the dances were predominantly sequence dances, accompanied by soporific, dated music. 

It was a surreal experience, like going back into the past, watching couples float by looking detached, as if in the era of the 1950s or earlier, and to the sound of music which matched this era. Neither of us could believe we were actually there, watching this, so we took our chances when we could to try a bit of freestyle and reconnect with the dancing we knew. At one point I muttered to husband "I feel older than my mum and dad!" and soon after that "I want to go home!"

We made our exit and heaved a sigh of relief as we left what felt like a ballroom haunted by music from the past and peopled by ghost-like dancers moving slowly through the motions, but never engaging with the spirit of the dance.

The search for another dance venue continues......
 

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