Slipping into Ballroom shoes!

What on earth have I let myself in for?!

My current journey has had me cross paths with a very cool woman that runs a project that helps people that are dying of cancer document their lives, and their dying thoughts so they can create a written, and photographic, legacy for their family.  It’s an intensely beautiful way of concluding one’s life, and those who benefit from this project are immensely grateful, even those whose cancer is in remission.

Of course I was never going to get away with just observing the passing of this fund-raiser.  The very popular (UK) Strictly Come Dancing TV show has celebrities trained to ballroom dance in a competition that’s televised and voted on by a panel of experts and the public.  It’s become a thing to have a production company train joe public for charity fundraising events.  It then became a thing that I raised my hand to be one of these contestants!

I enjoy dancing… salsa, bachata, ceilidhs… but i wouldn’t consider myself worthy of competitive dancing!  I’m not even sure I have the guts to get up in front of a full blown audience, dressed in god knows what attire (my friends and family all hope it’s a sparkly onesie!) and prance around the dance floor hopefully not tripping and landing on my partners head.

At the end of the day, what am I afraid of?  Probably, like everyone, failure, or making a fool of myself, or not being good enough.  But there’s not bar here.  There’s no one telling me that if I don’t achieve a certain level I’m done for life.  Worst case I learn a new skill.  One that I can use again.  Best case I raise money for a charity that does very cool stuff.

The first rehearsal was interesting… surprisingly only 4 of the 10 women turned up, as opposed to 8 of the men.  Still a poor turn out for the first session.  Having said that, having the first evening on Halloween night was probably not the best idea in the world. As it turns out two of the female participants have bailed and one male.  With 40 women waiting in the wings to get on board but absolutely no men, the organisation decided only to have 9 couples dancing.

As for the dancing, jeez, I do wonder if my feet will really catch up with my brain.  It’s really interesting to match dancing with other quick thinking activities, like skiing (or boxing as one of the other guys did).  You have to be focused and commit to the move, doing this in rapid succession until your muscle memory kicks in.  It’s funny, as I can totally see how this will really help me to improve my decision making without thinking about anything other than what’s immediately in front of me.  That and the notion of dancing in front of 400 people (family members included) is quite terrifying!  And given that I’ll need to be dressed up in something ballroom like (with great expectations of sparkles!!) it makes me even more intimidated… I’m nervous even thinking about it!

The competition is on the 7th December!  If you’re in Belfast and want to see said spectacle let me know (or even just donate at my Just Giving page)… donations will be very much appreciated!



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