Monday, 21 November 2011

Strictly left footed

Degas ballerinas
Ballroom dancing
On the walls of my childhood home was what I realise now to be a reproduction Degas ballerina pastel and this might have been the back drop to the decision to send me to ballet classes at the age of 5 or 6. Bearing in mind that I was a little hefty as an infant and had the nick name "fairy elephant" given to me by the local butchers [bless 'em] this was not likely to go well. I can recall the chestnut brown mini skirt and egg yolk yellow cross over knitted cardigan top which us ballet students had to wear and the slightly worried walk to the venue in the village. It was later I realised why I struggled with the class [apart from having limited co ordination anyway] - I couldn't get to the beginners class as it started too early and had to go the next one up. I had no idea what they were doing and guiltily peeked when we had to close our eyes for some of the exercises. I didn't last long...The next experience at school involved a lazy PE teacher who alternately marched us round the gym or sat filing her nails while we trampolined. Mmm..One day she shouted at me SUSAN CLOW YOU HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE OF RHYTHM... A powerful bit of teaching there... A few years later I managed a bit of slow dream ballet dancing in Oklahoma at school but on leaving school I joined - for some reason - a lunchtime ballroom dance class attached to my job. An uneasy affair. Think I began to get the message. I tried again about 14 years ago...and joined an evening class with my partner, a brilliant dancer - even worse. As soon as I start to enjoy it and relax the whole thing goes from my head and I forget what to do next. We gave up, sadly.
My Fair Lady gavotte
Cut to more recent local amateur musical theatre and having to waltz in a scene in My Fair Lady. Dicey to say the least especially as my partner in that one was equally left footed. Still I was OK scraping through the gavotte and worth it to wear such lovely outfits. Probably about all I can manage if I am honest!


  1. Oh what a shame and dancing is so good for the spirits too. It does sound like you had some bad experiences when you were younger. I used to love dancing. Arthritis stops me from enjoying it so much now.

  2. Aw that's a little sad. Dancing is actually so much fun once one gets past those awkward beginning stages. Still, I know what you mean. It's very easy to be discouraged at the beginning.


  3. ON FB Heather wrote

    You've stolen my blog! I was going to write about dancing and my two left feet etc in the near future. I will still write about my dancing experiences but please don't think I'm copying you! it's a bit scary how similar we are in many respects - what a shame we didn't realise when we were working together.

    Jan wrote
    How come we can keep with the beat when singing but not on the dance floor? My efforts at salsa have been just as doomed!

    Eve wrote
    the butcher called you fairy not fairy elephant it was a term of endearment as far as he was concerned. Poor old Jim You were not fat anyway or clumsy

    I never get past the awkward stage though but thanks so much for reading my blogs!

    That is a pity about the arthritis - still we can all dance perfectly in our heads!