I have beeen watching Strictly Come Dancing on TV and it made me think of the part dancing has played in my life.

My mother had always loved dancing from her early days as a “Flapper” in the twenties onwards. She also loved to watch dancing and took us regularly to the Theatre Royal and the Empire. I was so infected by this urge to dance that she enrolled me in the local dancing school. We learned every aspect of dancing from ballet to ballroom. She went on Monday afternoons with three friends to the Palais to the tea dances and as a special treat in the school holidays I was taken with them.

When I was twelve I was lucky enough to be chosen to take part in a ballet staged in Wollaton Park as part of the Festival of Britain celebrations.

By the late fifties Rock and Roll was sweeping the country and our Church youth club was no different. The boyfriend was a great enthusiast and we threw ourselves into it with great energy. I allowed myself to be spun , thrown and twisted with great glee.

When I started nurse training the highlight of the year was the Matron’s Ball. This was a very grand affair and I bought my first ball gown. The first part of the evening was very formal and decorous, but after the interval Matron and the Worthies moved to a withdrawing room and the tempo changed. One of the funnniest sights was when they played the Twist and, as we gyrated, the girls disappeared into the very full skirts of their ball gowns.

In the late sixties I took up Scottish country dancing, highly enjoyable but quite exhausting!

Sadly my husband has little interest in dancing, so I content myself with watching now, but who knows maybe I will convert him and we will find a gentle tea dance before our joints seize up altogether. If John Sargent can do it so can we!

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