Friday, 22 October 2010

How Edinburgh caught Strictly Fever

Last Saturday, Bob, Anna and I headed into Edinburgh for the Strictly Come Dancing Roadshow in the city's Festival Square. Anna and Bob had been at a Doctor Who event earlier in the year at the same venue.

When we arrived, Anna and I were sent to the gazebo, with a proper dance floor, where they were teaching people to do Karen Hardy's 20 step Cha Cha Cha.

It would have definitely helped if we had actually had time to learn Karen's dance, but it didn't really matter that we hadn't. If you want to go to events in Swansea or Plymouth this weekend, here it is:

We were put through our paces for a good 20 minutes by choreographer Susie Harvey, pictured here later with Anna:

She was very patient with us, particularly those of us who could manage the footwork reasonably well, but found co-ordinating it with the opposite arms, moving in opposite directions a bit, well, challenging.

Anna, however, was really good at it. She really managed to master the footwork and enjoyed it.

At the allotted hour, we were invited out to dance in the square itself in front of the big screen.

First of all, the Edinburgh Dance School showed us what dancing was really all about by performing an excellent American Smooth. I caught some of it on video - and somebody decided to pop up and say hello while I was filming.

Then it was our turn. We were supposed to dance the routine 4 times. Tess Daly had recorded a message for us and there was a bit of a trailer of the new series. Then there was a slightly extended version of Karen's video, and then we had to dance the routine 4 times, led by choreographer Marisa.

To say that I was shockingly bad, and that John Sergeant and Ann Widdecombe would have been like Fred and Ginger in comparison, is an understatement. They had told us that we were going to be filmed but somehow that didn't compute in my head to the idea that I, on my own, would be appearing on the Big Screen in front of me. When I looked up and saw that , there was a bit of a comedy moment when I said "Oh Yikes" and tried to hide. Having said that, I got some of it right, some of the time, felt like I'd had some exercise and felt very happy at the end. You can't do something like that and not feel happy. I've often thought that dance is a much healthier mood enhancer than virtually anything else.

Anna really enjoyed herself too. She wouldn't sit through a whole programme, but she liked actually dancing.

I think it would have been nicer if they'd had some freebies to hand out, or even some Strictly merchandise to sell, but I guess in these straitened times, etc....

Having said that, it was free to take part and a thoroughly enjoyable way of spending an hour on a Saturday afternoon. Here are details of this weekend's events If you like Strictly even a little bit, you'll love it, I promise.

And look who else was there?


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