Slow, Slow, Quick, Quick, Slow
The photographer from the local paper was coming to the dance studio, and I was just as excited as any 10 year old could possibly be.
I had been floating around in dream land for days now - does life get any better than this?
I am going to have my photograph taken by a ‘real’ photographer.
Was I going to be front page news I wondered, the headlines maybe? No matter, I was going to be featured in the local paper, and so I would be famous!
I begged Mum to let me wear a little lipstick for the special occasion - request denied, so I brushed my hair until it shone, tucked my best frock under my arm and dashed off to the dance studio floating on air.
I started ballroom dancing lessons at the age of eight and immediately fell in love with dance.
I gradually learnt all the Ballroom and Latin American dances, in those early days the Quickstep was my favourite ballroom dance and the Cha Cha Cha my favourite Latin American dance.
If you were a boy learning to dance, you were extremely popular and in great demand, they were a rarity.
I couldn’t believe my luck when one day, my teacher told me that she had found a boy partner for me to dance with in competitions. Wow!
His name was Colin and for the next three years he was my world.
We were both painfully shy and although we were certainly in step with each other, conversation didn’t play a part in our relationship and we never quite found our nerve to actually talk to one another!
Money was short in those days and looking back on it, I just don’t know where my parents ever found the money for dancing classes.
I had two pairs of dancing shoes, white satin ones for ballroom and silver ones for latin american, both with small heals they were my pride and joy.
The money didn’t stretch to a proper ballroom dress until a few years later, but I thought I looked the part in my best party frock and Colin certainly looked dapper in his suit and bow tie.
After weeks and months of dedicated practice, our teacher decided we were good enough to enter in a local competition. My initial excitement soon turned to sheer terror when we arrived at the venue. The glamour, the dresses the atmosphere was both intoxicating and frightening.
The dresses were amazing, the wonderful colours, the full net skirts, shining rhinestones and sequins, suddenly I felt small and insignificant in my party frock, I started getting nervous and my confidence disappeared.
The music started and we took to the floor for our first dance, the Waltz.
My legs were the first part of my body to let me down, they were shaking, this was closely followed by my hands, I tried to keep smiling like I was enjoying myself, but my mouth dried up completely and my chin started wobbling.
Somehow we got to the end of the dance and amazingly came third!
What a thrill it was to receive our medals and certificates.
As the months passed we entered some more competitions and continued to improve, but unfortunately I never really overcame those nerves.
Then suddenly one competition day, it was ‘our’ day and we came 1st in the Waltz and 1st in the Cha, Cha, Cha. This qualified us for a mention in the local paper.
I arrived at the dance studio and quickly put on my party frock, the photographer was already there, as was Colin looking very dapper as usual.
Suddenly, shock and horror when I realised in my excitement I had forgotten my dancing shoes! There was no time to go home for them and there were no other shoes there I could wear. I could feel my eyes welling up with tears, this was not how it was supposed to go.
My teacher decided there was only one thing for it, I would have to wear her shoes, I couldn’t believe my luck!
Looking at the photo now, I look so ridiculous in those high heels!
But it made my day, 10 years old and wearing 2 inch heels, now that’s what dreams are made of! I have been in love with high heel shoes ever since!
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