1972: When I was a small girl, I was despatched on a Saturday to the dancing. It became clear pretty rapidly that I was blessed with two left feet. While cousins reeled and jigged and trebelled around me, I leapt about in one competition and retired.
1976: Some years later, I was going to my first disco. Herself decided that a little coaching would not go amiss. If I could even catch the rhythm of the music, that would be an improvement. She put on some music, and suggested I start by walking across the room. I set off, right leg out, right arm out.
“What are you doing?”
1992: Eventually, I decided that I was going to learn how to dance properly. I’d go to a class and learn how to do a basic waltz, or maybe a jive. Something to pass myself. I practised turns around the living room. At the third lesson, the teacher said to my boyfriend, “Don’t worry, son, we’ll get you a good partner next week.”
2014: I’m still happy to bop about on my own, but I’m useless at anything that involves coordination, keeping time or actual steps. This is why I am in awe of real dancers. Our girls, in the middle levels of competition, can do things with their feet that I can’t understand. Champion dancers of their age are a delight to watch.
So, imagine how my jaw dropped when we went to Riverdance at the weekend. A 7 minute dance turned into a world beating 2 hour show, with 5 troupes performing around the globe. Irish dancing as a career- who’d have thought of such a thing?
Twenty years after it was first performed, the hairs on my arms still stood up during the original routine. The show includes Russian, Flamenco and tap dancing as well as Irish. Some of my favourite sections had different styles of dance happening to the same rhythm, Oh, the skill.
I will never be a dancer, but I love to watch dancers show off their art.
I love Niles Crane.