A Word In Your Ear - January 23, 2014

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I have been acting oddly lately. If passing through Great Marton, there’s a chance you might spot me in a backstreet or deserted car park striding about uncertainly or spinning round.

As usual, the cause is She Who Knows. Back at Edmonds Towers the Anton Du Beke Dance Class book and Len Goodman DVDs have been dusted down for action.

“You must learn your steps, men,” Len advises, warning, “otherwise you’ll be in trouble with your partners!”

Years ago we did try different local dance classes. At many the men moved their ladies about as if they were manhandling awkward wardrobes. Usually it was the little fellows who took too big strides – bumping into other couples still halfway round. Some actually fell over and, on one hectic evening involving half a dozen different dances, a man stormed off in a rage. (He returned rather meekly 10 minutes later.)

You can spot the married couples because they’re both trying to lead – and are arguing as they go round in circles.

In fact, dancing rather reflects life in general. The ladies encourage their men along, then complain they’re doing it all wrong – which they usually are. They push their partners to ‘lead’ firmly, then unbalance them with a helpful shove just as they’re between moves.

“Follow your man, ladies!” our old teacher used to cry. But, like Len, he should have warned us gents: “You’ll know about it if you put a foot wrong.”

Hence my dance practice in any large, available place out of general view. The idea is to learn the basic steps, then add poise, timing and flourishes.

As in life, you may look pretty silly at times – but it’s the trying that counts!

n Roy’s books are available as ebooks or in paperback – visit www.royedmonds-blackpool.com for details. Some signed copies are at Gazette reception; Plackitt & Booth, Lytham; Blackpool Cricket Club, and the Saddle Inn, Blackpool’s oldest pub.