Strictly Dancing Or Not?

Hooray a new series of Strictly Come Dancing is just about to start!

Many of us are glued to the programme and really enjoy it, even those who can’t or won’t dance except at a wedding after a few glasses of champagne.

Dancing definitely featured in my life thanks to my mother. She obviously though that I would become as famous as Margot Fonteyn, so I was duly sent to ballet school.

Oh I did love the tutus and the leotards and the little pink shoes. Sadly in one class the teacher grabbed me by my plaits and told me that I would never be a ballerina because at the rate I was growing I would be far too tall. A crushing remark that she repeated to my mother who I thought was going to flatten the lady who taught us. I went home in floods of tears, but mother was undaunted.

She then sent my sister and me for classes in Scottish dancing- I still don’t understand the logic of that particular idea. But I actually enjoyed it and I have to admit that later in life I absolutely loved it. Hurling around doing Reels whist re-fuelling on whisky is my idea of wonderful fun!

I was doing so badly at school that my parents thought that a new school would be good for me. I had been a leading light in the local amateur dramatic group so they decided to send me to a Drama and Dancing school.

I did my interview and they rang to say that whilst they didn’t think much of my drama I might be good at dancing!

So I was duly kitted out with leotards, woollen tights, leg warmers and tap shoes and sent off to my new school. We spent the morning doing the academic lessons but the afternoon was full on dancing. When we were dressed in all our kit, black woollen tights and all it was fairly obvious who did and didn’t have the talent for any kind of dancing.

While I was there I got into cahoots with a boy who found the academic side of things as difficult as me and we were always getting the giggles. The teachers were not amused. My partner in crime went on to be a famous actor- I shan’t name you Nigel!

Jazz dancing I adored. Ballroom was a bit tricky as the number of girls outweighed the boys so I was horrified and embarrassed when I had to take the man’s role dancing the waltz. To this day I find myself leading my male partner much to their amusement.

But finally I tried tap dancing which I loved and was very good at – each your heart out Ginger Rodgers. I was so good that when an important visitor came to the school I was one of the pupils who gave a well rehearsed tap dance.

Although I have hung up my tap shoes I still have them in my wardrobe to remind me of happy times.

Obviously I shall be glued to the television every Saturday and Sunday and always think that I could appear on the programme. I am still expecting the letter to say that I have been chosen to take part. Sadly I don’t think that it will happen. Not that I can’t dance anymore but sadly I am over sixty and not as flexible as I was in my youth!

However If I was ever invited to take part I would hate to finish my dance and have one judge say “absolutely ghaaaaastly darling”. I think you know who utters that phrase.

I can’t wait for the new series. Meanwhile I dream on, who can resist the chance to wear all those sequins?


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Jane Buckle

My Grandfather was called Bertie Buckle. He was a journalist in Fleet Street then went to live in India and founded the Bombay Gazette. I am not certain this was true but that was what my father told me! I always wanted to be a journalist but ended up doing Public Relations and Advertising, both of which meant that I was writing Press Releases, brochures and articles about clients. I formed my own little business specialising in P.R and Advertising. Unfortunately my clients drifted away one by one. They thought young and enthusiastic girls were preferable to an old lady of 55! I then moved to France where I lived for six blissful years. I renovated and sold houses and finally I realised my dream and wrote for three magazines there. I even had my own column in one of them. On my return to England I pitched for freelance work with all sorts of magazines and papers. I did write some pieces but I was over the moon when Silversurfers accepted an article. I like to think Bertie would be proud of his granddaughter.

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