It didn’t seem right did it? I looked at the TV screen and there, behind my new favourite hostess, resplendent in a full length white frock, too long again, the hem trapping high heels every step, tantalisingly slit to the left thigh, was a bloke in a pastel striped shirt, no bow tie nor jacket, you could say that he was actually scruffy. And worse than that he was sitting in my seat! What’s that all about? To come to terms with such tragedy I called my therapist, a masseuse, a Reiki specialist, a yoga guru, a Pilates master, bought some pan pipe music and went for a lie down with an eye mask on. The Valium helped too.
Years ago I would never have known that such things existed or worked, that the world was full of such experts in their field, warm, caring people, offering healing as a balance to conventional medicine, complementary not instead of.
Nor would I have believed that I’d be talking to high powered male business executives who were desperate to learn how to dance, to customers used to battling on the football terraces cooing with satisfaction at a pivot and a heel lead, to cricket nuts just engulfing themselves in the extraordinary experience that this art brings to us all. The soul is truly enriched.
Now then, here is someone’s profile. See if you know who it is. This person has run the London Marathon three times. Not me then, just the once. He was almost an hour slower than me though. He competed at the inter-college ballroom dancing competition when he was at Oxford, university not city. His wedding dance song was ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’ by Elvis. He had a stammer as a child. He cites Dolly Parton as an acquaintance. His children’s surname is Cooper. And he’s also now off the show, 23 points for a Tango to ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’ raising his average to the heady heights of 22.6, losing out to Rob and Oxi in the dance off.
There was much wrong with this Tango. The music, the theme, the dancers, the outfits, the mood. I could go on.
Ed began lying on a chaise longue, a red rose in his hand, a silk scarf around his neck, the dark suit clearly hiding a sequined black vest and a loose fitting shirt. Katya circled around him taking photos as he posed in a sultry and sexy manner (really? – Ed), an unlikely male model. Camper than the crowd at the Blue Oyster Club he kicked his legs twice to give him the momentum to get up and then, in true cartoon style, he put the flower between his teeth like a Latin lothario.
The song is slow, moodless for a passionate Tango, and as a result there was plenty of time for basics, but the feel was dire, less class you have never seen. The rose was passed to Craig, certainly not to flirt, and after a minute the jacket was discarded and there was Ed in a chemise stolen from the set of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dream Coat. How I wished that it was a Norwich City replica shirt.
If it was supposed to be a magic top, like Billy’s boots, making him dance brilliantly, it didn’t work. Sloppy and splayed, Ed’s blatting arms the same in week ten as they were in week one, there really was no satisfaction at all, apart from when the dance off was over, and Ed was back home tucked up in bed looking at his empty diary for December. To be fair to Ed he has dunn well, his greatest asset being his spirit, very ballsy, along with his timing, his joie de vivre and his willingness to engage with the dance. His Charlestons, all six of them, were brilliant.
If fortune favours us Rob will be next to go, leaving the fab four the chance to fight it out at Christmas.
When I was at school we had a teacher called Don Tune, Music, and another, Geoff Shakespeare, English. Honest. There wasn’t one per se with massive influence though Dirty Dave Ashton, PE, was a terrific fella. I mention it because we met Rob’s school teacher, Miss Wendy Cornish, one of the two teachers who believed in him, who changed his life. The other is Oxi, obviously. I’m sure Rob thinks that all the self-effacement will win him voats but it does get on your threepennies, doesn’t it?
So too this Rumba, just the 29 points to ‘Lean on Me’, a slight fall in grace from the over thirties he has hit in the past four weeks.
The Rumba is about passion, romance and lust but we were faced with Rob having a breakdown having just looked at himself in a giant mirror. I’m sure that the two are inextricably linked. When he saw Oxi’s smiling little face she must have been wearing a badge that stated she was the best tricky in the world for as soon as they touched the dark clouds disappeared and Rob was cured. Must have been an injection of cannabis oil. Just magic.
When the music said, ‘lean on me,’ Oxi leant on Rob and he dragged her backwards on tippy toes as if he was on hot coals. This was confusing. I thought he was supposed to be the one with issues but throughout the dance he didn’t lean on her once. He extended his arms nicely, huge hands, never noticed that before, he hit basics, but he also overbalanced as he did his weekly turns, and there was more stop and go staccato than in Ed’s Tango. It made it awkward viewing and it left you wondering why?
They started on a giant Rubik’s cube, him dressed like an auditionee for The Persuaders, the new Roger Moore, suave, a dark grey jacket complementing her stunning red frock split to the top of both thighs, her eyelids purple, her regal eye make-up black, glistening, the finest of art. Having thrown some shapes he hopped on to the floor, Cloudier descending resting her left thigh on his right shoulder. Then the funn began as she went through most of her gymnastic repertoire skilfully disguised as an Argentine Tango.
Cloudier was lifted and she cut an elegant form. And there she stayed for ten seconds, walking through the air, her core strong, as if there were puddles to avoid, no Paso cape to lay down a la Walter Raleigh, the inventor of the bicycle. From here she went into her floor routine, a travelling half splits, an occasional choreographed gancho (heel flick), their bodies surprisingly distant, too far really to be led, and then another stunning lift, her body launched and turned, thrown as if he was trying to discard her but the glue was too strong, left, right, high, low, until she gracefully dismounted. They finished with some parallel bar work and a well-deserved 36, her fifth of the competition. In the post dance interview she said that she’d luvved being moody. Italian, female, territory. Oh, and she can’t drive.
Having re-invented the Viennese Waltz last week Joanne from Grimsby was at it again as she got Ore to dance a Paso. Or rather she didn’t. It seems she has been given carte blanche to do whatever she wants, even the song imploring her, ‘Everybody Wants to Rule the World’, which she did once, the only World Champion in the Clifton household.
The mood was set, both players in black, JFG a white underbelly, one at each side of a red table, ready for the combat that is amusement park air hockey, where the puck is banged from one side to the other, the skilful using the sides to bamboozle their opponent. But the cupple had lost the paddles and the puck so instead JFG climbed on to the table in what looked like a provocative start to a porn shoot. She knelt, she teased, she stood, she lay down for him to hold her, and then after walking around the table, no hint of a chase, they got in hold. One wondered when they were going to dance. Would it ever happen?
After shapes, a drop on the musical accent, and after over a minute, (a minute!) they joined together to dance a most bizarre expose, actually travelling around the dance floor. I know! I was shocked too, they actually moved! Not once however did you feel that this was bull slaughter, more bull something else. Even at the end when they raced to see who could get to the table first, she slinked underneath and he hopped on top like a panther. If this was a Batman movie he could be the Dark Knight, her Cat Woman. If this was a Paso with maybe a smidge of Flamenco, we might not have felt so short-changed. Somehow they scraped to 36.
If the forecasted winner of this contest is determined by the number of tens given so far, Ore would be third, Louise second, and Danny Mac Pro the champion. Louise added three more for her Waltz to ‘At This Moment’, one 9 blotting the scorecard. My old mate Mickey Bubble sang the song, a fella going through a tuff time at the moment. Sadly, there’s a lot of it about.
As said last week Louise is just a little dinky toy, you don’t get that perspective from the screen, and this natural vulnerability enhanced this dance, a soft and gentle effort, delivered with just enuff coyness. Sometimes KFG can be a touch too saccharine but this was just underneath the diabetes monitor.
Louise appeared through the front door of her Notting Hill Mansion and there, to her surprise, KFG was sitting on the kerb, flowers in hand, door stepping or stalking, take your pick. As she played hard to get, well, he is married, KFG rocked her gently, rocked her slowly, occasionally with a lifted right big thumb, never mentioned by the technique police, and he even threw in a little half lift, both her feet leaving the floor. At the finish Louise showed her pedigree as she was turned nine times to the left travelling towards the boom camera that looks like the arm of a demented digger. Her spotting was professional. The only complaint came from Juddge Aggie who thought that the knee length frock was too short, frayed like a ballerina’s off a music box.
The star of tonight’s show wasn’t a dance but the doctor who managed to displace Danny Mac Pro‘s hips, only for them to return to normal, and then to displace again. Perhaps he was born a girl for surely no man is supposed to be able to do that. It’s against all natural laws.
Of course, this was a Samba, a Samba led from the loins, a Samba that travelled over three continents, starting in Africa, then South America and ending in the sub-continent, Rudyard Kipling getting to tip his hat, especially for those exceedingly good cakes.
Oti, African, appeared from behind her beau wearing no more than a posh bikini made from beads and edible candy, ready for her role in the next Tarzan film. Danny Mac Pro wore black slacks and an unbuttoned crimson top showing off his ribcage and abs, surely a sign that he needs a good feed. Poor lad. Emaciated. Starved. Straight from Biafra. (Africa.)
As the song ‘Magalenha’ kicked in, perfect for once, he took total control, apart from over those hips, going straight into Samba Rolls, some gentle basics before the drums boomed in and the tribal mating ritual began. He pumped his arms, roared as he almost beat his simian chest, Samba runs followed, pivots, a timely corte jaca, batucadas, Voltas, the tempo hot, the prize in sight. Lord Len oozed that it was hotter and steamier than the Amazonian Jungle. Bruno flirted with him, Danny not Lord Len, that’s me ditched then after last week’s wink, and Clordia called them Jungle VIPs (India), the King of the Swingers elsewhere. Danny was as happy in hold as in isolation and the reward, the first ever 40 in a Samba in the history of this show. Terrific!
If truth be told the routine itself wasn’t complicated but the scene was perfect, the delivery fabulous, the technique, the hardest of technique, flawless. A performance like this is aspirational for all dancers and a guiding light. The Samba to most beginners means bobbing up and down like a baby parrot. Time to soar like a metaphorical eagle.
By the time the results show had ended the imposter in my chair had been removed, quite right, and the row was filled with hotties. We’d also seen the Cha Cha Challenge where six points were awarded to the juddgies’ favourites and one point to the least impressive. Louise and Ed were handed these laurels and it meant that there was every likelihood that Ed would be in the dance off and then, Cooper’s Ducks for him. The end of the line.
And so it proved.
December is amongst us already. Like a hypnotic trance the last three and a half months have passed in a blink, never this fast. Que la fete continue.
2nd December 2016