Sunday 7 November 2010

Passions #2: Dancing

Right, I've been debating this post for a little while. Some people seem to think a book blog should be about nothing but the books, while others would like to know a little about the blogger behind the blog.

So I've decided. I'm going to do an irregular mini series about passions of mine (they'll be in no particular order, rather will be talked about as I think of them) Obviously, my main passion is the books, so I won't bother repeating what I've said many, many times before about them!

We'll kick off instead with one of my less controversial passions.

I've always enjoyed dancing, but mostly of the drunken clubbing variety up until a few years back. That was the year I first watched Strictly Come Dancing, and was entranced by the beauty and grace of the professional dancers. It didn't take me long to recognise the fact that classes could be found all over the country, and I signed up almost immediately.

My dance studio is Tempo Dancing and I have private lessons with the very beautiful Annie, an Estonian talent with the patience of a saint!

Over the past few years I have been learning a variety of Ballroom and Latin American dances: the smooth Foxtrot, the dreamy Waltz, the fiery Tango, the cheeky Cha Cha, the romantic Rhumba, the frenetic Quickstep and the bouncy Jive. More recently I have tackled the carnival steps of the Samba and the dramatic Paso Doble.

I love dancing. I'm not great at it, but my enthusiasm more than makes up for that! An hour of dancing will flash past, and I'm astonished by how much exercise you get in that hour... There is a reason that the contestants on Strictly can drop as much as two dress sizes during their time on the show! Not least of all, I smile for the entire hour of my dance lesson. I only wish I could go more than once a week!

Do any of you dance? What do you enjoy the most about it? Have you considered trying it after watching Strictly?

Lastly, here is one good reason why dancing is steamy, sexy and unbelievably good fun...

p.s. Would also love feedback whether this is a direction you're happy to see my blog go in (irregular personal posts)?


  1. For a moment I was thinking "Passion #2?! What was Passion #1, did I miss something?" before my slow mind caught up and I realised it was the books.

    I took up Latin American and Ballroom dancing in my first year of Uni (ie. the last time I had free time) and loved it. I was so proud when I got my bronze medal (especially as I got a higher score than a friend of mine who has dance experience). Unfortunately that, like so much else, got placed by the wayside when I ploughed on deeper in the academia - maybe one day I'll pick it back up again though.

  2. I don't dance, well apart from in my livingroom, but I adore dance films and I used to watch a lot of So You Think You Can Dance!

    And I'm happy to seem more of this stuff on your blog. Knowing more about your passions and personality also informs your reviews, because who you are influences what you like and how you see things :)

  3. Since I can't do it, I believe dancing is a sin and try my hardest to prevent anyone from ever doing it.

    Introduce me to your instructor.

  4. Smokin'!

    I did the usual childhood ballet, and I've always liked dancing in clubs (though I don't like most clubs, as I'm not a fan of dance music). What a shame that my only long-term boyfriend hated dancing! But so it goes. I know I don't have the talent of a professional, and my recent joint problems would be fairly limiting anyway. If I ever took up ballet again, point would not be an option.

    I love watching the early stages of dance programmes like So You Think You Can Dance. The whole judging and Life Story thing that talent shows now have has gotten out of control. I used to love X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing, but now I can't watch throught the 45 mins of fake tedium for the sake of the 15mins of dancing/singing (time are pure estimates, I dont' even know how long the shows are anymore). It's a real shame, because I've been absolutely blown away by some of the dances I've seen in the past.

    Don't think I could learn ballroom. Experience has given me the impression that I just can't stand being led on the dance floor. I'd love to get into contemporary dance, though.

    Also: I'm all for the irregular personal posts! But you might want to be careful with your selection of topics, if you want to avoid drama. I know that's a thing that's bothering me a lot, having an unlocked blog again. Even though I've so far not had much trouble.

  5. I like watching dancing but can't do it for toffee.

    And the sexiest SCD routine was Mark Ramprakash and Karen Hardy's Argentine tango.

  6. I'm happy to let you dance too, but have no idea why you don't just have two blogs, one for the more personal stuff and the other for the books!

  7. I wish I could dance but I seriously have no co-ordination. It's strictly relegated for when I'm warbling badly while doing the housework ;)

    I tried doing the whole - keep my blog strictly to art/crafts thing. Couldn't do it. I'm to much of a waffler and enjoy to many other things. So now it's mainly an art & craft blog but with a bit of everything else thrown in, including books.

    I agree entirely with what mieneke said about how everything else shapes what you do and how you see things. I loved this post and would love reading further similar ones. If people don't want to read it they can skip over it and wait for the next book post. It's YOUR blog after all :)

  8. I must say I had never thought dancing would be for me but after watching Strictly for the first time this year I can honestly say that I am hooked. I love discovering the dances, watching them being performed and the training they undertake. I'm also a mega fan of Michelle Williams and am so glad she's still in it, I do hope Gavin gets the boot next week though! Go Michelle! Woo!

  9. I'm a dancer :) The boy and I do West Coast Swing and Tango, although we're a bit rusty at the moment. It's great fun, and good exercise, too (and yay for sexy tango shoes!)

  10. I tried ballroom dancing last year with a couple of friends. Absolutely loved the waltz - it looks so beautiful when it's performed right - but the fact that the three of us were the only ones in the room under retirement age, and the hall smelled of beer, put me off a bit. This post has made me want to try it again though - if I could just find a class that had some younger people in it!

  11. I long ago made a decision to never dance again - people get hurt when I hit the dance floor, and several venues have taken out injunctions against me.

    I wish I could dance. I love to watch it, and I have an internal rhythm that belies my lack of limb co-ordination. I dance like the current Doctor moves - all elbows and knees.

    It ain't a pretty sight, and so I no longer subject others to it.

    *makes sad face*

  12. Nicola Vincent-Abnett8 November 2010 at 11:03

    Dan and I danced regularly for quite a long time (before the epilepsy prevented him from driving) and we loved it. How can there be anything better than spending an hour with your arms around each other? It's one of the first things we'll return to when Dan gets back behind the wheel of a car.

    It was great exercise and lovely downtime that invariably made us laugh, and we both miss it.

  13. >> It's one of the first things we'll return to when Dan gets back behind the wheel of a car.

    Perhaps you should pull over, first - not much room to dance in the driver's seat... :-p

  14. I can't dance, but I do enjoy watching it - my passion is for figure skating, especially ice dance! I used to delude myself into thinking that because I could waltz on ice, it would translate into being able to dance on the floor, too. Not so much.

    (And I always love reading about people's personalities and interests, even on a review blog - makes it more personal, which I think is a good thing!)

  15. I love that you're telling us more about who you are here, like someone said above it really helps inform your reviewing style - after all reviews cannot ever be anything but personal.

    I have always wanted to learn to dance formally, and i think once i have fallen out of the debt mire it will be one of the first things i take up

    (SCD Gavins arms FTW)