Sunday, 13 April 2008

Dancing Queen April 13

Not so long ago former Knight Rider David Hasselhoff’s kids filmed him one night when he was horribly drunk, sprawled on the floor attempting to shove a hamburger in his mouth. The intention was to show him just how disgusting he was when he was drunk, but it eventually ended up on the net, showing the world just how disgusting he was when he was drunk.
My biggest fear is that someone will do that to me. Not when I’m on the floor smearing my face with tomato sauce because to my knowledge I’ve never done that, chocolate maybe, but not tomato sauce. I’m petrified that someone will film me when I’m drunk dancing. And every woman reading this knows exactly what I'm talking about. That shameful moment when you morph into the Dancing Queen, a rare undiscovered talent, lithe, graceful and full or artistry and decide that everyone should be lucky enough to see you in full flight thanks to a few too many vodkas.
I’ve always loved to dance, and can often be found doing it in the kitchen at home, or perhaps in quiet moments when I think no one is around and it’s been so long since David Bowie and I spent some time together.
But social dancing is a sport rarely indulged in unless you have had a few too many. We’ve all been at occasions when people have stared miserably at an empty dance floor while the band enthusiastically plays on hoping just one drunk woman will get up and start the dancing. Because it’s always the drunk woman. No sober person would see the logic of leaping up in front of people you know and start waving your arms around, thrusting your hips about and shaking your head wildly from side to side. But oh the joy of it all. The release as the music enters your body, the deep and secure knowledge that you look fantastic out there hitting every beat right on target.
“She must have done ballet as a child,” you hear the awed crowd whisper as they watch you execute a perfect pirouette.
“I haven’t seen anyone do that move since the 70s,” whispers another admirer as you shake your head backwards and forwards, hair wildly streaming all over your face.
“So creative,” says someone else as your arms weave and undulate over your head forming an imaginary tree complete with sparkly fingers.
You try to share the joy with your partner by occasionally indulging in the “you copy me I’ll copy you” dance routine where you both wave your arms in roughly the same way, in almost the same direction and finish with a triumphant twirl. But really you are lost in your own world of dance. A sublime place where you swirl and thrust, shape the air with your hands into tiny bubbles of perfection and choreograph your way into dance dreamland.
You close your eyes, all the better to be at one with the music and open them just for a second to see that the dancers have moved away to give you more room for your high kick, just like in the movies where two dancers wow the rest into submission and the camera moves in for the close up. You check to see that your partner is still enthusiastically keeping up with you and then you realise that your partner has been replaced by your husband who isn’t dancing, is holding your handbag and has that smile on his face which says: “Time to go home darling.”
“But I’m having such a gorgeous time, Nick is such a great dancer isn’t he? God this band is terrific. All the old hits eh!”
“I think you may have exhausted Nick, darling, he collapsed in the corner 10 minutes ago.”“Oh dear, well you’ll have to do, come on just one more dance, I just love Prince,” you shout before singing loudly “Purple Rain, Pu-urple Rain.”
He’s been here before my husband. Thank God. And half an hour later I’m at home, staring at my sweat laden lank hair in the mirror, the smudged mascara, the wet armpits staining my new silk dress and wondering if the damage done by my high heels to my arches will render me a cripple for the rest of my life.
“I had such a nice time,” I snuffle as I drift off to sleep.
“I know darling and so did the 50 people you scared off the dance floor.”

Illustration by Anthony Ellison

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