When I watch dance shows, I feel a sad sense of loss

Last year's Black Friday deals at Tesco, Fratton.

VERITY LUSH: Yet another example of distasteful American influence sweeping the UK

0
Have your say

What better way could there be to spend a mildly hung over Sunday morning than watching musicals?

In a gloriously decadent manoeuvre, I lay on the sofa and treated myself to the remade Hairspray, Chicago and then Walking In Sunshine. Lazy, warm and snuggly, you cannot beat a Sunday tucking into TV.

The first two musicals were perfect; excellent music, excellent choreography and also excellent stories.

One has racism at its heart, the other the power of the media and the fickle nature of fame. Walking On Sunshine didn’t do quite as well, being all about eye candy and ’80s pop idols.

Hairspray and Chicago were written as musicals, with clever lyrics supporting the story lines, while Sunshine had songs slotted in – and although there were some corkers in there, it didn’t pack nearly as much punch.

But here’s the thing, the reason I wanted to watch them. I was inspired by a school dance show which utilised some cracking numbers.

Dance has some very infectious qualities. Without thinking you find yourself mimicking the steps you’ve seen, singing the songs you’ve heard and even just wishing that you’d been braver in your childhood to realise that dance isn’t all about ballet schools and pink slippers.

It’s about owning your own body, using your body, celebrating your body and belonging to a moment which is bigger than yourself.

When I was little I couldn’t wait to give up ballet – the only dance class that I remember attending.

It was painful, all that restraint and pointing of body items. There was nothing joyful about it, which ruined the notion of dance for me for a long time.

I clearly remember saying I wanted to leave the class and my mother telling me that if I didn’t go that evening, I would never attend again.

Oh how the relief washed through me. It was one of the happiest moments of my then short life. So now when I see dance shows, the passion, dedication and excitement that the dancers generate, I feel a sad sense of loss. I gave up on one aspect of dance and only replaced it later in life by swaying on a sticky nightclub floor.