Oh yes! I danced out for the first time ever on Thursday. I’ve managed to learn three dances in the two practises I have attended (of which I’m very proud) and I was looking forward to putting all this new knowledge into practise. We danced at the Malthouse pub in Chorley and when I arrived, most of the team were already there and ready to go. I don’t have a hat or coat yet (actually, I do have a hat but it was untrimmed. I have since trimmed it and I love it!) so the team lent me a spare coat and I borrowed the hat of an absent member.
One of the ladies lent me some face paints and I blacked up and went out to join the rest of the team. The hat was a little bit small for my head but I was ready to go.
First we danced Tinners and I insisted on going third (easiest for me). It’s great dancing at practise but it’s fabulous dancing in public. Then, while we were having a break, I went and got some money and bought myself a drink. I had, by then, been given some bells which I laced onto my boots. It was really strange walking up to the bar, jingling away, with my face blacked and a be-feathered (and studded) top hat on. Still, I got served and I walked outside with my half of Fosters in my hand.
Here’s my first photo. I’m pretty sure the dance is Skirmish and it is brilliant. I have explained to the team that I need to learn this one. I can’t explain why but I know that my life will be a sad and pitiful existence until I learn the dance.
Next, it was Ashpole. This is one I’ve learned and now danced twice in practise. I suppose that makes it “my” dance and I get the feeling I will always insist on dancing it (and I will stamp my feet if anybody tries to gainsay me) whenever we dance out. Somebody very kindly took my camera and took some snaps while I was dancing. Most are blurred (we dance very fast) but this one shows me quite clearly, waiting to start.
Ashpole went well and I managed to get it all right. I like Ashpole and I think it must look great to the audience because the figures (at last! I’ve remembered the word) will look so intricate but it is relatively easy for the dancers to remember (although one seasoned dancers took a wrong turn at one point!)
Next, I had to have my photo taken with Brent, our Father Christmas lookalike.
I love the way my fringe flops over my eyes in a totally emo (but in a totally gone wrong emo) way. I think I am going to have to pin it back somehow because it gets in my way when I’m dancing.
Well, we danced White Ladies and, although I’d only practised it once, I asked if I could dance and they said yes. I took a wrong turn once (not too bad) but my partner was very good and kept me on the straight and narrow for the rest of the dance. She was also very kind because I wanted to go on the left (which is the position I learnt it in) and she has a dicky left shoulder, which is awkward because there is a double hay in the dance (I’ll let you imagine what a double hay is if you don’t already know). She let me go on the left.
Well, there were more dances, including Crow’s Nest and probably others, and it was getting dark. I took a few more pictures including this one:
We also danced Tinners twice more and dragged bar staff and audience members into the dance. That is something I love about this team – audience participation. They even got the landlady out of the pub and she danced too. I had to leave early (just gone 10.30) because I had work the next day.
I got home and uploaded the pictures onto the computer and went to bed. The next day, I put them on my MP3 player (the internet was down so I couldn’t e-mail them) and took them into work and proudly showed them to anybody who would look at them. Somebody asked me who Big Foot is. I’m sure Brent won’t mind!