Not So Strictly Come Dancing

Not So Strictly Come Dancing

Posted By admin |21 Jul 2014
Not So Strictly Come Dancing

Three months ago, I didn’t know what Otchos were and I would never have considered getting a spray tan. Things have changed since then, and it’s all due to a Facebook status from Katie Ogley, Yorkshires Regional Group Chair this year.

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Well, I’ve always fancied having a go at a bit of Ballroom Dancing, so I said I’d love to join in. I thought it would just be turning up to a few practices and having a giggle for an event for a 100 people or so. How wrong I was!

Since April, I’ve been to at least one training session each week to practice the two routines we were going to be performing on the night. These were the Argentine Tango and the Cha Cha Cha. As well as being fun, it’s been hugely challenging to learn the two routines to a standard to perform in public. Through the training sessions, there have been highs when you absolutely nail what you’re trying to do as well as lows when you don’t seem to be able to remember the dance you did perfectly the week before. I was paired up with Katie, and she’s been a brilliant partner, we’ve both kept each other going and focused when the other one started to stray or doubt themselves.

In what seemed like the blink of an eye, Saturday the 19th July was here and I was in the dressing room at Magna getting ready to go and perform. In the week running up to it, we’d train every night apart from the Tuesday, and on the Friday; I’d had another new experience, getting a spray tan. That’s one part of the experience I’d quite easily never repeat again, I currently have a skin tone that I’ve only ever had once before and that’s when I accidentally spilled a tin of Ronseal on my arm whilst painting a fence.

The teams from Magna and Safe At Last had done a great job of really bringing the feel of the TV show to the venue, which was a lot bigger than I expected as over 550 people were to attend on the evening.

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Magna all ready for the evening

Our first dance of the evening was the Cha Cha Cha, which we felt was the stronger of our two. As we stood behind the curtain to walk onto the dance floor to perform my stomach was doing back flips with nerves. The performance was over in the blink of an eye, unfortunately, we made a mistake and got low scores for the first one (24/40) including some harsh comments from the judges. The second dance, the Argentine Tango, was a lot better through. We still made a small mistake, but covered it well and we got a much higher score (32/40).

We hadn’t done enough to get through to the semi-finals, but we were pleased with what we had achieved. We had pushed ourselves outside of our comfort zone, had a really good time and also contributed to the £31,000 raised from the night.

I know there are already three people interested in taking part in it next year and I would strongly recommend they do. It’s a brilliant experience.

Ben Hawley
2014 President