Challenge 18 – Strictly Ballroom


For as long as I can remember, I have loved to dance. From attending Dance Days as part of my Mum’s job when I was a child to putting on my best clothes and prancing round my (very small) bedroom to Janet Jackson as a teenager and taking up ballet at the tender age of 22, dancing has always given me complete and utter joy.

Now, I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again. I’m not designed for dancing. In a lot of ways I feel like the fact I’m so passionate about it, but so extremely awful makes me love and appreciate it even more. As a result of my love of dance, we’ve been talking about doing a ballroom class for years so when 25at25 came about, it seemed like an obvious choice for a challenge. A few weeks ago, the amazing City Academy got in touch and asked if I’d like to complete Challenge 18 with them and I jumped at the chance. They offer classes in everything from ballroom to beginners ballet to belly dancing, singing lessons, comedy classes and a whole heap more and I’d been eyeing up their classes for months.

Headed up by Derek Roofayel and taking place at Lift Islington City Academy’s taster class aims to take you on a whistle-stop tour of all things ballroom with brief introductions to the waltz, slow foxtrot, tango and jive. Though it was a dance class, the primary focus of the taster class was definitely enjoyment. Derek walked us through the dances in understandable terms, explaining the basic steps and teaching with an infectious love of each style. We only had 15 minutes on the individual genres, but the taster certainly gives a great introduction to ballroom dancing and certainly ignited my interest – so much so we’ve signed up for an eight week course which starts in May.

I’m so glad I finally got round to doing this. I think I’ve found myself another love and I can honestly say I’m smitten. Though the challenge was only to attend one ballroom dancing class, I’ll be keeping you updated with our progress once the course starts. They’ve kindly said they’ll let a photographer come along and take some pictures of us one week, so I’ll certainly share those with you in due course. Watch this space!

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