I’ve got Strictly fever. I can’t get enough of the sparkles and sequins. I’ve been dancing in my kitchen while baking. I’ve been watching training clips on my phone at every opportunity. I’ve been glued to my TV on Saturday nights and I’ve started to arrange my social life around it. I’m addicted and I don’t care who knows it! It’s not the exciting line-up of celebrities and dancers that is drawing in me, but it’s the fact that this year it means more to me…
If you’ve been reading my blog over the summer, you’ll know (because I’ve been banging on about it) that I’ve started learning to dance. Yes, at my age! I’ve wanted to learn for years and every season of Strictly reminds me just how much I want to be one of those dancers in their princess dresses being whisked around the dance floor. Back in June the universe conspired to give me the opportunity to start learning swing dancing – it was in the right place, at the right time and with the right people – and I am so pleased that I went for it! Now that I’ve started to learn, I can’t get enough of it and I’ve been going to the occasional extra dance class and have even had a couple of private lessons. I’ve been practicing at home and my social calendar is made up of 1940s events and hangar dances. It’s undoubtedly a new passion of mine and now that I understand dancing a little, this season of Strictly Come Dancing has been even more interesting to me.
There’s not much swing dancing on Strictly – although I have done a bit of Charleston, lindy and jive in my dance classes so it’s always fun to watch these dances – I especially love watching the ballroom dances and now I want to take my dancing further. Yes, I want to be a princess! After being invited to the Blackpool Tower Ballroom to their Strictly Dancing & Afternoon Tea event in November (I’ll definitely be reporting back on this experience, so watch this space!), I needed to make sure that I’d at least be able to dance something on that famous dance floor. So I’ve had a few Foxtrot lessons and I’ve got that giddy grin back on my face!
As this is Tuesday Shoesday I ought to mention the main focus of today’s post and one of the most exciting things to happen to me: I’ve got new dancing shoes! At dance class this week I was able to Foxtrot in my sparkly new ballroom heels and it really made a difference to my performance; I started to point my feet as I danced and the cushioned soles were so comfortable that I was able to dance on tiptoes. I felt so professional and although I’m still learning, I felt that I was one step closer to being the dance floor princess that I’d always dreamed of.
With no specialist dance shops nearby I’d found it difficult to get hold of the shoes, tights and skirts that I’d wanted to invest in but luckily I was able to access this type of boutique store through the indie shopping website MyHigh.st. This website brings together independent retailers from all around the country and shares their wares through one shopping portal. Each retailer has their own page and my dance shoes were from Jems Party Dance a dancewear specialist in Essex. I probably would never travelled that distance to buy my shoes, but I could get them delivered to my home within only a couple of days.
Initially, I wasn’t sure which ballroom shoes to go for; black would go with everything, and nude would elongate my legs… But then I saw the sparkly shoes section and I couldn’t tear my eyes away from these glittery beauties. Okay, they might be a little over the top for my everyday dancing, but it’s not every day you get to go to the Blackpool Tower Ballroom and, let’s be honest, I wanted something sparkly!
It was a real Cinderella moment when the shoes arrived in their silver box and I first held them in my hands. I put them on immediately and was so pleased with the great fit and how comfortable they were. I got on with my writing work while wearing my spangly heels and I stayed happy all day – just glimping a little glitter was enough to make me smile! At dance class I got a lot of compliments on my new shoes and some of the other dancers even tried them on and took them for a spin around the dance floor. Now I can’t wait until my next lesson so that I can dance in them again.
And no, of course I haven’t been putting them on just to watch Strictly Come Dancing on TV…