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The ‘Dance at 8’ Blog 
By Paul Pritchard

   ‘Dance at 8’ Blog – 17/10/2010

Welcome to the 'Dance at 8' Blog. Where this will take us I have no idea, but it will be humorous, enlightening and will hopefully make you realise that dancing is for everyone and maybe you will discover something inside you that you didn’t know was there!

This is my first step (ha ha) into the world of blogging and after 48 years of dancing, here there and everywhere I think it's time I shared some of my knowledge, experiences and anecdotes, so maybe you won't make the same mistakes (on the dance floor that is).

A dance teacher is not just a dance teacher, he or she is also a psychologist, a referee, a doctor, a technician, a comedian . . . . . the list goes on. It's not just showing people the dance steps and which way round the floor to go, it's getting them to feel the music and move around the floor with a passion, two people moving as one. You have to do it like no one is watching, who cares what they think anyway!

For starters this is not my life story, but a brief history of my dance career.  I may throw in other humorous events which occurred for your entertainment but no names will be mentioned (not to protect the innocent, but to save embarrassment). There are a few holes in my memories as boys never write notes or record things so I am sure people from my past will write in to correct me for any mistakes.

So, I started dancing at about 8 years of age (oops darn it, just gave my age away) at a dance school up in Preston called the Adriatic. It was named after a famous sailing ship which I think sank in Preston Docks and some bright spark built a dance school out of the timbers.... Actually the place was better known as Wally's, named after the owner who was a very good dance teacher and definitely not a Wally.

Leah Hobkirk (Wally's wife) taught me to dance for about 5 years. Leah was amazing, she was a stickler for getting it right and would not accept just OK. She put me through every medal and exam there was and I passed them all no problem. Why do we have all those medals? You can't dance with them on, you would fall over, but it made my Mum and Dad proud.

So now it was time to find me a dance partner, her name was Susan, she was cute and we danced together for about 5 years. When we first partnered up we were under 12 years of age, so we danced in the Juvenile division (you know, the cute one's with the little white socks, dickie bows, and hair plastered down with Brylcreem).  Did I get my leg pulled at school or what ?

Our first competition was in Crewe and was run by a very nice man called Bill Oakes and guess what, we actually came 3rd, and boy did we celebrate!

Tune in soon for the next instalment . . . . . .

This is the first installment of the ‘Dance at 8’ Blog. If you would like to read more please click on the Red ‘Dance at 8 Blog’ Link

The 'Dance at 8' Blog. See further episodes of the  'Dance at 8' blog here. Press here to receive our free Newsletter.