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  • Writer's pictureDawn Matthews

Learning to Dance Solo

Updated: Apr 17


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Last night, I did something I didn’t think I would ever do… I took a class learning a Chair Burlesque routine with a view to learning to dance solo. Some of my friends at my regular Tuesday modern jive class had been going, and had told me how much fun it was, and how much of a giggle, and so… Despite a huge headache during the day, by 6.15 I found myself in my car, ready to head to a local village hall for an hour. I’d deliberately not looked anything up – although if I’m entirely honest, that might have been because I’d been giving myself a chance to get out of it.


You see, there are a lot of ladies that are AMAZING at doing the sexy, slinky, sultry moves, in order to give their man the eye. But I’ve never felt that I could do that, and that’s partly why I’ve preferred modern jive, I think – there are less wiggles involved, and there’s no need to be “sexy”. Don’t get me wrong, objectively, I know what I bring to the table in a relationship, and where the better points of my body are, but more than one man in my life has told me that I just don’t have it, and when you feel it and are told as much, you come to believe it.


It is more than just that though. I don’t even feel like I can do a dancing round a handbag dance particularly well, which is why I coined the phrase “I’m a feminist, but I need a man to make me look good on the dancefloor”. I have often thought that my top half isn’t even connected to the bottom half of my body, and that’s why I find it so tricky! I even find learning steps in lines, like how they teach them in my ballroom class initially, is difficult for me too. I’m getting better at it, but it doesn’t come naturally – I have to really concentrate and try hard.


One class hasn’t fixed that. Of course, it hasn’t – no belief seated as deep as mine ever is. But it has given me a chance to explore whether I can follow a routine by myself, and so far, it looks like I might be able to. You might be thinking that I’m being daft, and that of course I would be able to if I can follow other types of dancing, but in my head, I wasn’t entirely sure that I would be able to do it.


We’re only about a third of the way into learning the choreography for the song, but I think when I go back next week, that I’ll be able to do what learnt yesterday – including getting up on the chair to stand on it and dance. The song? Well, this was one of the reasons that I gave in and decided to go! We’re learning a routine to Mustang Sally, by The Commitments, and I love it! I love dancing modern jive to it as well (it is reasonably regularly in the playlist on a Tuesday night) so I know the words, and where the breaks are in the song, which is a big help.


Considering how much I dance during the week, I’m unsure as yet to how long I’ll do this class for. It is a little drive away, and it is on the one night of the week that I try and keep clear for vegging out and watching crap TV, or seeing friends. But I’ll certainly do it for a little while, and I’ll see how it helps to build my confidence, and adds my fitness – all that wiggling has to be good for something, right?

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