It’s now 51 days until my first official dance competition.

So here’s a brief training update…

I have moved myself into our apartment basement car park for practise sessions. It is dark and gloomy and a bit sinister – everything you’d expect of a basement car park really – but it is massive and an excellent free dance space.

Sometimes I do think of the clown from “It” and get nervous but then I remember I am a 25-year-old woman and need to pull myself together.

David (my boyfriend/one of my dance teachers – a dangerous combination) says I should train “every day”. When he first said this I laughed like he was joking.

It turns out he wasn’t joking.

So I’ve effectively moved into the basement (much to David’s delight, as he gets the comfy sofa and PS4 all to himself).

Training is going well so far… I have made awkward and lopsided eye contact with several neighbours after dizzily coming out of a standing spin – I pretend to myself that they have no knowledge of dancing whatsoever and think I look fantastic.

I’ve waved merrily at cars driving past, their drivers giving me the squint eye, thinking I must be loitering in the furthest, darkest corner of the car park for no good reason at all.

I once even had a minor panic attack when a lone man started walking towards the corner I was tango-ing in. Turns out he just wanted to get into his car…

But the basement practise is working, I’m learning the steps. It’s paying off.

Now and then, after a bit of pleading and bribing, David will drag himself down the lift to help me.

The moment he walks through the basement door though, he snaps into teacher mode.

Carefully, I begin my routine, trying to impress him. Barely take a step before his response:


“What!?” I snap, in a style not dissimilar to a stroppy teenager. “I didn’t do anything wrong.”

Then follows lecture about why he is the teacher and I am not and what I did wrong.

Cue sulk (but silent sulk because deep down I know he is right and I am actually, secretly very grateful that he is helping me).

With 51 days to go and four (maybe five) full ballroom routines to learn, I have learnt the steps for three quarters of the waltz, half of the tango, and a quarter of the foxtrot.

I’m loving it.

We finished another round of basement training last night, and David even said he was “happy with that”.

The highest compliment.

I’ll take it.