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Murder On The Dance Floor?

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It looks so idyllic on Strictly: matched with an ardent, hot-bodied dance pro, romance and weight loss naturally ensue. So arriving for your first Latin dance class at your local village hall can be underwhelming to say the least. I've seen so many friends fall at the first hurdle, I felt compelled to make this honest list of the top five things you need to know about learning to dance -  in the hope that you'll persevere long enough to sup your second mojito/sangria/glass of Argentine Malbec…
1. Bear in mind the cultural template for the English male dancer is Morris Dancing - men skipping and waving hankies. Be patient as your partner attempts to master a grinding hip action.
2. There will be sweat - underarm-turns that'll have you fighting the gag reflex and palms so slimy you'll be unable to maintain the vital grip. (I once even experienced a guy with a prosthetic hand, leaving me terrified I was going to accidentally dislodge it and spin off with an extra set of digits.)
3. There will always be a quota of men in the class who, in normal life, don't get to touch women. Instead of being freaked out by their earnest attention, enjoy being gazed upon like you are some kind of shimmering goddess.
4. For every blushing, awkward man there will be a know-it-all bore. Miranda Garrison (aka Bungalow Bunny Vivian in Dirty Dancing) wisely advised me not to take offence at these arrogant 'correctors' but to pity them. If they are more concerned with technique than the bliss of dancing with a real live woman, they are sorely missing the point. (For the record, in Cuba they simply don't allow the women to apologise for any mis-steps on the dancefloor - it's always considered to be the man's fault and they seem to like it that way!)
5. There will always be someone better than you. Don't let that superfox in the beaded undies cause you to question your own unique appeal. The brilliant thing about dancing is that chemistry can hit the strangest couplings. I've seen the most talented male dancers have the best time with the least polished women because they are paying full attention to their partner rather than showing off for the audience.
To conclude, hang in there - because once in a while, the music will cause your body to synchronise with another so exquisitely you will be transported to a place of such soul-satisfying connection that will make everything else worthwhile. It's a feeling you can't get any other place or any other way. At least not with your clothes on.


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