It wasn’t the sweet smell of success...

Strictly Learn Dancing - dancers from 2012 who are raising cash for the Hospice of St Francis.
Strictly Learn Dancing - dancers from 2012 who are raising cash for the Hospice of St Francis.
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Gazette news editor Victoria West hopes to rake in cash for the Hospice of St Francis by taking to the dance floor in the charity’s Strictly Learn Dancing event – and each week she reports on her progress

In what I’m hoping was a last ditch attempt to force me to hang up my dancing shoes, long suffering and forever moaning dance partner Michael Carillo decided to bring something new to the dance floor this week.

It came in liquid form and would have been better off left inside its cheap looking package – my two left feet partner decided to douse himself in the most foul smelling aftershave he could find in a bid to punish me for making him prance around every Sunday evening at Sportspace Hemel Hempstead when there are at least a dozen other things he would rather be doing.

So if, my fellow dancing contestants, you caught a whiff of something overpowering and pungent, it wasn’t horse embrocation or some other foul fragrance, and if it is any consolation it made me feel slightly sick.

However, I would like to state for the record that it wasn’t me.

Mild-mannered instructor Shirley, after having a quick whiff, described it as ‘wicked’ – and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a compliment.

But never fear, I have since tracked down the offending bottle and it has somehow found its way into my wheelie bin.

This week our Terpsichorean training session attracted the attention of fellow dancers Ryan Huffer and Gemma Smith, who we often watch in envy as they skip through the routines,

They took pity on us and offered their assistance, which was much appreciated.

And Shirley has instructed us to stand at the front during demonstrations so that we can see everything clearly.

I didn’t want to point out that it’s not our eyes that are causing the problems. We’re just not very good.

So I’ve decided the way forward is to drill the moves over and over again until they are engrained on our brains.

This means we must fit in at least three practice sessions this week – that’s in between other life things such as work, keeping fit, socialising. Last week we managed about half an hour so the pressure is on to try harder and do better.

Perhaps by the time Sunday rolls around there will be an impressive improvement that will get the thumbs up from dance teachers Shirley and Brian. If not I’ll just have to resort to more wine beforehand.

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