Books Magazine

Slave to the Rhythm

By Ashleylister @ashleylister
Anecdotal evidence from various family members informs me that I was a dancer before I could walk. My Dad loved the old Hollywood movies and I would sit entranced by the genius dancer and choreographer Fred Astaire and his glamorous partners. At the tender age of seven, I was invited to attend Saturday morning ballroom dancing class run by Alex Thompson in Aintree, not far from where we lived.
Back in the early 1960s there were few boys learning to dance, so I had to dance with another little girl but I aspired to a future with a boy partner and would watch Patricia, Alex's daughter and her partner George Coad with admiration. They were British Open Amateur champions in both Ballroom and Latin American, an extremely rare event.  
By the time I was nine, I had a boy partner and new teacher - former British Open Professional champion, Eric Lashbrooke. He was a truly inspirational teacher, helping to develop my dancing and before long I was competing all over the country and even overseas. My Dad, who ferried me to my lessons every Saturday morning via the Mersey Tunnel to New Brighton. made me promise to practice for three hours for every hour of private tuition. I lived to dance. I sat under my school desk rotating my feet to strengthen my ankles. My sister drove to practice sessions twice a week. I danced walking down the street. I was totally immersed in dance. 
Do you remember the film, The Red Shoes. starring the incredible ballerina Moira Shearer who trained at Sadler's Wells? Well that was me to a tee.I simply could not stop dancing. The minute the music played, I would dance. In the Red Shoes story, written by Hans Christian Anderson, the dancer puts on the red ballet shoes and they dance her through the forest. up mountains and when she is too tired to dance, the shoes are not.  They inevitably dance her to her death. Fortunately I never acquired such a pair: I did however dance until my feet bled. I was truly a slave to the rhythm. 
I recently read that there is no art without sacrifice. Many artists are very badly paid and many have been without income during the pandemic. Theatres and dance studios have been closed. Even now, singers cannot get together because of aerial emissions. It has been a barren time for many artists. I hope that live events can soon restart, although with social distancing, reduced capacity audiences, the reopening of many venues may prove uneconomic. There are likely to be many fatalities. 
Slave to the Rhythm

 Thanks for readng. Adele

Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to Facebook


Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog