What happened when... I tried Clubbercise

When I was a kid we had this thing called 'bedtime disco'. It did exactly what it said on the tin and my Mum would whack up the sound on the stereo (we had a hi-fi, cause we were cool), turn off the lights and we'd dance around like lunatics in an attempt to wear us out before bed.

Seriously, when I think of my those times, I want to award my Mummy a medal. It was the best.

With all those opportunities to dance you’d think I’d at least be good at it.

But alas. No. 

I was an ungainly, awkward child who couldn't work out how to get her arms to do one thing whilst her feet did something else. Like most things in life, I made up for a lack of skill with greater enthusiasm or by shrugging it off and pretending that I never wanted to be a great dancer anyway.

Co-ordination and I have never been bosom buddies.

Especially as said bosom grew, with a booty to match.
Then in my 20s, my mate told me I danced like a stripper. She tried to convince me that this was a good thing. For the record. I did keep my clothes on. I understand that the ‘stripper’ description derived from my wriggling hips. Still, not a great recommendation of my dancing skills I think we’d agree...

Luckily (for me anyway, not anyone hoping to watch), I enjoy dancing and music more than anyone with my appalling lack of talent should. And when it comes to exercising and my recent attempts to get fit, dancing-type classes are the top of my to-do list.

I've signed up to the gym. Not the cheapest. Not the closest. But one that had the most number of classes, at convenient times for a Mum getting her kids to bed before heading out to lose the last vestiges of chocolate eclairs baby weight.

I arrived early and sat outside, reading my book and trying not to let my nervousness get the best of me. This was going to be fun!

After a few tenuous smiles I started up a conversation with a couple of other first-timers. They were friendly enough and it was nice to know I wasn’t alone!

The instructor arrived and set up her high-tech clubbing equipment: a couple of spinning disco lights. When she switched off the lights it was time to... party?

As it started to a mix of ‘I wanna dance with somebody’ I knew I was on to a winner. Who doesn’t love that tune?!

For anyone who has tried out aerobics the format will be recognisable. There was a clear warm-up routine, dances of varying pace and intensity followed by a cool down and stretch.

It wasn’t really like dancing in a club. For one there were no lecherous guys spouting crap chat up lines. For another it was clearly exercise and some of it was hard work, my heart rate increased and I was a lil’bit sweaty as you’d expect from over an hour of physical activity.

For me, the main issue was with that dear nemesis of mine, co-ordination.

Everyone else may have have been tapping their feet to the front but I realised I’d be stepping back. The instructor wanted everyone to double to the left and I was still on the single to the right.

There was a point about halfway through Darude ‘Sandstorm’ when, by pure chance, I stepped in the right direction, in time with the music, and for a few bars I was as good as any of those dancers on stage in Ibiza clubs.

I don’t know this for sure. I’ve never been to Ibiza. My only knowledge of the place comes from watching Kevin and Perry Go Large.

Yet, unlike a club dancer, there was no one watching me and that meant that by the time we’d moved on to Robin S ‘Show me love’, my legs once again moving in the opposite direction to everyone else, there was no one to laugh or judge - it was dark, they hopefully couldn’t even see me being a tit.


So, to recap.

I was dreadful. But not dead like after body conditioning.

Would I do it again?

I got out of bed at 5:50 on a bank holiday morning to ensure I booked a space.
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