The glitter ball sends kaleidoscopes of light across the dance floor. Out of the corner of my eye, I notice a cameraman training his lens in that direction. I lean my arms on the balcony and look down at the people sitting at their round tables, waiting expectantly. The band strikes up and my partner takes my hand.
I take a deep breath as he leads me down the red carpet and onto the dance floor. This is my Strictly moment. A nightingale is singing in
Square and a couple dressed in their Sunday finery
glide past us. For a minute I am Flavia and my partner is Vincent as we step
onto the floor.
"What dance is this?"
I am brought back to reality with a bump. "It's a foxtrot," I hiss.
For we are not on the set of Strictly Come Dancing. We are, in fact, at a tea dance at the Waldorf Hotel to celebrate our anniversary; the camera crew are here filming for a series about finding love online and the man by my side is not Vincent but my husband of three years, Ian...
This is the beginning of an article I wrote for The People's Friend and, if you bought a copy of the magazine the week before last, you might have read it. In it, I describe how my husband and I met at a salsa class in Lewes and our shared love of dance. Some of you might remember me blogging about the Waldorf Hotel tea dance (mentioned above) in 2013. If not you can read it here.
When I first started writing, I remember reading an article by Doug McPherson (you can read his guest post here) in Writer's Forum on writing about what you know. Doug knows a lot about music and circuses, so you can guess what he likes writing about! What good advice that turned out to be - I found that by writing about something I love and know a lot about, half the work had been done for me.
It's also worth remembering that it's possible to get a lot of mileage out of one topic. Dancing is a huge part of my life and, looking back over the last couple of years or so, I realise that as well as the article, I have written and sold seven dance themed stories to different magazines. My first ever People's Friend story was called Dancing Queen and my latest, about a woman who realises a perfect dance partner doesn't necessarily make the perfect partner in life (I beg to differ of course!) will be in this weeks issue. I won't tell you the name of the story as it will probably have been changed.
Of course, I write about a lot of things I know little about as well (autism, gardening, sailing, anything historical etc.) but finding out about it takes time... when I write a story about dancing the research as already been done.
I'm beginning to think I've now saturated the market with my dance stories... maybe I should take up golf!