Dan and Anna

I was looking at towels in Debenhams the other day when a swing number started playing over the loudspeaker and my feet started doing an 8-beat basic Charleston step behind the sale rack. The sales assistant looked on in shock (possibly amazement but I doubt it). Most embarrassing.

To back-track, Dan and I had a clear vision for our wedding reception – that we would kick off the dancing in amazing fashion. To be precise, we would attempt a proper bonafide, action-packed, crowd-pleasing lindy hop/charleston.

Two issues of note: I have two left feet and Dan likes to "freestyle" on the dance floor. A proper case of "Can't dance, won't dance". Oh and in true Royal Navy tradition, Dan was away with work until just before the wedding, so we had exactly four one-hour sessions to learn the steps, craft a routine, and practise it enough to perform it confidently. It seemed an impossible task.

And then we met Duncan and Louise. Calm in the face of overwhelming odds, they welcomed us into their home, helped us work out precisely what we wanted to do, and then set about teaching us. Patient, down to earth and depreciatingly funny, they worked at our pace, pushing us enough but not too much. Guiding us through new steps and passages and educating us into a whole new vocabulary – they totally communicated and demonstrated their love of swing dance – and it was simply infectious. Four ridiculously fun sessions later and we had a routine.

I can't promise that we were technical perfection on the day itself – but to the credit of Duncan and Louise we got through our routine (twice!) and we and our guests loved every moment of it.

In fact, we just loved the whole experience from start to finish. Duncan and Louise opened our eyes to a whole new world of swing dance and, having expected it to be a one off experience, we are now completely converted and can't wait to join their weekly classes next month.

For anyone wondering if they should try it, just do it. You won't regret it. But a word of warning, you may become hooked. And you won't be able to account for the behaviour of your feet in the future, when swing tunes come on in public places. Just saying.

Dan and Anna, July 2012

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