Posted by: writingwitch2013 | August 10, 2013

Research for a book and the lengths (other)people go to


I had an idea a while ago for a book based around dance. I asked my dance tutor a few questions about competitions , thinking I could do the research like that. WRONG, she had other ideas. The only way to find out what it is like to be in a dance competition is to be in a dance competition!

Some authors go through gruelling conditions to research for their novels so I thought that being in a dance competition would be easy compared to Anthony Horowitz going to the Antartic…

Was  it easy? No it wasn’t . My Argentine Tango partner who is usually very confident was shaking and he missed out one of the moves, but luckily no one noticed, he added it in later with only a quick warning from a piece of slick ventriloquism seconds before he led me into the Molinette (Giro) . Then I did a couple of ochos while he turned to the correct face for the double chair with all it’s ganchos.

Next dance was a jive with one of the young student teachers. I had learnt the dance for a year. I could do it almost faultless in class but when I started practising my brain wouldn’t connect to my feet. They started dancing steps independant from each other… So that when, 2 days before the competition, the teacher decided I needed to learn another step to add more complication to the routine my nerves started to kick in (excuse the pun). If I did the steps right , the arms were wrong. If I got the arms right, the steps went haywire!

On the day I don’t think I disgraced myself too much in the jive. I am, after all, over 50 and there were many more under 30’s but it was a nerve wracking experience and on the day I chose to concentrate on my leg moves and hope the arms would work themselves out. The arms let me down… But this old bird can still do the quick bouncy legs and I’m proud of that.

For my next piece of research for the novel I will just go and watch a competition. Once bitten, twice…


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