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It's difficult to imagine the British duo dazzling the dancing judges; VIEW FROM THE SOFA Eurovision Dance Contest BBC1, 8pm.

Byline: Steve Palmer

AS a natural progression from the Eurovision Song Contest, the BBC are tonight screening the inaugural Eurovision Dance Contest from London, a competition between 16 countries for which Lithuania are the bookmakers' favourites.

According to my TV guide, the competing couples first perform a ballroom or Latin routine, and then later in the show they go freestyle for a "national" dance.

Well, it will be interesting to see what the British representatives do as our "national" dance.

The most traditional British dance is to down ten pints beforehand, wait until the DJ plays something like Come On Eileen, maraud around the dancefloor resembling a cow with Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, before accidentally spilling the majority of your drink over your dancing partner and then falling on to your backside in an undignified heap.

Let's be honest, dancing only takes place in Britain when people are blind drunk. The dancefloors of this country are empty until about 10pm.

And if you dare to break this unwritten rule of dancefloor opening times, there can be some serious consequences.

I remember venturing on to a nightclub dancefloor at about 9pm on a Friday night when I was a teenager, treating those present to a five-minute solo performance, seemingly a man possessed by the song I'm The Scatman by Scatman John.

A few days later, I was presented with a Chelsea shirt by college pals which had the number 17 on the back, a shirt worn at the time by Nigel Spackman. And then for about five years I was plagued by the nickname 'Nigel Scatman'.

Still carrying the scars from that incident, I now try to avoid dancing unless it's absolutely necessary. The last time I attempted some proper dancing was at a Kings of Leon gig I attended in Bournemouth a couple of months ago and it didn't go very well.

After getting detached from my friends in the large, sweaty throng, I was soon dancing (mad cow style) with strangers, and I ended up in quite a nasty collision with a rather attractive blonde girl.

She flashed me a warm smile as if to say: Mosh pits, eh? These things happen. So between songs I tried to engage in a spot of banter.

"I just wish I was up there rather than down here," I said, pointing to the stage.

"Are you in a band then?"

"No."

At that point we entered a conversational cul-de-sac. She rapidly lost interest in me once she had established my rock and roll credentials were on a par with Jeremy Paxman's.

I tried to rescue the situation with: "Where are you from?" "Norwich," she replied.

And then, demonstrating my world-class chatting-up technique further, I added: "Hmmm, East Anglia? Nice."

By that point, I could sense she was starting to wonder whether I was semi-retarded, and it was with great relief to both parties that the Kings started playing again.

I retreated to the back of the arena with two pints of premium-strength lager, promising myself I would never dance again.

If that makes me 'a square', so be it.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Sep 1, 2007
Words:515
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