Starlight On The Palace Pier Tour – Extract
Becca suspected she was in for an interesting evening. Clearing her throat, she faked a confidence she didn’t feel and addressed the group. ‘Shall we get started? For those of you who have tap shoes please put them on, and then find a space on the floor.’
Five minutes of faffing followed as Wanda and Miriam struggled to locate their shoes, put them on and tie the laces. Miriam was dressed in a brightly patterned smock dress, whereas Wanda wore the full dance regalia: Lycra catsuit, leg-warmers and top-of-the-range tap shoes. Nick and Cassie, who looked like they’d just come from work, were dressed in head-to-toe grey.
Collectively, it was a sight to behold.
Becca was just thinking it couldn’t get any more bizarre, when the doors opened and another woman joined them. ‘Sorry, I’m late,’ she said, hurrying in. She dropped her bag, tripped over it and then dropped it again when she tried to pick it up.
‘That’s Mi-Sun,’ Wanda said, in a loud whisper. ‘She’s from Korea.’
And Becca thought dealing with the kids was hard.
Still, at least this lot weren’t running around the room screaming. Not yet, anyway. ‘As we have two new people in the class and I’m new myself, let’s start with a few basic steps to get us warmed up. Okay?’
Four expectant faces stared at her.
Mi-Sun ran to join them, tripping up as she did so.
As a fellow klutz, Becca could empathise. ‘Okay, could you all spread out so you’re not on top of each other?’ They shuffled about. Wanda and Miriam both wanted to be at the front. Nick and Cassie hid at the back. Mi-Sun was left in the middle on her own. ‘Right. The first step we’re going to learn is called the shuffle.’
‘Oh, I know this.’ Miriam launched into a demonstration, followed by Wanda, who wasn’t about to be outdone. What with Miriam’s curves and Wanda’s cleavage, there was quite a lot of bouncing going on. The floorboards got a good workout.
‘That’s great, ladies. But let’s break it down for the rest of the class.’ She waited until the floor stopped vibrating. ‘The shuffle is a combination of two basic moves, the brush and the strike. Let’s start with the brush.’ She was met with three concerned expressions and two bored ones. Miriam and Wanda failed to hide their frustration at being made to start from the beginning.
Oh, well. Nothing she could do about that. Even with no teacher training she knew she could only go as fast as the slowest person in the group.
Becca turned to face the mirrors. ‘Stand on one leg and lift your other foot. Now swing the foot forward, brushing the ball of your foot against the floor.’