Monday, September 5, 2011


Some bald fat bloke and
one of his lovely partners
"The Colonial Ball is in September, are you going to come along?", asked an eager friend. I found out later that she wasn't after a date but was just trying to fill the hall. Sigh!
"Does this mean I will actually have to dance?", came my somewhat trepidatious reply.
"Uh! Did you used to be blonde", was her response.

Ok so that was just after Easter this year and at that time I couldn't even spell 'dance' let alone do it. There was only one thing for it; go out there and learn to dance.

I thought that this may be some what akin to teaching a fish to fly but I was soon disabused of this notion. It was actually more like trying to teach a deaf fish to fly. The upshot of my procrastination was that the Ball moved inexorably closer and I was still looking up Dance in the dictionary.

My friend had a solution, she actually had several but only one was printable, that being, come along to the Tuesday evening Contra dancing at the St Margarets Uniting Church Hall on a tuesday evening. Now, I have a little secret, I used to go to Contra with my lovely friend Deb but after she left to go to the states in 2008 I stopped going along. Apathy I think.

So off I went and had a great time, as I knew I would. Soon I was hooked, but Contra is only on every second week. The alternate week there is a Waltz class. Well, I reckoned anyone who could teach me to Waltz deserved a medal and a valium (not necessarily in that order) but I went along anyway. Colin, our instructor, and Linda, my adopted dance partner, managed to get me to do a reasonable facsimile of a waltz after a few lessons and now, some three months later I can actually get around pretty well. This amazes me more than you can imagine. Several local Podiatrists have recently bought BMWs as well.

Now, this is Contra twice a month and Waltz twice a month which still leaves a bit of time, or so I thought. It came to pass that every Monday in
All Saints Uniting Church Hall in Ainslie, there is a bush dance. Oh well, in for a penny in for a pound. Off I trot on Mondays now to learn Bush Dancing. As it turns out, this session on Monday evenings is the training session for all the dances we will be doing at the Colonial Ball.


I am aurally challenged so music has a habit of 'sounding' different, so, accompanied by much eye rolling, laughing and strange looks from my fellow dancers (most of whom have been at this game for a while) I slowly managed to look the part. I owe this chiefly to the patience of a number of my fellow dancers who understand my proclivity and assist with gesticulations, subtle head nodding and various other directions.

Linda on Left and Jean
But wait, there's more! These people are addicts. Most Saturday nights will see us strutting our stuff for a few hours in deepest darkest Cook. These nights are a heap of fun and were great training for the ball. Ok, now we have, Bush Dancing on Monday nights, Contra and Waltz on Tuesday nights, Most Saturday nights there is a dance, so can anyone tell me why I would say to one of the ladies, "I would love to learn Rock and Roll".

Her eyes lit up and she said, "I have just started going to Rock and Roll, why don't you come along". Or words to that effect. I think I may have actually said that I thought this was wonderful so I may come along too. Well it seems that now I have a Rock and Roll partner and go along to Rock and Roll on Sunday afternoons for three hours. Well I guess that is about the limit ... "What's that, there are rock and roll lessons on Thursday evenings" Sign me up!

"Oh and they have a dance in Queanbeyan on Friday nights?" Well that's easy, I live in Queanbeyan.

Ok so now we have Monday night, Tuesday night, Thursday night, Friday night and most Saturday nights. Oh and did I mention that I have been asked to join the Bush Dance Demo Group. There goes this Sunday and probably some other Sundays as well.

Still it's a heap better than sticking a needle in my arm.

However I digress, back to the ball.

Awaiting Instruction (that's me up on the right looking
as if I have sat on a broomstick).

The big night arrived. All togged up, with a glass of red to celebrate the occasion we headed off to the Albert Hall, making a ‘fashionably’ late entrance. As we approached the hall the cacophonous yet somewhat melodious sounds of collective gaiety washed over us. I was immediately swept up in the gala atmosphere—the hall looked splendid, all the dancers dressed in various styles of period costume were amazing. There were beads and bustles, sequins and slippers, with ladies dressed up to the hilt, a soldier bewigged as champagne he swigged and even a chap in a kilt (enough of the doggerel - sorry) The champagne and canapés were tasty and complimented the atmosphere splendidly. The caterers served up an excellent supper and I managed not to spill too much sauce (on myself anyway).

To my surprise my dance card filled up and I didn’t get to sit out one dance. As a matter of fact, due to a clerical error I had two booked for one dance. The night swept by amid gales of laughter, wonderful music and some excellent calling (apparently). I did not crush too many toes, didn’t flub too many of my steps and exited the hall in total exuberation and near total exhaustion.

To all who had a part in preparing for The Colonial Ball, well done. It was a superb evening and I will be back again.


  1. Glad to hear you made it out of Olrick unscathed! I was worried ;-)

  2. Thanks Lemmiwinks - I have been a bit slack haven't I?

  3. Life gets in the way of living sometimes, but it's good to be able to say you've not been bored!