It was 8.10 on a Monday morning. I was sat in my custard yellow car sitting at a red light listening to Chris Evans on Radio 2 and wondering whether shoes without socks was a good idea on a chilly October morning, when the first few bars of a hit from 1977 started playing. That unmistakable harp intro could only mean one thing, Boogie Nights by Heatwave. All thoughts of socks and shoes were forgotten. I was 18 again.I had a poodle perm and I was wearing Spandex! Oh yes, Boogie Nights were always the best in town! …Gotta keep on dancing, keep on dancing….and that’s just what I did all the way to work. Me in my little custard yellow car, doing a few disco moves and dancing with the boogie and showing that even at 57 I could still show that I knew how to do it ! What you forget when you’re in your own little metal and glass world, singing your heart out and giving your very best upper body disco moves and simultaneously driving, is that you are slightly visible to the rest of the world. Oops!
Once upon a time, long long ago before an excess of cake consumption took its toll and my thyroid decided to play silly buggers, I was a slim and almost lithe little Dancing Queen. Ballet lessons from the moment I could point a toe and fit into a tunic, a crush on Margot Fonteyn and a passion for tutus which came to an abrupt halt when I decided to be a Donny Osmond loving skinhead! Fortunately the skinhead phase never really took off when my plastic Doc Martins melted when I stood too close to a bonfire trying to toast a marshmallow!
Remember when on Top of the Pops the audience used to just sort of shuffle and jig from side to side whilst Tina Charles belted out “I love to Love” Well, let me tell you, if I’d been in that audience, I would have been giving it the full Pan’s People treatment. I was never one to hold back on the dancing front. No dancing around my handbag for me! I needed space to whirl and swirl, strut and dance to the beat. I used to get Down Down with Status Quo, strut those Tiger Feet with Mud and pogo like crazy to The Jam. My interpretation of Kate Bush’s Wuthering Heights had to be seen to be believed. It certainly attracted an audience.Probably for all the wrong reasons!
Being an energetic and creative (I use that term loosely) dancer, probably kept me at a size 8 for years. I highly recommend it for keeping those pounds off. It also had another advantage. I did seem to attract the boys with my sometimes slightly sensuous moves. Did I really get that carried away dancing to Donna Summer’s Love to Love you Baby. I’m feeling ever so queasy with embarrassment just thinking about it! I may have lost my inhibitions on the dance floor, but the boys soon discovered that off the dance floor I was Miss prim and proper!
No longer a Dancing Queen, but a long in the tooth Fairy Elephant, I do feel a bit sad and a bit nostalgic for those days of wild abandon on the dance floor. In my head I’m still that twirling, whirling, arms flaying, hip shaking girl. In reality, one wonky move and the back could be out for weeks. Maybe it’s a good thing that my dancing days are over. A middle-aged woman in compression stockings pretending to be a Pan’s Person is not something the general public should be subjected to!
So, if you see a slightly demented looking woman jigging about in a custard yellow car, don’t worry, she isn’t in desperate need for the loo, she’s just lost in music and dancing to the boogie!
Gotta keep on dancing, keep on dancing….