Would you believe it? Me? Dancing? For NRAS? I was given the opportunity to take part in a Strictly Come and Dance charity competition in Maidenhead that was staged last Saturday (Feb 25th)
Six novices were partnered with 6 dance teachers to learn a dance in under 9 hours over 3 weeks. I missed the first week of rehearsals as I was in pantomime, oh yes I was! So from the offset my dance partner, Dave and I, were playing catch-up. We managed to squeeze in an extra couple of evening rehearsals in an empty office upstairs in our office block much to my colleagues’ amusement though they were banned from taking a sneaky preview. We were definitely going for the comic value with a very cheeky Charleston (video footage may appear on the NRAS facebook page soon so keep an eye out for it. Dave’s nominated charity was the National Eczema Society and of course mine was NRAS.
Well Saturday night came around far too quickly and even though I am no stranger to speaking or acting in front of an audience, dancing with just one other person is completely out of my comfort zone ... I was a quivering wreck. 260 people packed the theatre and I was overwhelmed when I saw Ailsa and the rest of the NRAS crew in the audience waving banners with “Clare to win” in big letters!
I am very glad to say that even though the actual performance went by me in a blur I did not disgrace myself and in fact got a tumultuous applause with some people even getting to their feet! (but not to leave in disgust!)
Dave and I won the “DANCE WITH LIFE” award that came with £100 prize money for our charities!
As well as strutting my funky stuff I have been busy working with my colleagues in this first part of the year, planning 2 group launches in spring, one in Salford and one in Leeds (full information on the website everyone is welcome to attend). I’ve also been to Swansea to visit a group; Bath to visit the rheumatology team at the “Royal Mins”; been interviewing people for the post of membership manager; sitting on the steering committee for the next IMID summit meeting in London in September; visited a Greek Cypriot Women’s Group in north London as well as the Union of Catholic Mothers’ meeting at my church; finished a Leadership course and popped down to Eastbourne as a guest speaker for an RA group. Phew! Bring on the next 10 months. We’re off to a flying start.