As many of you will know, I have been picked as one of the dancers for Strictly Inverness this year, and am currently doing three dance lessons a week in preparaion for the 10th May show.
Why? Well my good friend Amy Mullen suggested I audition for the show, and I was lucky enough to be chosen from that. I know a few people who took part last year and it looked amazing! It’s all for charity with money going to The Highland Hospice and Inverness Ice Centre. The Highland Hospice is a wonderful charity and this is one of their biggest annual fundraisers. I have to confess that Strictly is one of the few TV shows I ever watch, and I love it. I have secretly always held a desire to learn to dance, particularly some of the latin styles, so this has helped me achieve this!
When? The event is over 4 days, Thursday 9th to Sunday 12th May 2013, at Inverness Ice rink. Thursday night is launch night, with a fashion show and the two dance groups perform their group dances in front of the audience. Friday 10th is my night. There are 9 couples on the Friday night and we all do two routines as a couple, and one group dance, like the tv show at the beginning. Saturday night sees another set of dancers go through the same format. Sunday is a childrens version of the event.
Who? I will be dancing with Lorraine O’Brien. We have been practicing together for 6 or 7 weeks now and getting on great. It’s so hard learning something so new and different to anything I have done before. I have been kindly sponsored by Perfect Manors, which is the business that owns Achnagairn House, one of my favourite wedding venues, and just along the road from me in Kirkhill. This sponsorship covers the cost of our clothes and shoes…yes, shoes!
So, on to the dancing. I must admit, it was all very well being asked to do it, but the first meet up of the dancers caused a wee bit of panic, which I think was felt by a number of those chosen. The first couple of dance classes were nerve wracking, and a real worry. It’s one of those “what have I let myself in for?” moments. The eyes and brain can see what you have to do but don’t quite seem to be able to pass that message on to the rest of the body below the neck. All sorts of thoughts going through my head now about making a fool of myself in public, but after a few lessons the legs start to behave a bit better. Okay there is no resemblance whatsoever to a ‘real’ dancer, but at least i am remembering to put one foot in front of the other, haven’t injured myself, and more importantly haven’t injured Lorraine either. As the weeks go by I am definitely improving, albeit slowly. But most of all I am really enjoying it. I love it! I’m now so glad I went for it, and no matter what happens on the night I know it’s going to be amazing, and I also want to keep it going beyond May if I can find anyone willing to join me!
I am doing fundraising at the moment, as we all have a commitment to raise at least £500 each. I am going to do something specific nearer to the time but in the meantime sponsors can donate a few £ on my just giving online page - http://www.justgiving.com/John-Baikie Any amount is welcome, no matter how big or small. It’s a great cause!
I will be updating this as we get closer to the time of the big night, so keep checking back for updates!
This is a special signed photo which TV Strictly stars Vincent and Flavia sent to Lorraine supporting us in the event!