Saturday, 20 February 2010


It's the morning after the night before which had four nurses having YMCA dance practice at fishfingerbutty towers. The 50th birthday / 70's fancy dress party is looming and as the host has put an unexpected proviso on us to perform a dance routine, we thought we'd better get some practice in. We also can't let our fans down...

So in preparation, what could be easier than downloading the video of YMCA by the Village People from the internet and onto a DVD? I tell you what's easier... finding a cure for cancer, solving third world debt and establishing why Peter Andre keeps getting record deals. With a late night plea for help from Download Dave, we were rockin and rolling on flatscreen and surround sound.

Cue the arrival of R, J and T down from Lancaster and the dance routines were kicked off in my lounge. After about 8 attempts, we established some kind of rhythm in our claps although I lost a ceiling light fitting. 14 attempts, and we had two dance steps co-ordinated. 35 attempts in and with wine and takeaway food coming into play, we started getting cocky with J and R introducing back dips, jumping high 5's, and a mincing walk. T, bless her, takes it far more seriously and is writing down all the moves and using a stopwatch to synchronise the moves, lyrics and steps like clockwork. After 47 attempts, more wine is consumed and the home cinema system is at breaking point after the dvd is on constant pause and rewind. At this point, I'm seriously considering restarting smoking or at best using recreational drugs, and then the inevitable happens...hysteria sets in. It started with R declaring she needed to go for a poo (It used to happen all the time to Michael Flatley during Riverdance)..

Our routine then took on all these mad improvisations including elements of morris dancing, Michael Jackson crotch-grabbing thrusts and rather alarmingly, lap dancing. T was busy scribbling away on her dance pad adding steps then crossing them out furiously if they didn't fit into the stopwatch slots. R, after her comfort break and no doubt 2lbs lighter, then decided to lie on her back and do the Y-M-C-A movements with her legs (mostly stuck on 'Y' we noticed). Anyway, this soon turned into a double act with J joining her on her floor in synchronised leg opening movements. Although reasonably innocent in intention, from mine and T's perspective on the sofa, it could only be described as a girl on girl Amsterdam sex show minus the ping pong balls (although I did notice a worrying number of maltesers on my carpet this morning). T was very earnestly stating 'no,no, no I'm sorry girls but it's just too crude' whilst manually bending R's legs back behind her ears. The four us, it has to be said, were laughing until we cried. Very, very funny.

So, after six hours of practice, we've got a routine consisting of uncoordinated side claps and hands in air movements during the lyrics to Y-M-C-A. R collapsed on my sofa and was falling asleep. T (aka Arlene Phillips) has got an A4 pad full of scribbled notes and dance steps. J has carpet burns on her backside which may take a bit of explaining, but her sphincter held up despite having two children and being nearly able to somersault whilst trampolining. I have aching ribs and backside muscles and a new found respect for all types of dancers having to learn numerous and intricate dance routines.

We practice again next week. I think there'll be spillage...

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