Published on March 13th, 2017 | by Ann Rickard0
Don’t Break My Toe-Tappin’ Heart
Something strange happened to me.
It occurred between a chorus of Achy Breaky Heart and a verse of Harper Valley PTA.
And on the highseas, if you don’t mind.
For a number of years on a number of cruises I have sat in the background and watched as passengers shouted “bingo”, joined in trivia games and played cards and … got into the ultimate of cruise activities … line dancing.
If I am honest (and I am) I have always watched these cruise activities on the sidelines with a gin and tonic and an expression of smug amusement.
Not nice of me, but I am guessing those of you who have never actually shouted “bingo” or done a boot-scoot would have observed too – and suppressed a snigger yourselves.
But this time, on this cruise, I was determined to get involved in as many on-board activities as I could – apart from wine tasting, gourmet dining and spa pampering, all activities in which I am a world champion record holder.
It was on board Emerald Princess, a cruise from New Zealand to Sydney and there was a lot of line dancing going on.
I sat it out on the first day.
I kept my face straight as the passengers learnt the steps from an exuberant instructor and then toe-tapped and stomped and kicked and swayed about, trying to keep in unison but ending up in a clumsy muddle as the ship rolled across the roiling Tasman.
But on the second day, I became a participant.
A virgin line dancer.
I stood at the back of the 100-plus people, horribly self-conscious even though it was obvious not a single one of them was the least bit interested in me.
They were all too busy enjoying themselves.
Well, as I said at the beginning of this amusing little tale, between Achy Breaky Heart and Harper Valley PTA I started to feel weird.
This was fun.
Was it the enthusiastic clapping?
The whooshing grape-vining?
The cute cupid-shuffle?
The happy twirls?
The jubilant whooping? Or was it the country classic songs we all say we hate but secretly love?
I couldn’t work it out. In my lowly opinion, line dancing has always been up there with nerdy, daggy, embarrassing.
It wasn’t until it was all over and I had a rosy glow from body movements I had never done before that I realised what it was.
The simple joy of joining in. Of being a participant in life.
And best of all?
Not giving a toss if there was some judgemental old woman sitting it out in the background watching me with a gin and tonic and a smug expression.