15 August Thursday 2013 As I passed some children one called out, “You’re a wonderful dancer,” and the other added, “Amazing.” (Perhaps she thought it was amazing that her friend thought I was a wonderful dancer.)
Back at the chine a family approached me. The husband said, “You’ve got some moves, crazy.” His son then asked his dad, “Do you know him?” Then the dad gave me an order to ‘moonwalk’ which I politely declined explaining that I don’t imitate michael Jackson. He told me to dance to some MJ music, because MJ was ‘bad’ or to some ‘Neo’ (I have no idea if that is a group or a just a prefix.) Having ascertained my age he said, “You’re 60 and you’ve got a six pack.” I didn’t ask them their age, but I suspect that they looked older than their years. The children then started throwing sand and acting like idiots. They ordered me to dance some more. I told them that I was very tired, but I would do if they gave me a few minutes to recover. They graciously acceded to my request and sat waiting impatiently. I danced for them in what was like a command performance of the Royal family (The TV comedy family) and they were very appreciative to the extent that the dad said he wanted to give me some money and wished he had a pound coin, but that he didn’t and here was 5p. I signalled that it was okay, I didn’t need to be paid and although one of the children showed astonishment announcing, “He doesn’t want it,” they did not appear to be offended too much by my refusal to accept the money. No doubt their pride was hurt at not being able to pay me for my services after I had carried out their commands. I hope that we parted friends. At the tap where I went for a drink a group of three was passing and one of two the women said, “We enjoyed you dancing.” To which I replied, “I always like it when people enjoy me.” She is a Physio and I asked her about protecting toes which she knew nothing about. The man asked, “Were you professional?” This, as I have said before, is a common question. I suspect that it only comes from people who don’t know much about dance and is partly a response to the fact that I am a showman (show-off) when I dance. When I had been dancing there was a young man and younger woman on skates. He was helping her, steadying her by holding one hand while he skated with great skill around her. I think I put extra effort into dancing due to some instinctive competitive ‘look at me’. I also suspect that this drove him to put more effort into his skating and he was expert. His turning on the spot on two wheels was very nicely done – exactly what I would love to be able to do on skates, but am no where near to be able to do nor do I expect to live long enough to learn. When I finished I walked over to him, asked how long he has been skating. He said ‘a long time’. I talked briefly about skating and then told him, “I was watching you, you skate beautifully,” to which he replied, “Thank you, you dance beautifully.” And in that moment the girl, for whose attention I think we had been competing, was completely forgotten. He and I agreed that everything was practice and that with skating falling over is part of the process.

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