Mum, drop everything and Go Dancing!

Libertéégalitéfraternité. I don’t know any place where you really do find ALL these ideals other than the dance floor. You are free to express yourself, all revellers are equal and you’re best mates with everyone for the evening.

Madeleine with heart shaped glasses ready to go dancing

It’s not just fun, it’s therapy, so say the scientists. And there are so many opportunities to get out there. Nonetheless, I didn’t go dancing for over 10 years after I got married because my husband didn’t enjoy it, and I had no one to go with. One day I thought ‘SOD IT, I’m going on my own’. I deemed it polite to ask if he minded and ‘As long as it doesn’t get complicated’, was the response.

I did an exploratory night out with an ex-raver school chum turned Tibetan Buddhist. We dipped into a number of Putney venues and found the best sound system – vibe combo was Be at One on the High Street. It’s not for everyone, but it’s perfect for me. A student bar, it’s exuberant, friendly, cheap and LOCAL so I can weave my way home in 5 mins. If anyone gets fresh I throw them the ‘old enough to be yer mum’ card.

I have to say it took some nerve, the first time. And there have been some awkward moments on the dance floor, because it’s taboo to go to a night club dancing on your own. But I send no predatory signals, almost always get adopted into one jolly group or another and we teach each other some moves. My son tells me I’m all 80s – too much arm-action – but I can go for a (half) slut drop, a whine or some rock if the guy (or girl) is right!

When sweaty and desperate doesn’t appeal, I have my fresh air option, I go along the river after nightfall and burn off the frustrations of the day with a solo silent disco. Dancing on your own is taboo too. But this is London thankfully, so I get some bemused stares, or alarmed looks, but some boogie around me, with a ‘Wey hey!’ One Spanish speaker in the middle of a loud outdoor FaceTime sesh turned the camera on me, started asking my age and reporting back the details live of her whole bizarre London experience.

Yes you’re overloaded with kids and work and partner and chores and parents and and and, but carve out a space for yourself once a month at least, and indulge your core needs, whatever they happen to be!

(Thanks to my daughter for lending me the shades and jewellery!)


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