SUE JACKSON Therapist | Writer | Photographer | Activist

An avid blogger for the last fifteen years, I believe in the power of the word to change the world. I have participated in, and reported on, a range of protests during this period, including the successful East-West Link campaign and, more recently, our wonderful, home-grown Extinction Rebellion (XR). If you believe, like I do, that it is time for ordinary people to rise up in defence of the planet, I encourage you to explore this blog, share it with your networks, and – of course – take action.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Now for something completely different:D(ance) Day

Despite the fact that I have always been remarkably wooden on the dance floor, in my dreams I spin and slide and leap through space, exactly like Jennifer Beals' character in Flashdance. Knowing about my dream, eight years ago Peter bought us dance lessons as a birthday present. And it changed our lives.
Nearly every week we learn meringue, cha cha, salsa, quick step, waltz, jive, fox trop, tango or rhumba from our wonderful, and fortunately supremely patient, teacher, Hooman Ebadi (
Over that time at any social function and at the slightest opportunity, one glass of wine and we're up boogying.
Learning Flamenco in Spain

But there has been a problem. Despite all our lessons it has been hard for me to relax and go with the flow. As you can see from the photo above, even experimenting with flamenco in its home town of Sevilla, I look anything but relaxed.
Plus it took me a full 3 years to give up trying to lead (in dance circles 'ladies' are perpetual followers) which perhaps comes as no surprise. And despite the fact that during our lessons there is no disputing who is in charge - Hooman - as soon as we are dancing unchaperoned, I've been inclined to step into Hooman's role. 'Put your weight on your left foot, 'Remember to hold your arm up,' 'You're meant to lead with your torso' - my 'helpful suggestions' to Peter have been as relentless as any beat. Not surprisingly, we have often ended up stressed or even not speaking on the dance floor.
But I'm delighted to report that those dismal days are finally over.

Hooman with partner Dalena (not Peter and I as you might have assumed)

Last Sunday Hooman hosted one of his regular get-togethers, where some students dance for medals while others, like us, just dance socially. For the first time ever and for no discernible reason, I barked out no instructions, didn't care when we made mistakes, laughed lots and generally had a wonderful time. I looked nothing like Jennifer Beals and I didn't care. Somehow the penny had dropped. Finally I realised something - dancing is just for fun - and it only took me 8 years.


Anonymous Emma Jackson said...

Glad to hear it only took 8 years! I look forward to some free lessons from you! ;)

4:28 AM  
Blogger Sue Jackson said...

You are a much quicker learner than me, darling. I'm convinced it would only take you 7 years.

8:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It takes two to tango, but what is the 'fox trop'? Hi from your friendly copy editor.

9:06 PM  
Anonymous Sue Jackson said...

Ooops! See - I trip up everywhere where dancing is concerned

11:24 PM  
Anonymous CJ said...

Great article, I enjoyed reading it :) Hooman is undoubtedly one of the most patient people on this planet and a joy to learn from, congratulations on dancing and loving every step of it, it takes a certain amount of skill - true - but passion & happiness are stored within, dancing merely distracts the mind so they can escape x

4:50 AM  
Blogger Sue Jackson said...

What a gorgeous way of putting it! You are obviously a fan too - of Hooman and dancing.

5:34 AM  

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