Maureen and I have always been fond of ballroom dancing. I often take her in hold at home and we strut our stuff in the kitchen or lounge. We are a little out of step following Maureen’s stroke and my bilateral hip replacements. Some years ago we got to Gold Medal standard with Latin and Ballroom. We are always taking about rejoining a group of friends we used to go dancing with at a local studio. Whenever we bump into one couple we always say: ‘we’ll be back’. I genuinely believe it won’t be long until we are back on the floor and I may just have the courage to lead my Dancing Queen.
A couple of days ago when taking to a colleague from the Memory Service dancing came up in our discussion. I contact Kelly occasionally, as I do a small amount of voluntary work for Dementia Engagement. She asked me when we would be along to the Tuesday afternoon Dance Session that she has organised? I had to tell her that she would never see us on the floor at her sessions. The reason being quite simple: Maureen doesn’t want to go to activities dedicated to those who have ‘memory issues’ – mustn’t use the term ‘dementia’ you see with the Memory Service!
When I mentioned Kelly’s initiative to Maureen she said: ‘You are not taking me along to make an example of me’. I had suggested that we might help Kelly out by taking some organisational responsibilty for Tuesday afternoons. Maureen made it plain that she would sooner stay at home, alone, and let me do my ‘voluntary bit’. Within minutes I saw her point.
We will go dancing again; perhaps later today. I’m sure I only have to put the right music on and we’ll be off somewhere in the house. When we venture out to blow off the cobwebs at a dance studio, or hall, it will be along with familiar faces. Attending events put on by the Memory Service, or other well meaning organistaions is, not for us. We both still have the capacity to choose how we want to spend our lives – we don’t need others organising things for us.
By the way the photograph is of Kevin (from Grimsby) and his partner. His dad Keith taught us the slow foxtrot a few years ago. I don’t think we would get a ‘Ten from any of Them’. However, it would be our version of the dance at a venue of our choice!