By Tim Stedman
Dancing. A word that strikes fear into the heart of every male middle aged actor I know. It may sound sexist but in 10 years of panto at Harrogate the worst, two left-footed, never-danced-in-her-life actress is a positive Nureyev compared to the men.
Today proved no different. The girls are dressed fashionably in clothing I have neither seen before or understand its function. Toeless socks, ankle warmers, lycra, jumpers that can only stay on one shoulder. Not to be outdone we boys went for themes such as “I’m here to pick fruit”, “That’s your car fixed love”, “These are somebody else’s clothes”, “These are my clothes but I last wore them when I was 14”.
The girls, feeling suitably intimidated, rushed to the front for a good view of our choreographers, Emma and Jimmy. We males fight for the back row: a) not to be seen, b) this may mean I’m choreographed to dance here, c) not to be seen.
I am sorry to say I remember nothing of the day. I know we laughed, sweated and waved limbs like a distressed shipwrecked cruiser. But I don’t remember a single step. Gordon (Widow Twankey) said you have to do a dance step 27 times before you know it. I’ve calculated if we practice each routine once a day I’ll get it all right on the 15th December: the 3rd week of the run.