I have never *actually* swallowed a basketball.

Trust me, if I had that level of talent I would be off exploiting it all over the world. You’d see me slam-dunking on every TV show and possibly tapping into a golden market of adult entertainment (She swallows whole balls…sorry)

The name of this blog comes from a little story about a little girl who loved to dance.

It was 1985. Legwarmers were considered to be a sensible fashion choice. I was 5 years old and a show-off. (That is possibly an understatement, as my family will be able to testify. Our bay window was my London Palladium and I would often refuse to come out from behind the curtains until they reached a level of applause I deemed appropriate.)

The sensible option was to enrol me into a local dance class and hopefully channel all of this energy into something wonderful.

I already had a leotard.

I can remember entering the dance studio via a shop that sold sparkly tights and just knowing that I was in the right place. I would do whatever it took to have glitzy legs.

As far as I was concerned I had landed in Fame.

Lots of the other little girls had clearly been going to the classes for quite a while and I watched them as they twizzled and swizzled until the teacher arrived.

We lined up, shoulder-to-shoulder. An army of black-leotarded five year old giggly girls all waiting to get their groove on.

The teacher walked up and down the lines, saying hello to a few girls and fiddling with a hairbun here and there. And then she came to me, a new grinning face. She laughed, poked my middle and said,

“Look at you! You look like you’ve swallowed a basketball!”

It was 27 years before IĀ stepped into another dance class.

But the lesson (it sadly took 27 years to learn) is that I love to move my body and I shouldn’t let anyone stop me. Did it really matter that my leotard was a bit tighter? Did it really matter that my belly stuck out a bit more than the others’?

Of course not.

Grab your basketball and get your groove on. Be different. Stand out. Take up space. Find joy. Buy sparkly tights. Smile and do what you love.

Now, who fancies a dance?

I’ll bring the balls.

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