Mum Roberta made her first foray into competitive ballroom dancing a real family affair…
When nursery teacher Roberta Woodhouse took up ballroom dancing lessons a few years ago, she didn’t have to look too far for a dance partner – her 18-year-old son, Harry.
‘I used to bribe him every week with £5 to come and dance with me,’ says Roberta, from Brighton, who can be seen in The Secret Life of the Ballroom starting on W this week. ‘I knew this would be our last adventure together before Harry flies the nest. So he did it for me – albeit sometimes under duress!’
The six-part documentary follows five couples as they prepare to compete on the tough ballroom and Latin dancing circuit for the first time. The series follows each pair over three months as they try to master six routines, including the samba, jive and, first up this week, the quickstep.
Dance the night away
With their very first competition looming, Roberta and Harry started training for the quickstep straight away, though in secret.
‘Harry didn’t tell anyone he was dancing with me, he was too embarrassed,’ says Roberta. ‘But I totally understood – I knew he wouldn’t want to be seen rehearsing with his mum!’
Taking part in W’s series led to Roberta being bitten by the dancing bug.
‘After our last competitive dance, Harry hung up his dancing shoes and hasn’t danced since,’ says Roberta. ‘However, I’ve started competing with a new partner and I’m dancing at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens in November. But I do miss dancing with Harry – it’s a lovely feeling to be waltzed around by your son!’
Double act… Roberta and Harry Competitive… Mother and son