Our Christ­mas songs came true!

Four read­ers ex­plain how fes­tive tunes took on whole new mean­ings for them

Prima (UK) - - Contents -

‘We have a re­la­tion­ship full of fun and danc­ing’ When Ar­ri­anne O’shea, 30, from Brighton, dis­cov­ered swing dance, she found far more than just a new hobby.

‘Ilove this photo of me with Scott, we’re lit­er­ally Rockin’ Around The Christ­mas Tree. But this is what we do, danc­ing to­gether is what makes us happy and the thing I love most of all about swing dance is that it’s im­pos­si­ble to do it with­out smil­ing. The mu­sic sucks you in, trans­port­ing you to an­other place, back to a dif­fer­ent era. Swing events at Christ­mas are es­pe­cially fun, with twin­kling fairy lights and silly Christ­mas jumpers. There’s a real sense of sparkle and magic – and for me, that feel­ing lasts all year long.

I’ve al­ways loved dance and, as a child, I had bal­let and tap lessons. How­ever, I only dis­cov­ered swing dance a few years ago, af­ter a friend dragged me along to a lo­cal class. I worked as a web de­vel­oper, and fan­cied a fun hobby. Lit­tle did I know how much it would change my life.

Walk­ing into that first Swing Pa­trol ses­sion in a pub in north Lon­don, I couldn’t help but feel a bit ner­vous. But as I pushed open the door to the back room, the mu­sic that sprang forth was joy­ful and up­lift­ing. The teacher, Scott, came over to wel­come

me. He seemed so friendly that my ap­pre­hen­sion dis­ap­peared. As the class pro­gressed, we moved around the room, swap­ping part­ners.

From that mo­ment, I was hooked.

Scott’s charisma struck me im­me­di­ately. Warm, lively and a bril­liant dancer, he had a fill-the-room con­fi­dence and a gift for mak­ing ev­ery­one feel at ease. We soon be­came good friends, and as my dance skills im­proved, he would ask me to go with him and per­form at fes­ti­vals and events. I found him at­trac­tive, but I didn’t ever con­sider that he might feel the same. Scott’s the kind of per­son who is equally lovely to ev­ery­one. I as­sumed it was sim­ply his nat­u­ral friend­li­ness.

A SPE­CIAL FEEL­ING

How­ever, as time went on, Scott and I re­alised that we were spend­ing time to­gether not just at dance events, but in our spare time, too – and we were en­joy­ing ev­ery minute of each other’s com­pany. Then, last De­cem­ber, we were sit­ting in a pub af­ter a re­hearsal when Scott took my hand and said he had feel­ings for me, too. I’d al­ways

as­sumed he was out of my league – af­ter all, he was the teacher!

From there, ev­ery­thing fell into place. I re­alised how spe­cial Scott was to me and now we have a re­la­tion­ship that is full of fun, laugh­ter and lots of danc­ing! This Christ­mas, we will love Rockin’ Around The Christ­mas Tree all the more be­cause dance has given me so much in my life – most of all, it’s given me love!’ SCOTT SAYS: ‘From the day Ar­ri­anne walked into my class, I could tell she had an en­ergy about her and an amaz­ing spirit – she was al­ways mak­ing ev­ery­one laugh. I of­ten say that I can teach dance, but I can’t teach per­son­al­ity, and Ar­ri­anne had it by the buck­et­ful. As I got to know her bet­ter, I found I loved her at­ti­tude to life: she’s a strong wo­man who knows ex­actly who she is.

Swing dance is my life and now I have the per­fect part­ner to en­joy it with. We’ll walk down to a club near our home, have a rum and Coke and dance for hours to a lo­cal jazz band. I love danc­ing with her more than any­one else in the world.’ • swing­pa­trol.co.uk

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