Strictly Ballroom in Belarus

Several months ago, Morris was invited to participate in the Belarusian version of ‘Strictly Come Dancing’.  Apparently, one of their regular professionals had to drop out due to a severe toe injury and was therefore unable to rumba, cha cha cha and flamenco like the rest of them.  His partner was to be Judith Chalmers, she of the original ‘Come Dancing’ and later ‘Holiday’ fame.

As Morris has recently had a small dance studio added to House Zaus, Judith was invited to take all her rehearsal classes there (though she was blindfolded on each of her visits so she wouldn’t be able to find the house again).  Morris himself was very excited about the prospect and purchased several new pairs of shoes and the sequin count went through the roof.

He made Judith Salsa, Suzi Q and Mazurka until the poor woman could barely stand.  All of us heard the most dreadful shouting and remonstrations… ‘No Judith, no, not like that, like this, how many more times?’ or ‘Judith, do have to get my stick out again?’.  Very often the thumping of the big stick was heard, banging out the rhythm of the dance accompanied by ‘No Judith, it’s one two three pause four, one two three pause four.  That pause is very important’.

Judith only came to rehearsals twice and then asked to be taken home.  Morris was apoplectic, having given up his time and the fact he was looking forward to travelling to Minsk for the show itself.  Unfortunately another partner could not be found in time (and word of his rather austere teaching methods had circulated), so the producer asked him to appear in a guest slot where Morris and one of the Belarusian professionals would showcase a particular dance style.

The Bossa Nova was chosen and the show went ahead.  As Morris choreographed the slot the professional took their lead from him.  On national television the poor girl had to be taken away in an ambulance due to severe dehydration, 90% blistering on the soles of her feet, and a rictus grin that has yet to leave her face.

Morris likes to wear his green and red sequin shirt around the house whilst relaxing.  ‘I’ve paid for it, might as well wear it’ he says, before sashaying off humming the tune ‘The Girl from Ipanema’.  I swear his pants are too tight but he assures me they’re snug, not tight.

Posted in The New Guard

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