17 December 2014


Last Wednesday evening I had a pretty incredible experience. I got to not only meet Darcey Bussell, but I also had the chance to dance with her. There were just six of us and Darcey, together in a studio just off Oxford Street in London. Before I go any further and talk about the experience itself, let me quickly tell you how this all began.

Back in November Charlie tweeted a photo of few of us had finished a Barrecrore class using the Boots #SpecialBecause hastag. The #SpecialBecause campaign runs across social media networks allowing you to share who is special to you and why. We didn't really think anything would come from the tweet but a few weeks later I received a text from Charlie. She asked if I was free to travel to London to attend a special class and that it was in relation to the Special Because campaign and the Barrecore tweet she had sent. At first I was fairly sure I wouldn't have been able to make it due to working on the Thursday, but Charlie said I HAD to be there and that it would definitely be worth it. Luckily, I was able to change my day at work and head up to London on the Wednesday, ready to take part in the class that evening!

I turned up to Danceworks, which is HUGE, and made my way to the studio that we would be dancing in and was met with a cameraman and Christmas tree. I was greeted by a member of the team and waited for the rest of the group. Natasha was next to show and we had a really nice chat before the others arrived. Once everyone was together we began a warm up, led by Natasha. We were told, that our teacher for the class would be arriving shortly. Little did we know Darcey Bussell would be our dance teacher for the evening! I was very shocked to see the former ballerina of the English National Ballet and Strictly judge standing right in front of me. She was incredibly warming and introduced herself to us all whilst talked us through what the class would be like and the sorts of things we could expect from it.

Once we'd taken our positions, me at the back, we began the class. Darcey led us through a series of routines from all different eras and styles of dance. It included 70s, 90s, Egyptian, hand jive, Bollywood and many others, including a Rocky style boxing routine. A couple of us looked nervous before we began, worrying if we would be able to keep up with the dance moves. Darcey was very reassuring to us that it was all about having fun and not take yourself too seriously, if you messed up a move it really didn't matter. The class was SO much fun and I also felt like I was having a good workout without even realising it. Some of the moves I got fairly easily but others really reinforced my thoughts that I am lacking a fair bit with my coordination. The moves in the routine were kept fairly simple but were often repeated a couple of times throughout. The repetition helped a lot with learning the moves and also with what move followed.

Once we'd had a great workout, we got the chance to chat with Darcey before she headed off. She is incredibly approachable and such a pleasure to have a chance to talk to. I couldn't get my head around the fact that I was actually talking to her. We were then treated to a foot massage and a little pamper session after the workout. I had to do a teeny interview to camera, whilst still very red faced and I couldn't quite get into words just how amazing the evening had been. I spoke a little (albeit slightly stuttered and very nervous) about the experience and just how special it had all was. We were very kindly given a couple of gifts by Boots, which was just another very kind gesture that just made this evening even more special.

I headed home on the tube not quite believing what had just happened.

Thank you so much to Boots and everyone who made this evening happen. It was an incredible experience and one I won't be forgetting anytime soon. A big thank you to Darcey for teaching us and making me feel completely at ease, even struggling through moves. I also want to say an extra special thank you to Charlie who is amazing and without her I wouldn't have been able to attend this incredible evening.

You can share who's special to you this Christmas using the #SpecialBecause hastag across social media.