Quickstep to dance class

It’s a long time since a man has tapped me on the shoulder and asked me to dance.

So it was a bit of a shock when I was invited to do a Mayfair quickstep with a gentleman at Bawtry sequence dance group.

Trevor Wagstaff twirled me round the floor at the New Hall, giving me instructions as I tried not to tread on his toes too many times.

He was there with his wife Doreen but kindly offered to give me a demonstration.

They are regulars at the thriving Monday evening gathering which would give Strictly Come Dancing a run for its money.

There might not be the sequins and fake tans, but the dancers know what they are doing and it seems to keep them looking younger than their years - although Doreen and Trevor were keeping quiet about their ages.

Doreen said: “We’ve been dancing for nearly 30 years, we used to go to the big dances in Doncaster.”

“Sequence dancing is different from ballroom because you all move round the room doing the same steps.”

“We dance to different CDs, there are some lovely tunes, and sometimes we have an organ.”

“It’s best to wear leather shoes because they allow your feet to slide better on the floor.”

Newcomers need to make sure they have a dancing partner but, because there tend to be more females, women can pair up if necessary.

Bawtry dance has been running for more than 20 years but secretary Celia Arrowsmith, 64, is keen to attract some younger dancers.

Most of the current members are of the generation for whom dancing was the main form of entertainment, especially when hoping to meet someone special.

John and Maureen Wilkinson met at a dance in Doncaster and have been dancing regularly for 45 years.

Maureen, 75, said: “I like the Latin American dances best because they are faster.”

“Dancing is good exercise and it’s better than sitting at home watching telly, it gets you out meeting people and socialising.”

Their friends Harry and Lily Marsden - both a sprightly 85 - have been dancing for a long time as well.

Lily said: “My favourite is the tango because it’s more expressive.”

“There’s no pressure on anyone to join in with every dance, you can sit one out if you want.”

Harry said: “It keeps us going and everybody is very friendly.”

Friends Mary Milner, 79, and Frank Wileman, 84, are also regulars.

Frank said: “We go to several dances a week. I’ve always danced, ever since being a young man.”

“I like it here because they’re not always teaching you all the time, you can just get on with it and pick up the steps as you go along.”

The Bawtry group attracts dancers from all over the area.

Celia, who is accompanied by her husband Keith, 65, said: “It would be nice to see some younger people coming along and taking part.”

“All new dancers will be made welcome, whatever their age or level of dancing ability.”

The dance is £1.50 for members and £2 for non-members. Membership is £1 a year.

For more information on joining call Celia on 01777 818642.