Throughout my childhood years, I found solace and escape through music. I had a little AM transistor radio with a wire with an earpiece that I pressed deep in to my ear so my head was filled with music. The sounds of the world blocked out even during the nights when my parents would be having another one of their screaming matches.
I could sometimes escape to oblivion and be lost in the sounds of The Four Tops, The Supremes, Englebert Humperdinck. Gerry and the Pacemakers, The Monkeys, Tom Jones, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Elvis Presley and soooo many others. I could sing every word of every song and Sunday night was my favorite when they played the top forty. Even though it was late in the night before school next day I never missed a song.
The first record I bought, I saved up for ages and went to the store for the single, ”I’m a Believer’ by the Monkey’s, and I think the B side was Strawberry Fields. We had a record player that you manually cranked with a handle and I played that record over and over till my arm was aching from winding it. Wish I had that player today would be worth a fortune now.
I also played piano at home and sometimes relatives would come for a visit and play modern music. Some boogie woogie on the piano, it was lively and fun and we would all sing. My Mum only played classical music, so it was great to sing and see the piano bouncing up and down with the more vibrant lively stuff. My auntie Bobby was fantastic she was like a female Liberace, and all my brothers were excellent singers.
I would also dance every chance I got, some ballet that was paid for from family business for a while till mum was thrown out for being in the pub every day and running it in to the ground. I loved Ballet, I was a natural talented dancer they said and as a small petite child did very well and tap dancing as well. In school we had some dance classes mainly contra style barn dances and circles. Kind of what they call today Scottish Country dancing. I just remember I loved every second of it. Then later, I did a little line dancing at the youth club but I was only there for a brief time due to circumstances at home.
As I entered my teen years, I gained weight and developed large boobies, I guess I was a BIG girl. I still sang and danced. I was light on my feet and plugged in to all music from classical piano, pop, country, Rock N roll, and Irish. I was a member of a Scottish Highland band where I learned drums and yes, bagpipes. I did the step dancing with the crossed swords on the ground and yes, I guess I did the Highland Fling.
What I can tell you is music and danced brought me joy and happiness, when there was none anywhere else. I found myself drawn to the ballrooms and would spend hours just watching people dance. I would sneak in and hide in a dark place in the corner so I would not be seen. The circle dances were fun and I found myself learning the steps and the patterns even though I could not join in.
Later on I was able to go to the Tower Ballroom in Blackpool in the afternoons and do these dances. But I will tell you more about that later as that is where the World Line Dance events are now held. More to come. Stella