Last week Nick finally let me out the office and after 4.5 hours of what can only be described as train torture I arrived in Edinburgh. It was my first time in Scotland, first time in Edinburgh and first time at the Festival Fringe. Friday night comes around and the opportunities are endless but I decide to embark on a four-hour endurance extravaganza Dance Marathon. Created by the Canadian company bluemouth inc, Dance Marathon is advertised as a ‘new duration-based performance event which has been taking the world by storm’.
On arrival at the Traverse Theatre I was given a number to wear and a questionnaire to fill in with questions such as do you have any special skills? What are you waiting for? What have you lost? Once everyone was ready, numbers on chests, we were walked over to a secret location, which could only be described as a broken down gym hall. It was perfect though and I felt like I had been transported to America for a High School dance that I have always dreamed of.
We were instructed to find our feet (the number on our chest corresponded to a number in a pair of feet on the floor). I found my 85, and met my partner for the night 86, otherwise known as Adam Palolozza. Then for the next four hours I was transported into a whirlwind of dance styles crossing genres alongside music from the last 100 years.
Through sheer determination and talent I made it through to the semi-final where 6 couples got to slow dance under the watching eyes of failed contestants. As I was led around the dance floor, twirling like a Princess, I didn’t want it to end. I felt like Cinderella and knew soon it would strike midnight and I would have to return to reality.
Only one thing stood in between me and the final – dancing the hula. For a second I thought I could make it through to the final. I picked up the dance quick and ‘shaking it’ was what I was born to do. Only two couples would go through to the final and three faced the judges ‘hulaing’ for their lives. Then the dreaded moment came when the judges walked over to me and tapped my shoulder. In a furious rage my partner and I ripped off our numbers and chucked them to the ground. We’ve been robbed we proclaimed!
However, all was not lost as numerous spectators came forth and informed us that we were the best and that we had been robbed. Even the Referee said he has been routing for us. Sometimes in life the best don’t win, but Dance Marathon wasn’t about winning the trophy it was about the experience. As I left that sweaty, sweaty hall I felt a sense of achievement. Everyone in the room had been apart of something special and I had the chance to ‘dance under the stars’ and be a dancer one more time.