So I've been doing Ceroc for a little while now most Tuesday Nights. I must admit that it's good fun and a lot of it is the social side. The people I dance with are a very friendly but I digress. Last Sunday I ventured to my very first Freestyle. As I set out I thought to myself I must be mad . It was one of the hottest days of the year and I would be dancing on a boat built in 1918 so modern air conditioning seemed unlikely.
I must admit that dancing on "the Boat" HMS President was great fun. I arrived about half an hour before opening anxious to be first in what turned out to be a non existent queue.
As we watched other people turn up their were a few with fairly professional looking dance bags which I had to assume probably held sate of the are bespoke 50 pound plus a pair dancing shoes. A little intimidated we decided now was a good time to board "the boat".
I cant really picture what it must have been like when originally built but currently their was on the deck where you entered a sort of lobby with a very grand grand piano and a bar/lounge area which I was later to discover was dishing out free tea and coffee and cakes.
On the deck above their was a largish hall with a stage at one end and behind that was a small bar with chandeliers and access to the stern.
When we first arrived the hall was fairly empty and their wa sonly the 2 instructors warming up at one end of the dance floor. I was slightly worried that the combined distractions of Andy Murray and sunshine would keep people away but the hall slowly filled up.
While we sat waiting to brave the dancefloor we saw a number of people vanish and reappear with cups of tea and cake. These must have been regulars as I wouldn't have known about the free food if it wasnt for people bringing it up from below decks. It was I admit a nice touch and although in the sunshine I wasn't very hungry I can see to being just the ticket when the nights start to draw in later in the year.
We kicked off the dancing with a short class where we learned 3 moves it was a good way to get people on the dance floor and I think from that point on the floor was fairly packed.
Now there is a nack to dancing on a boat. Firstly because its bobbing about and secondly because the dance floor had a distinct camber and you were at points dancing uphill followed by down hillthen back up again. An interesting sensation but one which we quickly adapted too.
I had a great time boogieng about the company was very pleasant , the atmosphere despite the heat very pleasant if ocasionally a little warm.
One remedy for the heat was to venture through the bar to the stern of the boat. Now HMS Saxifrage as she was originally called was built a a Q ship that is a decoy designed to lull an enemy submarine into attacking on the surface before attacking it with hidden weaponry. Now any of the Kaiser's U boat captains spying the dancing around on the stern of the Saxifrage would have been very sure it wasn't a naval vessel and may have assumed it was under some sort of quarantine given the number of people twirling , lifting, and dropping in a 30 degree heat wave .
I must admit it was one of the funnest Sunday afternoons I have passed recently. Dancing on aboat in the middle of London in the sunshine with great views up and down the river watching and being watched by tourist and pleasure boat passengers was a great buzz. If you do like Ceroc or they host any other danc eevent I reccomend checking out HMS President as a place t dance away your blues and have a good time.