Dom Top goes dancing

I’ve always thought of myself as a good dancer. I’ve been practising the routine for ‘Slave 4 U’ in my bedroom mirror for years.!


I’ve been busting out the routine for ‘Work Bitch’ in clubs and afterparties for years (and clearly, I’ve also been drinking heavily for years).
So when the opportunity arose to sample a class at Gay Men’s Dance Company’s Kennington branch, located at Husky studios on Amelia Street, I jumped at it. I was gonna be the belle of the ball and impress everyone by throwing out moves on ‘tha flo’’ from the minute I arrived at the studio. A dance prodigy with pink hair, that’s Dom Top.

Oh how wrong I was. Because instead, from the minute I arrived at the White Room studio at Husky’s, where the dance class don Alex Scurr was teaching the class, it became clear to me I’d been deluding myself. For a WHILE.

My first clues came as Alex asked us to do some stretches, just some general stuff like touching your toes and stretching your arms. It turns out that I’m about as flexible as a sheet of granite these days. I don’t know how this happened. I used to do gymnastics, a fact I constantly bring up when I’m drunkenly trying to flirt. “Oh yeah, I can do the splits…”. Now I couldn’t even reach my Huaraches. What was going on?

Then we had to pair up and have your partner stretch your legs into the splits. I was assigned a handsome young gentleman at least two feet taller than me and with double my muscle mass. Now usually, the prospect of being pulled around by someone of this description would be a fun Wednesday night for me. However, in front of a class of roughly 30 people, it seems slightly less appealing. Nevertheless; we stretched, I managed not to dislocate a hip and the dance class began in earnest.

This week, Alex was teaching a simple rock’n’roll routine. Previous classes this term had taken in African dance styles and salsa sessions. To my chagrin, I was informed that all the pop routines were taught last term. Including ‘Work Bitch’. FUCKS SAKE.
But Dom Top is nothing if not a fast learner, so I decided I was going to give it everything I had and I was going to nail it.

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Unfortunately, it turns out that the only things I have are two left feet and predisposition to sweating heavily. All photos from anything past the stretching exercises have been expunged and I don’t want to talk about it. Period. You will never see those images.

My dance prodigy extravaganza fantasy did not come to fruition. But what did happen was a lot of fun. Alex is a capable and approachable teacher, who articulates clearly (and will be honest when you’re doing it wrong), and despite feeling like I was making a twat of myself at several points, I never felt uncomfortable. Alex teaches with a confidence and ease that lets you know you’re in safe hands from start to finish. I have absolute certainty that with a few more classes under his tutelage, I’d be a regular Fred Astaire.

The group itself was full of lovely guys (who were all far better at picking up the steps than I was, those bitches) and the general atmosphere was one of fun and camaraderie. There’s a lot of group interaction and the great post-class social aspect to group. The studio has it’s own bar where you can slope off and celebrate your dance floor prowess, get to know the other members of the group and generally find a new social circle outside of the club or working environment.

There’s also regular socials, mixers, theatre trips and more organised by GDMC, so it’s a fantastic way to get yourself trying something new and changing up your, er, routine.

All in all, despite discovering that I am as clumsy as a walrus trying to put on a pair of fishnet tights, I thoroughly enjoyed myself and would love to go back. As long as I get to do ONE dance to ‘Work Bitch’, please Alex.

• To find out more about GMDC, their other branches in the city, or how to sign up, visit www.thegmdc.com
• Photos by Joel Ryder

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