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I have had one of the best 12 months of my life .... dancing Ballroom and Latin

Roberta Woodhouse tells us how taking part in dance competitions helped her get the best out of her and make some dreams come true

I have had one of the best 12 months of my life and it’s all down to one thing… Ballroom and Latin dancing. Last year I took part in The Secret Life of the Ballroom, a six-part UKTV Original television documentary series following five everyday couples, as they started competitive dancing around the UK. My reluctant partner was my 18 year-old son Harry and together we spent three months learning a new dance every two weeks with our amazing ISTD dance teacher Caroline Hampton from Hove Dance Centre. We then took to the floor to compete against the other couples. There were highs – winning the Cha-Cha and the Waltz – but also lows due to sickness bugs and struggling to fit it in around our ‘normal’ family life.

"We spent three months learning a new dance every two weeks with our amazing ISTD dance teacher"

When the filming stopped I was left with a big void in my life, so I set myself another challenge, to dance at the ISTD Grand Finals within the year.

With Caroline’s help I took my social dance test exam, entered into my first medallist competitions around the South of England and, to my total amazement, qualified to dance at Blackpool.

Walking into the Winter Gardens on competition day was a dream come true… the music, the dresses. The atmosphere was electric and hazy with hairspray, but I loved it.

I felt I danced the best I had ever danced on that historic dance floor and will be back every year until I get to wear an ISTD Grand Finalist’s sash, so watch this space....

"Walking into the Winter Gardens on competition day was a dream come true"

Roberta Woodhouse

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