Last Friday I traveled down to London for the 5th annual MAD Blog Awards ceremony. This is a big, glitzy affair, organised by the Tots100 and sponsored by ParentDish, that celebrates the best parent blogs in the UK. At this ceremony the five Finalists in each of the categories find out which of them has won the very coveted award. Thanks to your votes I was a Finalist in the “Most Innovative” category.
But I also had a secret. A few months ago the lovely Sally Whittle from Tots100 had sent out a plea to a number of bloggers, asking if we wanted to get involved with a “secret project”. Well, I have got to know Sally well enough over the last few years to know that if she’s plotting something, it’s likely to be something fun. And possibly silly, and maybe embarrassing, but always fun. And that’s how a small group of us ended up in a school hall on Sunday morning with no idea what we’d let ourselves in for…
As part of the build-up to the awards ceremony, some of us had already filmed some video for Sally of ourselves dancing along to the Olly Murs song “Dance With Me Tonight”. This was used as the basis for a competition where the prize was a ticket to the awards ceremony. Now Sally wanted to take things to the next level and get a group of us to dance a “flash mob” at the awards ceremony to the same song!
A routine had been choreographed for us by Stagecoach, and when we first saw the video of it we all looked at each other and didn’t believe we could do it. But Sophie, our Stagecoach teacher, was very patient, and taught it to us step by step, so that by the end of the 3 hour marathon training session we had all mastered it. Then it was a question of going away and practicing at home to perfect it.
I used to dance as a child, a few years of proper ballet lessons, followed by many years at the village dance school which was appropriately called “Dancing for Fun”. Every Saturday morning throughout my childhood was spent dancing, and a lot of my free time at home as well. Something’s obviously stuck with me, because as I learned and practiced the choreography I found my love of dance flooding back to me.
I was part of the “Northern Group” of bloggers who all learned the dance together, there was also a “Southern Group” who learned the same dance a week or so later with a different Stagecoach teacher. The day of the awards was the first chance we had to bring the two groups together, and we had just two hours to perfect everything before doing it “for real” in front of the audience.
Everything came together, and I think we pulled off an amazing performance. The audience reaction was just brilliant – it was lovely to hear the cheers and claps as we performed. This is my unofficial video of the whole dance, where you can see me in the purple dress in the front row nearest to the camera:
There is also an official video available as well.
I didn’t win my category, that was won by the extremely lovely My Two Mums, but I had a great evening, and really enjoyed the dancing. I am now thinking about how I can keep this enthusiasm going – maybe I need to find a dance class in my home town…