Boys, take your teacher by the hip

15th April 2005 at 01:00
I've only done it twice yet each time it left me breathless, exhausted and wanting more.

Watching rugby (what were you thinking?) is just one of the dazzling array of extra-curricular activities on offer before, during and after school.

No idle couch potatoes allowed. There's everything from origami to judo, street hockey to Scrabble, yoga to debating and current affairs. The cerebral to the ultimately physical. In fact the pupils are clearly spoilt for choice. Lessons must seem awfully dull by comparison.

The latest addition is Latin American dancing. At the first session half a dozen were hoped for. Forty turned up.

Now, as boys at the school heavily outnumber girls, this posed a dancing partner dilemma. Female teachers were drafted in to help alleviate the trauma some boys were clearly undergoing at the thought of having to be female for 40 minutes.

When I was at school we learnt the waltz. Here we are tackling sexy salsa.

Clearly Strictly Come Dancing and those BBC2 adverts of people dancing in the rain have a lot to answer for.

I can dance, sort of. Usually though I need a couple of G Ts to loosen the hips and inhibitions. I doubt that would help with most of the boys though who stomp like robots and clearly have never contemplated moving their hips.

The instructor demonstrates the first steps.

"Nice arse," groans one lad clearly not focused on her feet.

I place myself in front of a boy as we prepare to dance. I don't know who is more embarrassed, him or me. He's meant to place his hand on my hip but instead pulls my cardigan at right angles just under my armpit.

"Will this help me with the girls, Miss?" Clearly not if his knowledge of basic anatomy is anything to go by. I place his hand on my hip. He breaks out into a deeply unattractive sweat.

We swap partners. "Men take control of the women," we are told. Wilson is clearly nervous at being in charge of me, albeit briefly, and I in turn struggle to let go of teacher power. For once I yield to youth.

Wilson, cool, streetwise and with attitude, and I clearly make an odd couple. Yet once we have overcome the power issues on the dance floor we are surprisingly good.

Bruce Forsyth, eat your heart out.

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