FirstSteps School of Dance has over 60 adult students dancing with us every week, each one with a story to tell. Welcome to SpotLight on a Student, where we meet one of our adult students, find out a bit about them and why they choose to dance.

Charles – Lawyer (and dancer)

  • Could you tell us a bit about what you do outside of dancing? (job, line of work, family role)

I retired as a lawyer eight years ago, but I still work part-time. I live in Bounds Green with my wife and adult son. My wife does all the cooking and most of the housework, but I pack the dishwasher because I’m the only one who knows how to do it properly.

  • How long have you been dancing with us?

I’ve been dancing with FirstSteps for about a year and a half. I’d been going to adult general classes in central London but stopped about eight years ago because of arthritis in my left knee, which was caused by a motorbike crash when I was 19. However, after six years without dancing, I asked about adult classes in North London and a friend pointed me in the direction of Alexandra Palace and FirstSteps.

Male dancer. Adult dancer smiling firststeps school of dance
Charles enjoying class
  • What inspired you to start dancing?

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away (Southampton), I noticed an ad for a week of evening classes in Salisbury with the Extemporary Dance Company. I went along, enjoyed the classes, and asked where I could do more. I was told that I would have to move to London to find a range of adult classes, so, as I wasn’t doing anything in particular with my life, I did.

  • What do you get out of dancing?

At one point I was hoping to get a (short) career out of dancing but the cancelation of a contract at the Baghdad Sheraton and upcoming law exams put an end to that.  I did, however, enjoy performing in amateur musicals but stopped around twenty-five years ago after my son was born.  Nowadays, dancing brings me the joy of performing for Kit and Espe and delaying that one-way trip to Switzerland.

  • Lastly, what is your favourite ballet step and why?

My favourite step used to be the jete passe. It gives the audience a surprise and makes them wonder whether the step was deliberate or whether you took off on the wrong leg.

Male dancer leaping. Adult dancer firststeps school of dance.
Charles Leaping