Clearly growing up in the eighties is to blame.
I had Fame, Dirty Dancing, Footloose and Grease as my starting point. I had Johnny Castle as my teacher. The streets of New York became my dreamscape and black leather trousers with red wedge shoes my fashion true north.
Which is why I am to be found at 1pm dancing through the jungle of Bali in cut off shorts as though I am possessed by the spirit of Kevin Bacon himself. Or Baby from Dirty Dancing (after she learned to dance, not before…please). I am on fire. I am drenched in more sweat than a French legionnaire after running 50km across the desert. I am channeling Lady Gaga and Lenny Kravitz and a substantial amount of SJP from Girls just wanna have fun (have you seen that movie? Oh God if not, go buy it now). I want to come across a river so I can throw myself in and perform ‘the lift’ – possibly with a passing rice farmer in lieu of the fact there’s no Johnny Castle around, nor the cute boy from Girls just wanna have fun (who is probably about 45 by now anyway and maybe not so cute).
Balinese farmers carrying machetes stop to stare slack-jawed as we skip and twirl and boogie and strut through coconut groves in time with our synchronised playlists. Because, yes. I am not doing this alone (I’m not that crazy). This is the first walk dance in Bali.
We don our earphones. We press play. We dance out of Green school and down the hill, past barking dogs (which I can’t hear because the volume is cranked way up and I’m too busy trying to remember the moves to Michael Jackson’s Thriller that I learned when I was 9 to even notice them…rabid dog? where?). We skip down overgrown paths, stomping to warn any snakes to get out the way, and then we dance in arm-waving spinning unison like whirling dervishes or Madonna backing dancers down roads, occasionally having to nudge the person dancing with their eyes closed out of the way when a car or bike comes up behind them tooting a horn we can’t hear.
At one point I take off my headphones and just watch as the others dance in perfect silence, each of them caught in the rhythm of their own beat. Eyes closed, smiling. It’s beautiful. And I stick my headphones back in, grinning even wider and join them following Lady Gaga’s instructions to Just Dance.
Dance Walk coming soon to a street near you.