Little girls in gingham skirts,
Scarlet neckties, braided hair
And bleached white pumps, scuffed with grass stains
As the tinny music plays, blasting over speakers
Placed at corners of the village green.
Teachers watch on proudly as their dancers swing
And do-si-do around their little square.
So very British that it hurts, but now
A rite of passage for the English rose.
I was going through old photos the other day and I came across a picture of me in the country dancing team back in the early 90s. I was about seven and we had all been bused out to a small village where lots of other seven year olds had gathered to dance.
We knew the music and the steps ahead of time and our teacher made sure we knew them ahead of time. We were also lent an old gingham skirt and a red necktie that we teamed up with white T-shirts and pumps. The photo shows us all sitting together on a sunny village green ready to start our dancing.
I had to smile as I looked at the photo; there was something so very British about it. In the background there is even a maypole. I love these memories of growing up in rural England. It has shaped the person I have become and who knows what I would be like if I’d grown up in Alaska or Auckland?