September is all about BTS in our house. Back to School, yes – but also Back to Strictly.
There aren’t many TV programmes that meet with universal approval from all three of our children. The Great British Bake Off is one. Danger Mouse is another. But over the past couple of years Strictly Come Dancing has become perhaps the biggest favourite of all.
All three kids are utterly absorbed with every aspect of the show. The music. The costumes. Who’s going to get the lowest score from Craig Revel Horwood each week.
Toby, our resident statto, quietly memorises every fact and detail of every performance. Ask him to tell you who did which dance to which song and the scores they received from the judges in any given week and he will tell you immediately.
Really, though, it’s all about the dancing. Between the three of them, they take it in turns to pair off and mimic each performance as it unfolds. Isaac has a long-limbed elegance that is well suited to the slower ballroom dances. Toby is a blur of lower-body movement – a brisk quickstep or a Charleston are more his thing. But Kara is the real star. She is naturally showy, her gymnastics training shows in her precise poise and body-shaping and she struts around our living room floor with a series of skirt flourishes, spins and twirls that come completely naturally to her. Tango, salsa, all the Latin dances are her forte.
During Strictly season, the three of them are constantly dancing around the house and rewatching old episodes ahead of a new show on Saturday evening. They’re all surprisingly good – I say surprising because, as I may have said once or eleventy billion times before, their father has all the dance-floor moves of an arthritic elephant – but Kara is both the best and the most enthusiastic. Even at bedtime she just can’t, she just can’t, she just can’t control her feet …
Which brings me back to the song that provides the title of this post. Written 40 years ago this year, it’s a little known fact that the track, which is most commonly associated with The Jacksons, was actually co-written and first recorded by English singer-songwriter Mick Jackson (no relation). It was originally intended for (but never recorded by) Stevie Wonder rather than Michael and his brothers. So now you know.
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