As strobe lights flashed, the beat of Carl Cox’s latest hit filled the air. ‘It’s time,’ I thought, stepping out on to the podium, 30ft off the ground. Below, 1,800 clubbers gyrated. As I began to dance to the beat, Born in 1923 in Dundee, I was just 16 when World War II hit.
I’d listen to Nat ‘King’ Cole to escape from the worry of bombs. In my twenties, I married a US Marine. William wasn’t much of a dancer, but he took me out to all the biggest clubs for a turn around the floor. When William died in 1986, I immersed myself in senior citizen groups. I wasn’t fit for the knacker’s yard yet!
For my daughter Linda’s 40th birthday in 1998, we took a girls’ holiday in the notorious party town of Cancun, Mexico. ‘Get a load of grandma!’ the youngsters would cheer, as I showed off my moves in the club. They were always respectful, even forming a ring around me if things got too rowdy.
We loved it so much that we decided to get a timeshare and go back every year. On one of our trips, in 2002, we were jiving to cover bands at the Coco Bongo Club. ‘Come on up if you want to dance on stage,’ a voice boomed over the speakers. They didn’t need to ask this game gran twice!
As Linda and me shuffled up, there were a set of steep steps leading up to the dancing area. From nowhere, a man I didn’t know came up and put his hand on my shoulder.
‘Uh, uh,’ he said, shaking his head. I was in my late seventies, and I imagined he was scared I’d fall. But then he took me to another set of steps altogether. It led to a podium surrounded by metal railings, like a cage. ‘I’ve seen your moves,’ he said. ‘You’ll be much better up here, where everyone can see you.’
Well, with a full audience below me, I pulled out my best moves! I felt as young as I ever have. Now, I do my spot of cage dancing every single year. When I had a fall, the first thing I asked the doctor was if I’d still be I’m a nineties babe who won’t quit the podium able to do my podium dance. Linda, now 57, loves to see me up there, and the whole family thinks it’s hilarious. Well, why not? Apart from being a bit deaf and a bit stiff, I’m perfectly fit. And the dancing helps relieve any aches. I have two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, but don’t think you can retire this hot-to-trot senior!
Flora Murray, 92