If you had told me two years ago that I would be donning a pair of cowboy boots and dancing the Madison to Shania Twain in front of a crowd of people in a salle des fetes in rural France on Halloween, I would have replied that was more chance of me climbing Everest in a pair of Manolos.
But the line dancing group of which I am a member provided the live entertainment at the recent Halloween party in a nearby village. Afterwards, the audience were encouraged (ok, in some cases, dragged from their chairs) to participate. It was quite surreal to see Martine, the glamorous deputy-mayor of a nearby village, gamely trying to perform the Texas Stomp in a pair of (very high) stilettos and a black pointy hat, along with some very adorable enfants dressed as witches and ghouls. (Truly, you would not believe how popular line dancing has become - among both French and English - in the Poitou Charentes.)
My friend Travis, however, was a tougher nut to crack. ‘No chance. No way. I do not do line dancing,’ he said, when a few of our troop tried to recruit him. (We only have one man at the moment, so another would be most welcome).
Later in the evening, I was very surprised to see him performing a curious little jig on the dance floor with a gregarious Frenchwoman from Niort. He says he only did it under duress. But when pressed, he did grudgingly admit that he had had more fun than he could ever have imagined. And so I wonder..... He could find himself hunting for cowboy boots and dancing to Shania Twain before he knows it.