Two years ago, at the age of 72, Diana Melly took up ballroom dancing. She was suffering from bereavement, having recently lost her husband George to dementia, and was told that dancing might help.
It has done much more than that, opening up a whole new chapter in her life. Ballroom dancing turns out to be incredibly good for you -- a complex activity which not only flexes unexpected muscles but rewires the brain, increasing serotonin levels and reducing stress. A recent study in America found that the only physical activity to offer protection against dementia was frequent dancing.
In this delightful and gently humorous book, Diana Melly takes us on an eye-opening tour of dance halls up and down the country, introducing us to everything from tango to swing. We meet her new circle of friends: Gwen, who is in her sixties but looks 45; Scotty, whose speciality is jiving; and Raymond, her dance teacher, 'the best friend I've ever had'.
And then there's the music: Sinatra, Crosby, Ella, Rogers and Hammerstein... Who could ask for anything more?