Why are you a *insert favourite dancer’s name here* fan?

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Why are you a *insert favourite dancer’s name here* fan?

Michael
Why are you a *insert favourite dancer’s name here* fan?
 
We all have our favourite Pan’s People/Legs & Co dancer, and I’m quite sure each of us have a number of quite specific reasons as to why we hold said dancer in such high esteem.

This is something that really interests me, so I’m hoping you might all be willing to share what it was about ‘your’ dancer that makes her special in your eyes. Be it a few lines, or a florid disquisition of your admiration and/or adulation, I will look forward to reading your replies, as I’m quite sure everyone else will. And to add a little 'colour' to the thread, why not include a favourite picture of the lady in question to your post.

Those of you who’ve visited my Louise Clarke tribute page on Facebook may have read its ‘pinned post’ which briefly outlines what might be described as my “journey to Louise fandom”. I shall augment and then share this little missive with you all at some point over the coming weekend.

Best wishes to you all, and have a great weekend.

Michael

PS: Hanway2, I am very much looking forward to your contribution.

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Re: Why are you a *insert favourite dancer’s name here* fan?

Hanway2
 Yes, I like RUTH because she b****y GORGEOUS and WONDERFUL, and a scintillating mover.  And the picture of Pan’s People you have posted, Michael, shows how lovely she is!
I will expand on my adoration of Ruth shortly. Some of the reasons were explained by me at the recent Birmingham meet up. But I should go into greater detail at some point.
At this point all I can say is that I think she first captivated me and put me under her spell when I was, maybe 13, and she has never let go since.
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Re: Why are you a *insert favourite dancer’s name here* fan?

RYAN
Administrator
In reply to this post by Michael
I like to consider myself a fan of all our dancers, but inevitably i think we all have one which we consider our personnel favourite.  In my case id have to go for Sue. Although i was only around 11 or 12 at the time i do remember taking a shine to her when she joined up with Pans People and shes been my favourite ever since. I think her youthful presence breathed new life into the dance troupe and helped it through another two years until its eventual demise.

I find her versatile, good looking, very much a leader and most importantly, incredibly talented to such a degree id call her `an absolute natural` when it came to dancing. If your gonna have a favourite, it may as well be the best dancer. Thats my philosophy and im sticking to it.

Obviously im biased, but i rate her so highly that i even think she held herself back in some routines just to make the others appear on her level. Any dance genre or style, she could do it.

But as i said at the start, i like all our dancers. I don't just sit there starring at Sue.

RYAN
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Re: Why are you a *insert favourite dancer’s name here* fan?

Everything'sRosie
   
     

I'm tempted to say just look at the effervescent joi de vivre in this picture. How could anyone not fall for the classic "girl next door" charm of our Rosie? Such a brilliant sport too; dress her up as a Mrs Mop, a granny, or paint her blue, she went for it with the same gusto (also applies to Sue, of course). There's a very likeable wholesomeness about Rosie that's impossible to fake; she's beautiful, and yet also the sort of girl you could take down the pub and have a good laugh with.

I love all the girls though, I love their commitment, and how hard they must have worked behind the scenes to brighten up our Thursday nights. And the fact that those days are now gone forever, makes them all the more precious.
Queens of My Soul
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Re: Why are you a *insert favourite dancer’s name here* fan?

Old Grey Whistler
In reply to this post by Michael
I think I am in the minority on here because I don't really have a favourite dancer. Of course there would be times when a particular dancer would catch the eye  but that was probably more down to Flick's choreography and choice of who did what than anything else. I just viewed them as a team and that is probably why I prefer the full troupe dances to the solo ones.
Without Legs & Co, there would be no show!
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Re: Why are you a *insert favourite dancer’s name here* fan?

PattiforPM
In reply to this post by Michael
Michael wrote
Why are you a *insert favourite dancer’s name here* fan?

Be it a few lines, or a florid disquisition of your admiration and/or adulation
Haha, you asked for it Michael so here goes;  Patti the raven-haired beauty caught my eye many years ago during Legs & Co's tenure (I don't recall the Ruby Flipper months as vividly) and it was the Rock n Me performance which really floored me.  Her beauty astounded me, yes, and that costume couldn't fail to cause a high fever but it was something more.....she seemed to have an awareness of being the centre of attention without ostentatiousness or unseemly effort.  Her eyes were able to evince something personal and direct to me and once she caught my attention it was inescapable.  Of course she is sexy and feminine as are all the dancers in their various ways but Patti's ability to get lost in a performance and connect with the viewer is so so special to me.  I may be wrong but in seeing pictures and brief off-performance snippets I have suspected a bit of a special friendship with our patron Saint and Head Girl as well and this too makes Patti all the more special to me.  Ok that's enough of my soul exposed for now
Some Dancers who gave a good time, broke all the rules, played all the fools, yeah yeah yeah they blew our minds
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Re: Why are you a *insert favourite dancer’s name here* fan?

Hanway2
                                The View From Inside Number 2.

 ‘Your beauty so enticed me, I could not pass it by’; run the lines of an old song.
And it is with these words the man remembers, an emotion he used to hold so strong.
 
A beauty indeed did appear, every week as he watched his television screen,
And as he ignored his homework, for the fairest sight he had ever seen.

This beauty was small and dark, just like he hoped one day his woman would be
And shaped in perfection, the art of Nature had created a total picture of harmony.

She moved like no other, even though among others she was always to be found,
All great and graceful dancers, whose treasured movements would enshrine the ground.

But this one so specially would quell my startled breast and my beating heart
As an enraptured fool I lay, and no other rival could ever take her part.

Like an angel on blessed wings she moved, her divinity was beyond compare
Which led to an endless admiration, for this unearthly spirit of majesty so rare.

‘Her hair was black, her eyes were dark, her lips as red as wine’
As I watched her from afar, and I longed for the day she could be mine.

She could be dressed as an elegant princess, or as a temptress in a fervid dream
I only saw her in black and white, the dimness shattered by her shining gleam

My glance was always drawn towards her, her presence would heighten her guise
In my tortured sight, as I gazed upon her, and she shone like the sun in my open eyes.

This was without doubt a celestial being, unmatched in all honest and quested truth.
Who bewitched me as a young man, and led me to a devotion for my darling Ruth.


   With apologies to real poets like Suefan and Caracalla


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Re: Why are you a *insert favourite dancer’s name here* fan?

Michael
In reply to this post by Michael
Thank you, everyone, for your contributions  thus far! I will reply to each of you in due course.

My own contribution will follow. I had intended to share it today, but I was distracted by the beautiful weather!

M
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Re: Why are you a *insert favourite dancer’s name here* fan?

AC/PD
It was not until the 21st Century advent of repeats that I recalled Pauline as the friendly dancer I'd forgotten about from a couple of complete decades previously. She was the one I most noticed and, yes, liked the look of from childhood. As well as the standard obvious attraction, what noticeably appealed was a certain cheeriness which she managed to communicate all the way from W12 through the cathode ray tube on the old wooden Granada TV set. To this watching child, one picked up on her being friendly, benign and somehow reassuring - just....nice.  

For the woman herself to subsequently unpeel character trait layers through TOTP lookbacks, her OFTD Q&A (which went down a storm), self-deprecatingly honest and witty radio conversations and making a thoughtful 'thank you' appearance at the 2015 OFTD Event (which went down a hurricane) : all provided bonus endorsements as to why Pauline's such a favourite. And in the flesh, she's like a fine and fruity wine...
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Re: Why are you a *insert favourite dancer’s name here* fan?

The Rubberband Man
It all began with BBC Four showing the TOTPs repeats. I had an epiphany moment while watching Ruby Flipper dancing to (Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty – the memories just came flooding back. It was a simple fleeting glance to the camera from Lulu, but it was meant for me, (and her millions of adoring followers)





The moment engendered the terpsichorean phenomenon that is Luluism and I have been a devotee to Lulu ever since.

She is the Kate Moss of the dance world, her cute smiles, winks, and nods blowing my mind.
Captivated by her alluring beauty and charms…. her fool, for as long as she wants me to...

Climate Crisis: This planet's getting hotter than Lulu
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Re: Why are you a *insert favourite dancer’s name here* fan?

Gorgeous Daze
What some of the less longstanding members of the forum probably don't know is that Patti wasn't always my favourite. No, as the BBC Four repeats progressed from 2011 and I unexpectedly found myself more and more interested in Ruby Flipper and at length captivated by Legs & Co, my original fave was a fantastic performer who in my growing hunger to know more I found was the one in the credits named Sue. And then as the individual charms and strengths of all the girls became appreciated through familiarity, as my changing avatars indicated I became something of a Legs & Co butterfly. Alighting for a while on Lulu after her  'coming of age' Night Fever-Let's All Chant double knock out show and then briefly hovering over Pauline, before finally - drawn by a nectar once curiously subtle but now oh-so sweet - I really found my buddleia and fell eternally for Patti. That enrapturing physical allure, the class of the girl, the ability where the stars aren't even the limit, let alone the sky, and so obviously apparent to Flick from the amount of solos she was afforded; the emotional depth and the way in which she totally inhabits any role she plays and however diverse none are beyond her; the playfulness, epitomized in that perfectly-pitched connectivity to male viewers alluded to by our Platoon leader. She's just the consummate TOTP performer and - dare I say it? - the dancers' dancer as well as completely mine.



                                                                                                                             Favored sleek-haired look.

Steve
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Re: Why are you a *insert favourite dancer’s name here* fan?

VintageVideos
All the ladies are lovely. But Ruth is the best.

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Re: Why are you a *insert favourite dancer’s name here* fan?

Hanway2
  Some charming pictures of the ever lovely Ruth there, Vin. Including your old avatar.
I think the young me chose very wisely way back then, for his favourite Pan’s dancer. Oh Ruth, sigh!
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Re: Why are you a *insert favourite dancer’s name here* fan?

Michael
In reply to this post by Michael
Again, thank you so much for your contributions, everyone! I’m thoroughly enjoying reading them, and am enjoying the photos.

I’m still working on my own missive, which I will share very soon.

Please keep these tributes coming!

Very best wishes,

Michael
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Re: Why are you a *insert favourite dancer’s name here* fan?

Michael
In reply to this post by VintageVideos
What a delightful slideshow, VintageVideos! Thank you for sharing. Ruth was such a darling...

By the way, I like the ‘signature’ at the bottom of your post. “Moonlight Feels Right” by Starbuck, if I’m not mistaken? A brilliant song :-)
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Re: Why are you a *insert favourite dancer’s name here* fan?

VintageVideos
Michael wrote
“Moonlight Feels Right” by Starbuck, if I’m not mistaken? A brilliant song :-)
Yep that's the one (famous of course for its marimba solo)
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Re: Why are you a *insert favourite dancer’s name here* fan?

Mikey
In reply to this post by Michael
Thats an interesting image Michael, looks like it was taken in the dressing room on one of their cabaret gigs although difficult to pin down an exact date i guess. The nighties are also seen in The Sadi Show a year or so earlier, i never would have guessed they would be suitable for cabaret shows as well. Also i've seen the 'Coconut' stars and stripes outfits in several cabaret pics so they were definitely the girls own kit.
My love must be a kind of blind love, I can't see anyone but you...

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Re: Why are you a *insert favourite dancer’s name here* fan?

CoffeeThing
This post was updated on .
I think they are all wonderfully talented dancers who have entertained us and brightened our days long after the TOTP days ended. What a wonderful legacy.

It's not much of a secret though that Sue was also my favourite. It was always so very clear how graceful and talented she is, her poise and the way she always seemed to glide through routines no matter what they were. I realised even back then as a youngster how much work went into that. Perfection is borne of practice in every field. Sue is a leader and that influences others.

Now, of course, we all know just how kind and considerate Sue is making time for her fans, so the effort she put into her profession comes as no surprise at all. We all love her even more, though word has it no hat is safe when she is around! Is that true?

One of life's good people without a doubt.

Right, enough espousal of Sue's undoubted splendidness, it's time for a bloomin' coffee!
This week, I are be mostly just being.
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Re: Why are you a *insert favourite dancer’s name here* fan?

Michael
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by Michael
Mrs Evans drove a dark blue Iso Griffo, whose rumbling V8 engine would shake the ground.

Mrs Evans was tall, slim, very pretty, and had a mane of rich, dark, wavy hair which always smelt sweet and comforting. I relished the times she knelt next to my chair, leaning over me while explaining the finer points of 2+2.

Mrs Evans. She was my first primary school teacher, and though I’d have only been five at the time (April 1972), I remember her with such clarity: she was tremendously kind, patient, and nurturing — all a snotty little kid could wish for.

Though I didn’t like school, Mrs Evans made it bearable. There were many times she’d find me in the cloakroom, my hands thrust firmly into the pockets of my anorak, bottom lip pouting, and angry tears in my eyes, definitely informing her that I was “going home”. With the jingle of her bangles, a hand would be offered, along with some soothing words, and I would would be led happily back to my desk, looking up at Mrs Evans, who’d invariably wear bright, floral-print dresses and knees-length boots — not the attire worn by my mum or aunts. Mrs Evans looked, as the five-year-old me might’ve mused, “like a lady off the telly”.

How I remember all of the above yet can’t remember what happened yesterday is a mystery, but it’s safe to say Mrs Evans had a lasting impression on me.

So what does this have to do with Louise Clarke?

Mrs Douglas was the antithesis of Mrs Evans. She was an old, hostile, brusque, and had a stare that could penetrate reinforced concrete. She also offended the nose with her unpleasant aroma: a heady cocktail of stale cigarettes, lavender, stewed tea and oily pastry.

I never enjoyed school ever again.

Though my mum had explained to me I’d have a new teacher on returning to school after the summer, I didn’t really understand the concept: school was Mrs Evans; Mrs Evans made me feel safe while there. When the reality of the situation finally sunk in, the five-year-old me was, well, heartbroken.

But there was to be a weekly salvation: By this time, the magic of music had caught me in its spell, and I’d become an avid devote of Top of the Pops. Each Thursday evening’s edition would be a source of great anticipation. I’d prepare myself for the occasion by sitting cross-legged on the orange and beige carpet in front of our black & white Murphy TV, awaiting the theme tune which would herald the half-an-hour of wonders to come.

If I’m being brutally honest, being a fan of the Glam and Rock acts, Pan’s People’s slot (along with any ‘boring’ slow songs) was an unwelcome obtrusion, that is until a particular dancer’s warm, friendly smile caught my attention: There, on the TV screen was a lady who looked just like my beloved Mrs Evans! I had no idea who this lady was, but my eagerness to catch a glimpse of her each week meant that Pan’s People’s feature was no longer the intrusion it once was. In this lady’s smile, the five-year-old me sensed a kindness which served as reminder of the comfort and safety I’d felt in Mrs Evans’ company.

It was at this point I decided I wanted the “dancing lady off the telly” to be my teacher, and I’d daydream (especially when Mrs Douglas decided to throw a strop) about how much happier I’d be if this were the case.

And so the years passed, all of the above was all but forgotten, left buried somewhere in the murky depths of my memory.

Fast forward to February 2018. While conducting some research for my band’s website, I stumbled across Pan’s People’s routine for “Homely Girl”. I like the song, and remembered Pan’s People, so I pressed play. Initially, nothing registered, but at 3m20s, forty-six years were wiped away: There, on my iPad’s screen was a face I remembered so well; a face that had been a source of comfort to the younger me. A host of memories came flooding back. I fired up Google. Within a minute, “the dancing lady”’s identity was revealed. Within half-an-hour, I’d watched a number of other YouTube videos featuring Louise. Within the hour, I’d discovered she passed away at only 62, which made me tremendously sad. In the space of 60 minutes I’d journeyed emotions akin to being reunited with an old friend, only to then lose her once more.

Over the following few days, with the help of YouTube and Google, I took a tour of my childhood, watching many Pan’s People routines, and while doing so stumbled across a fabulous resource known as One For The Dads. The rest, as they say, is history…

At fifty one, I’m able to appreciate Louise’s beauty in a ‘different’ way, and on reflection it transpires that, in a way, Louise (and by extension, Mrs Evans) became a kind of subconscious ’template’: To this day, I have a predilection for tall, slim ladies with dark, wavy hair, whose eyes have slightly heavy, ‘sleepy’ upper lids, along with a cute and gently upturned nose, high cheekbones, and a small mouth with Cupid’s Bow lips. These are the main reasons why I married a very beautiful, slender, not-so-tall lady, who’s a bit of a tom boy, and wears her blonde hair very short 😉

From the perspective of her skills as a dancer, being a musician, I’m sensitive to how dancers feel the ‘groove’, and while it might be considered a matter of favouritism, the manner in which Louise interprets rhythm sets her apart in my eyes and always draws my attention.

It is, as a certain Mr Harrison sang: “something in the way she moves”.

Thank you for reading my little missive – I certainly enjoyed writing it. Sorry that it’s rather long…


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Re: Why are you a *insert favourite dancer’s name here* fan?

Hanway2
  Michael, I have very much enjoyed your open and heartfelt essay on why Louise means so much to you. I can fully understand and reflect on similar feelings for female teachers myself, Mrs. Macadam, Mrs. Hughes, ha! It is by no means over long and nothing to feel regretful over, I am sure many of us here were the same, and why our own personal favourite came to be our own personal favourite.
  Thank you very much for sharing this with us, I feel it was very moving.
  By the way, the picture at the bottom. Is that Louise or Mrs. Evans?
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