Like a freight train, it was coming ready or not. 6 weeks of blood, sweat and tippy toes must lead to something and the ritzy opening night was one of the greatest moments in my life!
As a V8 Supercar driver being on pole position or coming first is something to celebrate, but drawing the short straw to be the first act on the big night was the last thing I wanted to do. Being pushed out into the blinding lights unsure of the crowd, unsure of the space and like a rabbit in headlights took some serious guts. Guts which I though I was going to loose over the side of the stairs when they called my name to come out and meet the audience.
Amanda, my amazing partner, has always been so encouraging through rehearsals. Her positive reinforcement was making me feel like I could moonwalk all over Michael Jackson's back with my moves but silently I wondered what if she had been wrong. What if, I can't dance like she says and what if I'm about to crash and burn in front of 2 million people. Every niggling thought of failure flashes in front of you until you hear the very first beat of the song you've come to know so intimately in the last few months. A song you know so well, it's become to soundtrack to your life, a pulse as familiar as your very own heartbeat.
Everything around me fell silent for that minute and a half. Amanda and I gave it everything we had, even if I didn't have much at all to give. I didn't care, I was going for it and no one was going to stop me from having fun.
The walks weren't perfect and the hands weren't sharp but it didn't matter, I was loving it! Now, I could understand the addiction that drives these professional dancers to compete. An addiction that's more powerful than any drug and more satisfying than anything else I've ever done, The addiction of applause.
It didn't matter that Todd McKenny fired out of the box with a piercing retort about my "lack of ability". In my eyes I was a champion. I could have been last, I could have been given a total of 10 points... but I was now a performer and like it or lump it, I had transformed from a driver to a dancer; and I never thought I'd ever say that.
Oh yeah, and Jennifer Hawkins for once wasn't better than me. Hah, equal third, cop that Miss Universe!
Cobwebs be gone! Lookout for bigger, bolder and more brilliant moves from a stunning list of people who now feel like my family.