h Doesn’t anyone dance anymore?

I don’t mean tap and ballet in which hundreds of West Cumbria children are involved. In fact it was impossible not to include a photo of a three-year-old Abbie Charters on this page, not just because she looked so cute but also because we seem to have been printing her name in dance results for so many years.

In this particular photos the little Maryport girls has just won the Pre Baby Song & Dance.at the Workington Dance Festival in 2010.

I was looking for photos of ballroom dancing to tie in with the fact that the first Strictly Come Dancing contestants have been announced for the 2003 season.

This is the 21st series, which is just incredible. To show how much things have changed,since the first series, I got called out to a job in the evening right in the middle of a programme.

I was unable just to press a red button on my remote to record the programme and I certainly could not pause the contestants in the middle of a dance. No. I had to look for a spare video tape and record that way.

Back to the topic in hand: Ballroom photos were few and far between. Why don’t we still have them.

I remember my parents getting all glammed up for dances on a fairly regular basis.

I think I blame the 60s for the lack of those gorgeous events.In the 60s we made a habit of dancing without holding or being held by partner. We didn’t need one for the Twist, the Shake, the Pony and so on. The dances could be quite frenzied but certainly not imbued with romance.

Still, that does not stop millions of us watching Strictly and enjoying every minute.

The first lot of celebs for this year’s programme have been announced and I hardly know any of them.

That doesn’t really matter, though, because, until last year I had never heard of Hamza Yassin, the wildlife photographer who won last year.

I did not know Rose Ayling-Ellis but I am among the thousands who grew to love her for her positivity and sheer joy - and for the emotionally charged ‘silent’ dance.

How she was able to dance the way she did without being able to hear the music was a tribute to both her and her partner Giovanni Pernice.

Anyway the date of the new series is still to be confirmed but when they start announcing the celebs you know it is not far away.

Enjoy it.