All Under The Place – 12 Oct, Townsville, Australia

I never thought I’d say this, but today I came third in a dancing competition (admittedly there were only 5 other contestants…).

We were filming Naomi’s last item for this series of ‘All Over The Place’ – the Townsville ‘Greek Fest’ in Northern Queensland. Lots of Greek immigrants moved to Australia after the war searching for a better life, and there are several of these events across the country. We were going head to head in plate smashing, grape stomping and greek dancing for the ‘Main Event’ part of our show, and what with Naomi being a qualified dance instructor I didn’t fancy my chances much.

The event was pretty slick, with a large stage and audience seating by the river, along with several Greek food stalls churning out honey balls and other Greek delicacies. Naomi and I weaved around the crowd in the sweltering heat sampling the food before the competition kicked off. She beat me in the plate smashing, and I pounded the grapes in my wooden barrel for all they were worth to defeat her in the grape stomping, so everything rested on the dancing. By now it was 8pm and, with the heat dissipating, thousands had turned out to see us attempt Greek dancing after little less than an hours tuition.

Pitted against a politician and a couple of other local celebs we cavorted in front of the 3 judges with our Greek dance partners, and after a fairly good crack at the Zorba the Greek dance (one of the easiest in the world I think) I had to throw aside what little dignity I had left (considering I was wearing traditional Greek dress, including a skirt) and go for the comedy vote. The judges seemed to take pity on me and provided us with something resembling jeopardy as to who was going to win, but by the third round Naomi had won the entire competition and the rest of the ‘All Over The Place’ crew were pulled up on stage and presented with our very own plaques thanking us for coming all the way to the other side of the world to film their event. It was very touching that they thought we were worth the effort, and I now have a piece of metal plated wood to carry around in my suitcase for the next month.

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