As Strictly Come Dancing sweeps the nation again, a Melton school head teacher has been celebrating his own success in a national ballroom dancing competition.
Chris Haggett, who has been at the helm at Long Field Academy for four years, came within one mark of reaching the final of the British Sequence Dancing Championships at the prestigious Winter Gardens in Blackpool.
With dance partner, Allison Kelham, Chris (43), reached the semi-finals of the classical sequence category and the last eight in the modern sequence class after battling through a series of knockout rounds dancing the waltz, foxtrot, rhumba and the Cha Cha.
Chris, who has been dancing for six years, told the Melton Times: “This was our first year in the nationals and we came so close to reaching the final in one competition.
“The staff and the students have been very excited to hear how well we did and our aim now is to win a national title next year.”
Chris and his partner, who have been dancing together for just a year, compete about 25 times a year and they follow a rigorous practice regime, training into the late evening on three days a week.
He said: “I got into dancing partly through watching Strictly on the television and also because I wanted to do a hobby that was very different from the job that I love.
“I used to run but it is very difficult to switch off doing that and you find yourself thinking about work.
“With ballroom dancing you have to be focused on where you are putting your feet and your timing with the music so I find I can really switch off.”
There has been a buzz of excitement in school in recent days and both teachers and pupils are fully aware of the dancing prowess of their head teacher.
He added: “I have to get a spray tan for competitions so when I walk into school with an orange face I often get a few laughs.
“I’ve done a demonstration dance for the pupils with a teacher but I’m not sure I would be brave enough to dance during an assembly – having hundreds of eyes on you would be scarier than dancing at the nationals.”