Resident ‘would have died’ without dance

WH 171014 Chris Wood is launching new weekly sessions for salsa dancing (not classes to teach) - people can turn up of any expertise and dance away with like minded people. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-141017-232147001
WH 171014 Chris Wood is launching new weekly sessions for salsa dancing (not classes to teach) - people can turn up of any expertise and dance away with like minded people. Photo by Derek Martin SUS-141017-232147001

A CANCER survivor has decided to don his dancing shoes once again and return to his love of salsa by launching dancing sessions in Worthing.

After being diagnosed with cancer seven years ago, Charles Wood has been on a long and winding road to recovery, which has had many bumps along the way.

“I was told just before going on stage at a show I was in,” said the 61-year-old.

“I got seriously ill over four years and I couldn’t even walk. I was on chemotherapy, which killed all the cancerous cells, but had some bad side effects.”

After getting the all clear, Charles became seriously ill again, but nobody knew why until he collapsed and fell down the stairs.

“My T cells [a type of white blood cell] went down from 500 to 19 and I got meningitis,” he said.

When life looked bleak for the Worthing resident, continuing his passion no longer seemed viable, especially after his relapse in March this year.

“Before, I was dancing two to three times a week and directed dance videos and documentaries.

“I thought I was never going to dance again six months ago,” he added.

Now on the recovery again, Charles is about to bring salsa to Worthing in his own style.

“I feel lucky and blessed that I’m able to come back and do this,” he said.

The sessions are not only for experts in the art, but for amateurs too.

This will not be a teaching lesson, but a place for people to come together, dance to music, help each other out and, most importantly, have a good time.

He said: “I’ve been dancing for about 25 years and one of the biggest complaints from dancers is that clubs are on very late. People are coming back into it after having children and want something earlier.”

Dancing has proved to be Chris’ life saving past time, which he plans to conintue into the future.

“It helped me quite a lot in my illness and I would have died if I wasn’t able to do it,” he said.

Join Chris at his new sessions ‘Mostly Salsa with Reggae & Soul’ at the Vintners Parrot, 10-12 Warwick street, Worthing on Sunday nights - November 9, 16, 23 and December 14 (£2 entry) with a Christmas party including live band on December 21 (£10 entry).

For more details call 01903 823910 or visit www.salsatap.com