How it all began…
Way back in the early 80’s, CB radio was becoming enourmously popular, especially with my older brother Rob. I guess it was the instant messaging of it’s day and rather than screen names or avatars that we associate with chat rooms and messenger programs on our PC, you had a handle. My brother was called Splash and his best mate, Flash. They were quite notorious in and around the Southampton area and as a little boy of about 4, I wanted in on all their escapades and adventures!
Sadly, I wasn’t big enough to use a bit of Brut (splash it all over) or wear a pencil thin leather tie, masterfully finishing off my sparkly grey trousers and yellow cardigan get up. Oh and I mustn’t forget the white socks and black slip on shoes with bedside table tassles. I desperately wanted a pair of THOSE when I grew up! To top it all off, my brother’s best mate had a Ford Capri with a CB radio attached to the dashboard. I always remember being fascinated by the enourmous aerial that was lumped on the roof, towering up into the sky. They would go out, in their leather ties and white socks, and just sit in the car and chat to other local CB enthusiasts.
As I was too small to be able to go off out on their jolly jaunts, I had to make do with sitting at home waiting to hear all about it when he got back. That was b2ap3 thumbnail James–Rob-Blackpooluntil Rob got a CB of his own and one that could be setup at home. Cue another great big aerial, but this time stuck out the window of his bedroom! Now, if I was going to be included in these conversations, I would need a handle of my own. Besides, I think my brother quite liked the idea of using his ‘cute little brother’ as a sure fire way to get attention from all the ladies on the CB frequency!
I was already well into my dancing by that time and it was my brother that came up with the now famous handle, Dizzyfeet. I can’t really remember much about any of the conversations I had early on with my new name, but needless to say it well and truly stuck and has been with me ever since.
CB radio came and went and the next big thing was email. Hotmail to be exact. Now, if you were to sign up to Hotmail today, you’d find it very difficult indeed to get a single name or meaningful word without a host of numbers at the end or an underscore or two thrown in. You’d also probably have to have .co.uk too. I must have signed up pretty early in 1996, as my email address is just [email protected] and it’s still in everyday use today, 17 years on.
It came as no great surprise, that when it was time for me to turn professional and come up with a business name, Dizzyfeet was top of the list. It’s a snappy little name and one that conjures up the thought of dancing (well hopefully) as soon as you hear it. The ‘Dancing’ bit afterwards helps too I guess! Despite a few copycats, (Dizzy Feet Foundation – Nigel Lithgoe, Dizzy Feet Dance Studio – South Africa, Dizzy Feet Dance Academy – a now defunct dance school in b2ap3 thumbnail Dizzyfeet-FoundationPoole, Dizzyfeet Disco – mobile DJ) I was the original and of course best Dizzyfeet. Annoyed that Nigel Lithgoe got the Twitter name ‘dizzyfeet’ though… We do often get mistaken for the Dizzy Feet Foundation and not so long ago we had one of our normal social dance nights on the same evening as one of the Foundations fund raisers. I have to say I was most confused getting emails from the USA requesting block bookings of 10 to 100 seats. I think they would have been a little disappointed to find out they’d paid for a social dance night in Fareham rather than a gala evening with some of the top US celebrities at the Hollywood Kodak Theatre! We could have made a fortune though! We still get a lot of traffic on the website from the US and I hope they have a good time reading all about what we’re up to over here!
It does have it’s downfalls however. I’m forever having to repeat myself on the telephone when saying our email address – “So that’s [email protected]” No, Dizzyfeet. “Buzyfeet?”. No, DIZZYFEET. Spin around a lot, what do you get? “Dizzy” On the end of your legs? “Shoes”. Thats right, send it to [email protected] I always thought I had quite a good telephone voice, but my pronounciation of dizzy and feet, apparently, leaves a lot to be desired!
So what next for Dizzyfeet? It’s been around now for over 30 years and it’s just started to creep into peoples subconcious, locally at least. Maybe another 30 years for global domination? Just think, Dizzyfeet Studios on every corner, with a Tesco Express begging to be allowed in! You’ve got to dream!
This post was originally written and uploaded on 2nd February 2013