I am one of the gals in the front row who are usually seen leading off the parades and we incorporate some choreography with our playing. I joined Street Heat Samba Band in February 2015. I had seen the band in action some time previously and thought “Wow – I’d love to do that” but it took me some time to actually do something about it. I am so glad I finally joined, it is honestly the best thing I have done in a long time and I absolutely love it! The other band members are all so friendly and welcoming – it sounds really corny, but it really is like being part of a big (albeit noisy!) family! Such a great mix of people, from all walks of life, with different professions, background and ages. It makes no odds – every week we get together and, under the direction of our inspirational leaders, produce the fabulous Samba music Street Heat is famous for. It is a really great atmosphere, and if you are feeling stressed after a hard day, trust me, after two hours of moving and grooving to the infectious Samba beat, that stress will be well and truly banished! I honestly cannot believe that I am now performing with these guys and girls and feel so very proud…I did not have any musical experience previously but that has not really mattered (luckily I can tap out a rhythm and keep a beat, which is quite essential!). What does matter is commitment to attending weekly rehearsal nights and to participating in the numerous gigs performed by Street Heat Samba Band, both locally and further afield. (Oh yes, and to quite liking “dressing up” in colourful costumes, adding a touch of glitter here, face paint there and a side order of “bling” – hey, what’s not to love?). This year, for instance, the band are flying to Jersey to participate in the famous Battle of Flowers parade – how amazing is that? I feel so proud to be taking part and absolutely delighted that I “took the plunge” at the the not-so-young age of 51 – my only regret is that I wasted so much time thinking about joining – I should have done this years ago!! So if you are reading this and considering joining Street Heat Samba Band, I would like to say one thing – DO IT!!