Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Take Your Partners

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Take Your Partners

Article excerpt

On the very day it was announced that Bruce Forsyth will host a revamped Come Dancing, Boro's best-loved Samba superstar put on an impressive audition.

Juninho may not have sewn on his own sequins, but his magic size fives waltzed majestically through Arsenal almost at will and his routine was capped by what could yet be a crucial and historic goal.

And he gleefully celebrated with a unique and well-choreographed Simply Ballroom number that will have impressed the producers of the late night Latino dance and garish make-up showdown.

In a modern urban cocktail of samba, salsa and hip-hop the Little Fella threw some neat gangsta rap Wu Tang shapes while doing a silky shuffle from foot to foot, a smooth twist, turn and dip, another wriggle back to the starting point and signing off with a flourish of the arm and a gentle stroke of the sleeve.

"Didn't he do well", as the syrup-wearing small screen smoothie host might say.

On a night when Boro's iconic Brazilian looked back to his best and orchestrated a famous victory it was a memorable motif of the match.

It is good to see he is staying behind after training to work on solo stuff that can make a real difference on the pitch.

Off the pitch it has certainly inspired the ballroom-barmy Boro faithful - morose a week ago after Leicester - to new heights of visible passion.

While Juno did his Shuffle, the Red and White Army at Highbury were matching his moves with a frenzied Cardiff Here We Come EIO, then changed partners for the more up-tempo Latin number.

The gleeful routine will surely go down in Boro terrace history as one of the great post-match celebrations up there with Rav showing his mama back in Italy he was indeed wearing his vest, the Jan Aage Aeroplane and the Bernie Slaven Fence Climbing.

The Juno Shuffle has swiftly become a family fun feelgood phenomenon that has swept across Teesside.

Nothing is more certain than that the next time Juninho scores - today hopefully, if not then Wednesday night, please - it will spark a chaotic, collective St Vitus dance in the Riverside stands as Boro barmy take their partners to get all ballroom in Row Z.

But having been seen live on Sky, the Juninho Shuffle has already exploded beyond the cliquish confines of the away-day crowd at Highbury.

Now everyone is doing it.

I believe on the night, casualty was swamped with twisted ankles and fractures suffered by grown men intoxicated on semi-final success and strong ale who had fallen painfully trying to pull off that tricky twist and turn bit while dancing precariously on bar stools, settees and coffee tables.

Precious family heirlooms, small children and much-loved family pets also suffered collateral damage as burly blokes who had not danced for many years got it all wrong and came crashing down in a freak moonwalking accident. …

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