It’s the footwork, dahling… turn your toes in. And keep the hands open, and dahling, trust your partner.
I half expect to see Craig Revel Horwood sitting opposite, giving out and holding up a 2.
Thankfully I’m not being judged on my dancing but my tennis by my mixed doubles partner Judy Murray.
Yes, that Judy Murray, tennis supercoach, mum-of-two Wimbledon champions, and just as importantly in our house a Strictly Come Dancing legend.
Judy has had half an eye on Ashley, Faye, Lauren, Stacey, Joe, Charles, et al this series.
Only half an eye though as her main focus has been making tennis players out of the flotsam collection of wannabe racquet tyros I’m assembled here with.
In the new Campus sporting development in Quinta Do Lago in the Algarve.
Judy is running a series of tennis coaching lessons for young and old, good and bad, studious and messers, which, er, would be me.
In my defence her starter hooter was too inviting not to play keepie-uppie with.
Judy, though, as well as being very good at sport is a very good sport and even allowed me to waltz her around at the end.
Another very good sport and one that you won’t have heard so much about is padel which is more popular in the Iberian Peninsula than tennis.
Former rugby international Max Evans who with soccer great John Terry took to the game on a trip to the Algarve, describes it as the baby that tennis and squash would beget.
Played to the same scoring system as tennis, the big difference is in the non-string bats, the underhand serve, the fact that you can play off the side glass walls.
And, dare I say it, that it might just be better fun than tennis.
Judy’s work done, she gets a deserved breather. Me, I’m off to bother the gold pros.
For four days I will have a team of experts tasked with trying to make an athlete of me, just as they can for you too.
The professional at the Paul McGinley Golf Academy shows off the latest golf technology, tracking machines, sensory guides et al.
It can turn the most ordinary club member into a Rory or a Tiger, or at least on the odd shot.
If you concentrate that is.
But there’s always one messer who gets distracted.
In this case drawn to Paul McGinley’s buggy from when he captained Europe to Ryder Cup success at Gleneagles.
There’s a good reason why the big boys and girls in our party get to play The South Course, one of three Championship courses here at Quinta do Lago, while yours truly is kept to the driving range.
I do get to drive me a buggy, though not Paul’s Ryder Cup cart, which sensibly is kept where it is.
And I get to see the course, safely for me and the golfers, or at least that’s the plan before the boy racer in me kicks in.
And I cut up the buggy in front and almost drive into the lake that skirts one of the greens.
I dare say I would have come up with my pockets bursting with stray golf balls.
Maybe I’ll fare better on two wheels.
Quinta do Lago means Farm by the Lake and Quinta is at great pains to keep human athletic exertions and the natural world in perfect harmony.
The Ria Formosa reserve which runs parallel to the course, is more geared to Shiny Ibises and Spoonbill birdies.
And yes, get off your bike, get your binos out and you really will see these fascinating birds scoop up their prey with spoonlike beaks.
I’d like to say I planned my disembarkation but the truth is I took one sandy corner too many and too sharply in my obsession to lead the party.
Eyebrows may have been raised as to my suitability to go back with the sensible ones on the roads, but hunger called.
That hunger was sated as it invariably is in these parts by the harvest of the seas.
The world literally is your piscine pleasure in Portugal and no fish is safe, so I felt not a pang of guilt in devouring Dory’s pals, the lobster, prawns, clams, seabass both here at the island restaurant Casa do Lago at the Campus.
And more of that later.
For golfers, there is a green in the water for diners to shoot at but it was wisely out of bounds for us on the day.
The appeal of The Campus is its infrastructure and expertise.
Why else would it attract Premier League side Burnley, Champions League winners Olympique Marseille and Rio Ferdinand who runs a soccer camp.
While Irish Paralympian, road race great Brian Rohan runs The Bike Shed, which is so much more than just that.
Ask him kindly and he might even let you hold one of his Olympic gold medals.
Of course when it comes to sport we’re all of us experts, and so my last night was spent at a sports bar where I watched THREE soccer games simultaneously on the big screens (and who said men couldn’t multi-task?).
I’d like to say all the games were thrillers but I was in my element all the same.
I was tackling (cleanly) a chicken casserole for two, to soak up the beer you understand, while exchanging sporting trivia with my Portuguese hosts.
I was less good at the Halloween pub quiz I have to admit but always back myself against any Dancing Dad when the house band appears.
There’s always a price to pay of course for revelry and that is invariably a sore head the next morning.
Yes, the art deco style Magnolia where we are staying specialises in fixing that too…
The Mag burger, beef, bacon, cheese and lettuce burger and fries, with a special peppery sauce the secret of which the Chef, naturally wasn’t sharing, and a pineapple, OJ, coconut and SPINACH smoothie.
I felt invincible again and was ready to show off to my new No. 1 fan with my moves, a dive into the pool (yes, strictly against the hotel rules).
But nobody was watching apart from Judy Murray that is.
He’s everywhere – in every shop window, on the backs of every family of tourists or parading his skills before 100,000 worshippers at the Cathedral of Sport, the Camp Nou.
Only on the day I visited the Spanish city, he’s not.
The ubiquitous Lionel Messi is back in his native South America on International duty playing for Argentina rather than curling in free-kicks for his adopted Barca.
Barcelona has a vacancy for a sporting hero then…
And I’m thinking if I nail it I might just get my name on the back of the football top that big fluffy bear is wearing.
He’s sitting in a sports car on the shopping area of a cruise ship in port at the foot of La Rambla.
Such are the trappings of fame… and I want some of it.
And I have the chance.
To walk on water on Royal Caribbean International’s Oasis of the Seas’ surf simulator FlowRider.
And I only have the best in the business to get me up to speed, Irish surfing superstar Gearoid McDaid.
We’re lucky to have Gearoid here, his feet rarely touch the ground.
Gearoid is not ling back from a couple of months surfing in Chile, was in Indonesia before that and is on his way to Portugal.
Gearoid is not what I expect though, no man bun, goatee beard, tattoo sleeve… just a regular Sligo boy.
Although he is pals with Kian Egan.
Thankfully there is one Fiftysomething who keeps up appearances with his bandana and windswept beard.
But boy can he surf… Gearoid, that is!
The simulator is on the 15th deck of the €1.4bn Oasis of the Seas cruise ship which is on its way to Majorca, France and then Italy…
With 6,300 passengers. enjoying five pools and numerous bats, restaurants and shows… and a park, ‘Central Park’ (you’ll forget you’re at sea).
But alas without us who’ll have to get off kicking and screaming before sail time, if they can find us hiding away down in the staff quarters.
The idea of the simulator which is 40ft long, is that a rush of water shoots out to build up the swell.
Which you then surf against.
It’s all in the knees, back and arms – and the trick is to sway and not panic.
Too late, the board went that way and the bandana and everything under it the other way.
It’s official. I don’t walk on water (but my family could tell you that). Maybe I’ll have better luck on my knees.
Eureka or ‘goooooal’ as Lionel Messi might shout.
I manage to master those waves in the prayer position on a boogie board with more than a little help from Mauritian teacher Kai.
Suddenly I feel indestructible. And here I was worried that I’d be caught with my shorts down.
And quite literally I almost was at half-mast.
I hadn’t pulled the cord tightly enough before the surfing class and the waves carried me away.
To be avoided – particularly if you’ve booked up for my next challenge, the 82ft Zip Line.
Nobody nine decks below on the Boardwalk wants to have Stars and Stripes boardie trunks land on them, believe me.
When they’re out shopping having an early-afternoon drink or are on their way to lunch.
Thankfully I can’t do much damage in the Spanish restaurant, other than embarrass myself and my party by getting my maracas out (steady!)
Well, once in we weighed into the plates and plates of tapas and a big jug of sangria (when in Spain).
Fuelled with patatas and shrimp al ajillo we swagger off the ship, only taking time to pass by an eight-year-old boy twisting and turning on the other simulator..
And onto the famous La Rambla shopping and market thoroughfare.
Christopher Columbus is still there where I remember him from the last time I visited Barcelona 15 years ago.
And drew back the curtains of my balcony cabin.
He is proudly guarding the city and pointing out to sea.
To be fair, the arm is right, though I’d maybe bend the elbow and those legs are way too straight.
Sorry, Chris, but you’d be no use on a surfboard either.
The deal: Sail the Western Mediterranean for seven nights on Oasis of the Seas from €1049pp based on two sharing, departing Barcelona. Visit Palma, Marseille, Florence/Pisa, Rome (Civitavecchia), Napless and arrive back at Barcelona. www.royalcaribbean.ie. Flights not included.
Where to stay in Barcelona: Hotel Concordia www.hotelconcordiabarcelona.com is a central hub and has a rooftop pool that will tempt you to linger. Pride was on when we visited and the neighbourhood was jumping. €135 per room per night.