ON the front windows of the Newcastle Dance Academy are four words.
Dream. Believe. Encourage. Achieve.
Those four words are so simple to say, but somehow turning them into action can be so hard in our daily lives.
Every week for the past few months, as I've walked into the academy's Broadmeadow studios, I've been reading those words and hoping they somehow make their way to my feet.
I've been learning to dance, as one of 12 participants in the Stars of Newcastle 2019 gala fundraiser for Cancer Council NSW.
Each Tuesday, Rachel Mackie, my dance partner and instructor, has been encouraging me to dream. And she has never stopped believing that I can achieve.
Clearly, Rachel is a great believer, a force of optimism, a "pigs-can-fly, Scott-can-dance" kind of person. And she has achieved the near-impossible. Rach will have me dancing before an audience of hundreds in the Stars of Newcastle concert at NEX on Saturday night.
The dance style I've been allotted is disco. But really, it won't be so much Saturday Night Fever as Saturday Night Laughter when I hit the floor.
In describing how he wrote music, the English composer Sir Michael Tippett said, "I must create order out of chaos." That is probably true of any creative process. Except when I'm dancing. I create chaos out of order.
Rach has another word for my dancing style. Shenanigans. Which sounds like the name of an Irish pub. I like that thought, especially when dealing with dancing in public. "Shenanigans" sounds comforting. That's the word I'd have outside my dance academy.
Except, I have read with dismay, there is to be no "Shenanigans" of the Irish pub kind at the concert. The organisers have instructed we shouldn't drink alcohol before performing. Which only goes to show that life is constantly filled with new experiences. No drinking before disco dancing? This will be novel for me.
But the audience will think I've been drinking, when they see what I'm wearing.
After I refused to play the role of a stripper in our routine, Rachel wisely hid my costume from me until just before the dress rehearsal. Once she did show me, I wondered if it was too late to revert to the stripping idea.
I can't reveal what I'm wearing, and for that you should be grateful. But it does involve a fur coat. So with a bit of luck, animal rights activists will storm the stage before I dance. They can chant, "Stop This Cruelty! Stop Scott Dancing!"
The night will be fun, but I think the main reason we're dancing is to honour those we love and know who have contended with cancer.
We're dancing to raise funds, so that Cancer Council NSW can provide its programs and services. A day out from the concert, the fundraising tally had reached almost $100,000.
Above all, I reckon we're dancing to act upon those four words outside Newcastle Dance Academy.
We encourage the medical professionals to achieve breakthroughs in the fight against cancer.
We believe patients will get better.
And we dream that one day, we will be free of this awful disease.
So let's dance.
Read more about Scott's disco journey: