Monday, June 29, 2009

The couple that sways together, stays together

From the Daily Mail Online (UK):

Vanessa Lloyd Platt, the TV divorce lawyer whose own divorce proceedings culminated in her arrest, has taken a break from advising couples in her £325-an-hour legal sessions to share with troubled couples her theories on saving their marriages.

In a move that can surely only mean a smart drop off in business for Ms Lloyd Platt, she is recommending that her clients try ballroom dancing lessons before insisting on going ahead with costly and painful marriage break-ups.

'Dancing is a lot cheaper than coming to me,' she said. 'Dance lessons are about £50 an hour; my fee is £285 plus VAT.'

Ms Lloyd Platt, 54, a regular on the GMTV sofa offering marriage advice, has learned to ballroom dance since the breakdown of her marriage, and claims the hobby has changed her life.

While her marriage was falling apart, the divorcee was filming a documentary, London Tango, which premieres at the Notting Hill Film Festival next month.

In the film, Ms Lloyd Platt learns to foxtrot and waltz alongside Strictly Come Dancing star Ian Waite.

'This film is about what dance can do to totally change your life. If people going through divorce or relationship breakdown learned to dance, I believe this country could completely turn around,' she counsels.

'I have actually said to my clients if there is any possibility of a resolution with your partner, why don't you attempt to resurrect the relationship by dancing?'

Lloyd Platt would have done well to heed her own advice last year when she divorced from husband of 16 years, accountant Daniel Lloyd Platt.

Despite encouraging her clients to pursue amicable conclusions to their splits, Lloyd Platt's own marriage ended acrimoniously, with Ms Lloyd Platt arrested for attempting to pervert the course of justice, although she was never charged and allegations were dropped.

Amid further allegations that her estranged husband was variously trying to poison her or had tampered with her brakes, Ms Lloyd Platt's divorce became a vituperative battle.

'I have suddenly found myself through dance in the middle of all this furore,' said Ms Lloyd Platt.

And while she may not practise what she preaches in the divorce court, when it comes to her new relationship, she is certainly behind her own theory that couples who sway together, stay together.

Since the divorce, Ms Lloyd Platt has got herself a new partner, entrepreneur Stewart Moss, 58, with whom she regularly takes dance classes.

'Stewart appears in the film dancing with me. We need to take more lessons together,' she confessed.

'Our goal is to go to Argentina and learn the tango out there.'

This idea really amused me. Years ago when my husband and I were still boyfriend / girlfriend, and in the days when I actually still paid attention to silly people like this woman, I persuaded my other half to go to a ballroom dancing class with me at university. Within fifteen minutes he was accusing me of being clumsy and having no co-ordination; I was snapping back at him for doing everything wrong; and we ended up having a massive argument, storming out and very nearly split up over it. Needless to say we never went again. Since we've now been together 18 years and are very happy, there was no harm done. But ballroom dancing is, ironically, the very last thing I would recommend to anyone on the verge of splitting up!

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