Aljaz Skorjanec, Anton du Beke, Ballroom to Broadway, Betty May's, Burn The Floor, Canterbury Pilgrims, Crystal Hantig, Faye Huddleston, Jordan James, Julia Hantig, Lance Ellington, London Concert Orchestra, Luke Field Wright, Peggy O'Farrells, River Stour, Tiny Timm's
I’m awake at 7 am; hot tea made and laptop open at the ready. I’ve peeked through the curtains to see more grey drizzle and it’s not looking like the best of days, considering we were planning a mooch around Canterbury Town and a visit to the Cathedral.
Notes done, I’m showered and just waiting for Julia to finish up. While she gets ready, would you like to know more about my amazing friend? – click here: Julia
And now, breakfast……..Gotta love a hotel breakfast! To stave off hunger pains, we have fruit and croissants while waiting for our cooked breakfasts, and chat about our plans for the day……definitely Cathedral – at least inside it, we will be dry.
Lance appears, greets us with a smile and cheery morning, and sits down next to us. The conversation flows, but of course it starts with last nights fiasco and we relive the comedy aspect of the scene with the troll.
Next to arrive in the breakfast room is Gilly: lead violinist for the London Concert Orchestra. She joins us and we recant our tale of last nights escapade. This is all taking place around 9am. Two hours later, we are all still sitting there. Our conversation has been all around the world and we’ve travelled through theatres, Disneyland, around Vegas and been backstage with great men and big stars – we know what each others children do and we know each others future plans. Numbers have been swapped and catch up dates have been discussed. It is only the hands of the clock that have stopped us from sitting there all day….hotel check out is at 11am.
The hotel is still surrounded in grey mist and we know we must venture into it to get to town. While that may make us damp, it does not dampen our spirits as over breakfast, Lance had asked if we were going to the matinée. We hadn’t planned on it, we said, but of course we would love to. He then offered to try to get us some tickets. Are we spoilt or what? I have to say at this point, what a thoroughly lovely man he is – On hearing that my son is a singer, he immediately offered to help and introduce him to some of his contacts – Everyone in it knows just how hard the business is.
Julia and I check out and find a short cut into town. It takes us down by the River Stour, along a path surrounded by characteristic buildings which are interlaced with the beauty of nature. Stunning, even in the drizzle. It’s such a scenic spot that we vow to return with the kids (Jordan, Sam, Crystal & Luke) for a picnic in summer.
Before heading to the Cathedral, we stop and buy some Birthday bits for Faye, who is with Crystal, having a little birthday do at Tiny Tim’s in town. For you dance fans, Faye partnered Strictly winner Aljaz Skorajanec in Burn the Floor, and she dances ballroom with Anton in the show (mesmerising quickstep by the way). After kisses, hugs and birthday wishes, we head off to the Cathedral but sadly, most off the building is shut off until 2pm due to a royal service of some kind. We are clearly not meant to do the Cathedral on this trip and so, add it to our future plans with the kids. Instead, we mooch around the quaint cobbled streets, stop at twee shops to admire lots of shabby chic and then head to The Canterbury Pilgrims Hospital.
“The Hospital of St Thomas the Martyr of Eastbridge was founded in the 12th century in Canterbury, England, to provide overnight accommodation for poor pilgrims to the shrine of St Thomas Beckett. It is now one of the ten almshouses still providing accommodation for elderly citizens of Canterbury.“
Excerpt above from Wikipedia: More info here
I can tell you, it’s a very atmospheric place!
While we are there, Crystal calls to tell us Lance has left us tickets on the door. Whooop we are off to see the show again 🙂
Again we have great seats and in these we settle down to immerse ourselves in Ballroom to Broadway. As with anything you watch more than once, you notice more in it. Second time around, the dancers are just as fabulous, Anton is just as funny, Lance still caresses our ears with silk and the Orchestra tie it all together beautifully. Really, if you get a chance, you must go see it!
If you’re wondering, why I get so excited about dance shows, well it goes back to when I was a kid. I went to dance school for years, learning tap, ballet and modern, courtesy of both Peggy O Farrel’s and Better May’s. Had there not been a tragic turning point in my life, things may have turned out a little differently, and who knows, maybe I would have pursued a career in it myself. It doesn’t matter now of course, but it gave me an appreciation of dance for life and I love to watch. Ever since I met Crystal, I have wanted to see her dance, and I’m so glad I got the chance this time, while I’m here in the UK, she is amazing 🙂
Sadly, there is no video of the show, but there is a clip of her below. This talented girl is beautiful inside and out.