All the world’s a stage

We are so lucky in Bristol to have an amazing theatre, the Hippodrome right in the city centre is the place to go to see a fantastic performance. Since opening in 1912 it has played host to many big names and productions. With it’s seating capacity of nearly 2000 the atmosphere during the shows are nearly always electric.

As I’ve written before in this blog I’m a massive fan of ballet, so when I saw that Romeo and Juliet was coming to Bristol I knew that it would be a fabulous thing. It was also my favourite production choreographed by the late Rudolph Nureyev, I first saw it in Bristol about 20 years ago and loved it.

My fellow ballet lovers were my mum and Phoebe, (Jane B’s daughter). We had the most fabulous time and the ballet was wonderful.

romeo and juliet

Another fabulous event at the Hippodrome was the Lord of the Dance; Dangerous Games, with mum and Deb. I’ve always loved watching Irish dancing and I found the performance incredibly moving.

lord of the dance

I’ve always wanted to learn how to Irish dance but never found an adult class. But this year my dream came true when the local Irish school of dance started offering classes. The Quinn School of  Irish dance is a very successful school that has been teaching children in Bristol for many years. Stacey, it’s founder, is a fantastic teacher and I’m having the best time, even though it is so exhausting.



Best foot forward

At the age of 3, like many little girls, I started ballet class in the local church hall. At that age we didn’t do much more than skipping and galloping around the room. As I got older it got more serious, new ballet school and harder lessons, we did annual exams with the Royal Academy of Arts and 2 or 3 shows a year. Everything was going well until I had to give it all up due to a knee condition. I loved ballet, it was my life for 10 years and it was devastating when it ended as I had dreams of going to the Royal Ballet School.

Over the years I have found some adult ballet classes but they usually folded due to lack of interest. Dance is the only way I like to keep fit and in desperation I started going to line dancing lessons about 15 years ago. I went religiously every week and as a a group we even went on a few weekends away dedicated to line dance fun!

During my illness I haven’t been able to do any exercise as I suffered from post exertion malaise/fatigue. If I did anything remotely energetic, the next day I would be unable to move from my bed and all my worst CFS symptoms would be amplified.

So I was thrilled the weekend before last that I was able to do 4 line dances. I went back to visit my old group for a catch up and a gossip, I didn’t know any of the dances they were doing but my friend asked for 4 dances that I knew from the past. After dancing my legs felt like lead, but the next day I didn’t feel like I wanted to die and I was able to get out of my bed and move around normally. I was very tired by the afternoon though and needed a little nap.

Encouraged by this I have been on the hunt for another adult ballet class, if I take it very slowly and sit out when I need to I’m sure I can get my ballet groove back. Darcy Bussell I won’t be, but maybe a bit fitter.