DST - Darcey's Royal Road Trip
August 31, 2022
Elizabeth Harry from Edinburgh Branch tells us about Dame Darcey Bussell's visit...
What a thrill for us when Channel 4 got in touch to ask if we would like to teach Darcey Bussell some Scottish country dancing!
Darcey’s Royal Road Trip is a celebration of HM The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Across four episodes, the former Royal Ballet principal and Strictly Come Dancing judge set off on an adventure around the UK, exploring places that have been significant to the Queen’s reign and paying homage to the many hobbies which Her Majesty enjoys. Episode 1 saw Darcey visit Balmoral and then Edinburgh where she joined us to learn to dance “The Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh”.
This was the dance which was devised by Miss Allie Anderson back in 1948, to commemorate The Queen’s wedding to The Duke of Edinburgh. When the then Princess Elizabeth saw the dance in 1949 she asked for details of the steps to be sent to her, so that she could try it at home saying “I think I’ve got the hang of it and I’m going to try it”.
Two teams of dancers along with teacher Elizabeth Harry were ready to introduce Darcey to some of the moves, while sharing their memories of dancing for The Queen were Dorothy Leurs along with Barbara and David Ross.
It was a fabulous afternoon. Darcey was an absolute joy to meet, full of grace and infectious enthusiasm and so friendly and approachable. Having forgotten her own dancing shoes, she was very grateful when Rachel Shankland was luckily able to produce a new, spare pair from her bag, and we headed straight into some step practice. Darcey was, naturally, a swift learner and had soon picked up both the nuances of Scottish country dancing and the choreography of the dance.
There was lots of time left once the dancing had been filmed, and Darcey was more than happy to chat, have selfies taken with us and sign autographs. You can catch a glimpse of our inspiring afternoon with this amazing dancer on More4 - we thoroughly recommend the programme if you haven’t already seen it.
UK viewers can access via All 4 - Darcey Bussell's Royal Road Trip - All 4 (channel4.com)