Tall Ships and Dancing Round t

Tall Ships and Dancing Round the World: UK Festivals past and present

The Tall Ship festival showcased over 50 tall ships, in four venues across London, Canary Wharf, Greenwich Maritime, Woolwich Arsenal and Greenwich Peninsula. Sad you missed it? Catch the upcoming Dancing Round the World festival in October

Tall Ships and Dancing Round t

Tall Ship Festival

This has been the first time that so many tall ships have been seen in London in 25 years.

As a resident of the borough of Greenwich, I was able to get some tickets for a concert on board the Schtandart, a full size replica of Russian navy flagship, build for Peter the Great in 1703. My Family has been down to Greenwich for the festival on the previous Friday and felt disappointed at the lack of Tall Ships, but this concert proved to be very entertaining. We were promised a traditional piper, to pipe us aboard the vessel, in reality, we were told to follow the ‘man with the trumpet’, while he played various sea faring tunes, ‘Michael rowed the boat ashore’, ‘My Bonny lies over the ocean’ and ‘ we are live in a yellow submarine’, with the concert goers singing tunelessly behind him.


On board we got to hear a group of shanty singers perform various songs, follow by a pop/folk group made up of a trio of musicians playing a snare drum, electric banjo and tuba.

Sometimes ‘less is more’ in that we were on a stationary vessel berthed at Woolwich Arsenal, but from the deck we were able to, every so often catch a glimpse of passing tall ship as it silently glided pass.




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Unfortunately the dancer Elsa Perez, and her Protea group were not chosen to perform at the festival, even though the organizers expressed interest, and they had been told they would receive the final schedule. This was a shame as they had perfected there Quadrille routine (a type of dance performed by four couples in a rectangular formation), to the tune of ‘Daar Kom die Alabama’. The brief was to have entertainment that had a nautical theme, and we felt that the history behind the song would fit in nicely with the tall ship festival.

Not many South African are aware of the history of the song, ‘Daar Kom die Alabama’ (here comes the Alabama, the Alabama that comes o’er the sea), which tells the true story of the American ship, the Alabama captained by Raphael Semmes, that captured the Sea Bride in broad daylight off the coast of Cape Town, in 1863, the captured boat was then steered into Cape Town harbour, where the crew received a hero’s welcome.

Dancing Round the World Festival

Last year I attend the Dancing Round the World Festival at The Cecil Sharp House in Camden. The festival incorporates all varieties of dance, from Greek dancing, to Belly dancing, square dancing, flamenco then for the strictly come dancing fans, Latin American, samba, rumba you name it, it’s there. In between there are workshops so you can learn some new moves.

The first year I attended, I was fully expecting to be a spectator, as I’m not very gifted as a dancer, but the music was so infectious that I found myself tapping my foot in time to the music then later on the dance floor, learning the steps to the rumba.

It doesn’t really matter if you go alone or with a partner, the organizers are so friendly and welcoming and you are sure to make some new friends, while learning to dance.

South African dancer Elsa Perez, who has a long association with this festival will be dancing and teaching at this event, which will be held on 25 – 26 October.