Every day’s a gift for dancer Crystal Main, joining Strictly Come Dancing star Brendan Cole at the Ipswich Regent

Ipswich dancer Crystal Main, appearing with Strictly Come Dancing star Brendan Cole. Photo: A Little

Ipswich dancer Crystal Main, appearing with Strictly Come Dancing star Brendan Cole. Photo: A Little Box of Memories - Credit: Archant

A victim of the July 7 bombings in 2005, every day is a gift for professional dancer Crystal Main. Entertainment writer Wayne Savage talks to her about that day and joining Strictly Come Dancing star Brendan Cole on stage at the Ipswich Regent tomorrow.

Ipswich dancer Crystal Main in rehearsals with Cole and other members of the A Night to Remember cas

Ipswich dancer Crystal Main in rehearsals with Cole and other members of the A Night to Remember cast - Credit: Archant

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the London suicide attacks which claimed the lives of 52 people and injured hundreds more, including Crystal who was on her way to rehearsals.

Feet away from the explosion that rocked Aldgate East, she finds it hard to talk about to this day.

“I didn’t really know what was going on. It’s hard because I don’t really want to bring it all up again. It’s coming up to the 10 year anniversary and was a real struggle in my life at that point,” she says.

“I’m absolutely thankful to be here today. I had perforated eardrums and had to have an operation but I really walked away with bad cuts and bruises. I try to put it all behind me now but to be honest the thing that got me through was dance.

Crystal Main, looking forward to the American smooth and paso doble. Photo: A Little Box of Memories

Crystal Main, looking forward to the American smooth and paso doble. Photo: A Little Box of Memories - Credit: Archant


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“I look at life differently now, live life to the full, no regrets, don’t look back... Dance has been a massive part of that really and helped my recovery.”

The Ipswich born and bred ballroom and Latin dance instructor has been touring the country with Cole as part of his new show A Night To Remember, featuring dancing, live music, singing and plenty of audience banter.

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It’s her third year with the Strictly star, having appeared in previous show Licence to Thrill. Getting standing ovations around the country, Crystal is looking forward to performing in her hometown.

“It’s very special and exciting but it’s also the most nerve-wracking. I get such an emotional buzz, on the other hand it’s absolutely petrifying because I feel like there are so much high expectations, so many people watching me and knowing me... I thrive being on stage, I come to life and just get lost in the world.

“I wouldn’t call it work, I’m just having a good time on stage every single night with a great load of people, they’re an absolute joy to work with,” says the 33-year-old, who was a member of the hit BBC1 series’ Strictly Show Dancers in 2010.

Crystal, who turned professional in 2002 and also teaches at the Lait Dance School in Ipswich, says the show has been great for dance; with a surge of newbies coming through the door whenever it’s on.

“They want to take it up, to learn although sometimes they think there’s going to be a crash course and they’re going to be able to do flips, jumps and all sorts,” she laughs. “That’s not always the case. It’s more (about) fun and fitness.”

She describes A Night To Remember as a celebration of dance, featuring the cha cha, the Charleston for the first time, a classical waltz and the Argentine tango. Crystal has two favourites, an American Smooth set to Mack the Knife and a feisty paso doble set to Living on a Prayer.

“(You get) two different sides to me really - the mellow, quite sophisticated and ballroomesque side and the fiery Latin Crystal,” she laughs.

Straight off the back of season 12 of Strictly, Cole will lead the cast through a mix of styles and numbers fans of the show will be familiar with including quicksteps, samba and salsa.

The six world class dancers include French Dancing With The Stars champion Fauve Hautot and Germany’s Patrick Helm who has been working as assistant to the artistic director on Strictly Come Dancing. Joining them will be the 14-musican strong band.

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