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In pictures: Queen Camilla visits Meadows Community Centre to celebrate Royal Voluntary Service, and receive tap dancing lessons





Her Majesty Queen Camilla paid a visit to The Meadows Community Centre today (Friday, 2 February) as part of a Royal Voluntary Service (RVS) Cambridge VIP event.

The Queen joined the Royal Voluntary Service, of which she has been president since 2012, for a star-studded ‘Find Your Feet’ dance class.

Queen Camilla visits the Meadows Community Centre, and watches Johannes Radebe and Tasha Ghouri run dances classes with RVS volunteers. Picture: Keith Heppell
Queen Camilla visits the Meadows Community Centre, and watches Johannes Radebe and Tasha Ghouri run dances classes with RVS volunteers. Picture: Keith Heppell

Volunteers, clients and guests from the charity’s nearby services were invited to take part in the classes hosted by RVS supporters, Johannes Radebe, from Strictly Come Dancing, and Tasha Ghouri, a professional dancer and former Love Island contestant.

Following the classes, the Queen said she is considering taking up tap dancing in her “dotage” after Radebe presented her with a pair of steel-shod shoes.

Queen Camilla visits the Meadows Community Centre, and watches Johannes Radebe and Tasha Ghouri run dances classes with RVS volunteers. Picture: Keith Heppell
Queen Camilla visits the Meadows Community Centre, and watches Johannes Radebe and Tasha Ghouri run dances classes with RVS volunteers. Picture: Keith Heppell
Johannes Radebe with the mayor of Cambridge, Cllr Jenny Gawthrope Wood. Picture: Keith Heppell
Johannes Radebe with the mayor of Cambridge, Cllr Jenny Gawthrope Wood. Picture: Keith Heppell
Queen Camilla visits the Meadows Community Centre, where local school children gathered to see her. Picture: Keith Heppell
Queen Camilla visits the Meadows Community Centre, where local school children gathered to see her. Picture: Keith Heppell
Queen Camilla visits the Meadows Community Centre, where local school children gathered to see her. Picture: Keith Heppell
Queen Camilla visits the Meadows Community Centre, where local school children gathered to see her. Picture: Keith Heppell
Queen Camilla visits the Meadows Community Centre, and watches Johannes Radebe and Tasha Ghouri run dance classes with RVS volunteers. Picture: Keith Heppell
Queen Camilla visits the Meadows Community Centre, and watches Johannes Radebe and Tasha Ghouri run dance classes with RVS volunteers. Picture: Keith Heppell

Camilla promptly asked Radebe for tap lessons after watching the performer and Tasha Ghouri coaching RVS staff and volunteers on the dance floor.

“I would love to do it because I’ve always wanted to tap dance. So in my dotage perhaps it’s something I could take up,” the Queen said as she clutched her tap dancing shoes.

She added: “Having seen everybody here today dancing away happily, it’s the best exercise and for everybody it’s a wonderful way of just enjoying yourself.”

Radebe, known as Jojo, led the RVS Find Your Feet beginners’ dance class in the cha-cha-cha, then Ghouri tapped out the intricate moves for the group to follow, during a tap-dancing session.

A few feet away, the Queen clearly enjoyed watching the class, laughing as Radebe asked the dancers to spin round, and when the session ended she apologised for not joining in, saying: “Very nice, I’m sorry I’m not cha-cha-cha-ing.”

Queen Camilla visits the Meadows Community Centre, and watches Johannes Radebe and Tasha Ghouri run dances classes with RVS volunteers. Picture: Keith Heppell
Queen Camilla visits the Meadows Community Centre, and watches Johannes Radebe and Tasha Ghouri run dances classes with RVS volunteers. Picture: Keith Heppell
Queen Camilla visits the Meadows Community Centre, and watches Johannes Radebe and Tasha Ghouri run dances classes with RVS volunteers. Picture: Keith Heppell
Queen Camilla visits the Meadows Community Centre, and watches Johannes Radebe and Tasha Ghouri run dances classes with RVS volunteers. Picture: Keith Heppell
Queen Camilla visits the Meadows Community Centre, and watches Johannes Radebe and Tasha Ghouri run dances classes with RVS volunteers. Picture: Keith Heppell
Queen Camilla visits the Meadows Community Centre, and watches Johannes Radebe and Tasha Ghouri run dances classes with RVS volunteers. Picture: Keith Heppell
Queen Camilla visits the Meadows Community Centre, and watches Johannes Radebe and Tasha Ghouri run dances classes with RVS volunteers. Picture: Keith Heppell
Queen Camilla visits the Meadows Community Centre, and watches Johannes Radebe and Tasha Ghouri run dances classes with RVS volunteers. Picture: Keith Heppell
Queen Camilla visits the Meadows Community Centre, and watches Johannes Radebe and Tasha Ghouri run dances classes with RVS volunteers. Picture: Keith Heppell
Queen Camilla visits the Meadows Community Centre, and watches Johannes Radebe and Tasha Ghouri run dances classes with RVS volunteers. Picture: Keith Heppell

Camilla’s love for the BBC dance show is well known but Radebe made the class laugh when he told her “I’m so beside myself that you watch Strictly Come Dancing.”

The Queen, who attends Silver Swans – classes for elderly ballet dancers run by the Royal Academy of Dance – replied: “I’m one of Strictly’s greatest fans.”

Earlier, Her Majesty had been greeted by the Lord-Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire, Julie Spence OBE, along with local primary school children.

She was even hugged by three-year-old Rebecca Tessinari who was going into her nursery class.

She was then met by, among others, the mayor of Cambridge, Cllr Jenny Gawthrope Wood, Sam Scharf, director of communities at Cambridge City Council, and Catherine Johnstone CBE, the chief executive of the Royal Voluntary Service.

Catherine Johnstone gave a short speech thanking the Queen for her visit and Her Majesty also met volunteers and staff at the centre and unveiled a plaque before leaving, accompanied by Cllr Gawthrope Wood.

The Meadows Community Centre has recently reopened in a new two-storey building. The new centre boasts eight public-use rooms that can be booked for events and activities, as well as a café and free wifi.

It also has a football pitch and two changing rooms available for hire.



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