Ilford man tangos with penguins in Antarctica

From left: Sonal Taylor and Kevin Barry dancing on the ice

From left: Sonal Taylor and Kevin Barry dancing on the ice - Credit: Archant

A chance meeting of two people from Ilford on a boat just off the Antarctic meant one of them achieved his ambition of a lifetime.

From left: Sonal Taylor and Kevin Barry

From left: Sonal Taylor and Kevin Barry - Credit: Archant

Kevin Barry, 55, of Buckingham Road, had spent a year learning how to tango just so he could really dance on ice.

And on a boat leaving the south of Argentina, Kevin met Sonal Taylor, who not only wanted to dance with him, but who lived a few streets away from his house.

Kevin said: “I couldn’t believe it. She was from Ilford so obviously that was the girl I was going to dance with. She thought it was a really good idea.”

On board he found a kindred spirit in the captain who was also interested in his unusual ambition.

You may also want to watch:

Kevin said: “The captain, who is from Argentina, said he was an avid tango dancer and I showed him the Ilford Recorder article about what I was doing and he did a tango lesson on the ship.”

When the boat arrived in Antarctica, Kevin put on his dancing shoes and got ready to put into practice what he had been training for during the past year.

Most Read

“It was a bit slippery,” he said. “I must admit I feel a bit flat, doing something as important as that – I can’t take it all in. I will definitely go back, it was pretty awesome.”

Kevin spent a week perfecting his fancy footwork in the tango clubs in Argentina, in addition to spending a year learning to dance back in the UK, before the boat journey to Antarctica.

His fellow passengers soon heard about his daring dancing desire and got fully into the swing of it by cheering him on.

“It became a bit of a theme on the ship,” he added.

“On the last night a musician wrote a song about the trip and put a verse in it about me and my dancing on ice – which was great.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter