Granddaughter’s emotional tribute to ‘inspiring’ Folkestone ballroom dancer who died from COVID-19

Dancing Trousers

The granddaughter of a much loved ballroom dancer from Folkestone has paid an emotional tribute to her granddad.

Eric Bass died on Friday (April 2), aged 83, after battling against coronavirus during March.

Eric and his wife Maureen owned The Dance Easy Club on the Bayle and won the Kent ballroom championships in 1966.

They also appeared on Come Dancing (before it became Strictly), where they came to associate with the greats of ballroom including Len Goodman and Anton Du Beke.

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The ballroom and Latin classes run by the couple would attract people of all ages from toddlers to those nearing 100.

If that wasn’t enough, Eric had a get fit dance class and eventually represented Slimming World and took home another title of the slimming world champion in the late ’80s for losing the most weight in a year.

Eric was taken into hospital at the end of February after suffering two fractures in his neck.

But after recovering from that, he caught coronavirus.

Eric and his wife, Maureen dancing together

His granddaughter, Victoria Bass told KentLive: “His lungs were covered with the infection and dementia took hold quickly, he soon forgot who we were.

“At least now he is at peace, and in no pain. We’re imagining him dancing how he used to.

“We are so touched by all of the kind words we’ve received since informing people of his passing and feel extremely proud of him being our Dad, Granddad and Great Grandpa.”

Victoria, a singer and dancer herself, paid tribute to her granddad and the impact he had on not only her life but the hundreds of other people he met.

She said: “Along with the skill of dance, he taught me and all of those he met to have confidence, believe in yourself and follow your dreams.

“Whenever we couldn’t do something, or if you were frustrated with your abilities he told you there was ‘no such thing as can’t.’ This is a lesson I will take with me for life, to never give up.

“63 years of being happily married, four children, nine grandchildren and two great grandchildren later, he’s touched so many lives, but especially those of his family.

“Outside of his loved ones, many people hold a place for him in their heart due to how many he inspired and contributed to their special moments in life such as hosting wedding receptions, teaching private lessons and in general being a huge support in people’s lives.”

The couple on their golden wedding day

“As a family we’d like to emphasise the importance of continuing to follow Covid guidelines.

“We were so careful as a family and it’s heartbreaking that Granddad caught the virus in a place where we thought he’d be most safe. Hold on to your loved ones and enjoy every minute you get.”

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