Belle of the ballroom Joan Taylor, one of Blackpool Tower Ballroom's most beloved dancers dies aged 101
One of the Tower Ballroom’s most prominent dancers and beloved characters, who danced a tango on the world famous sprung floor for her 100th birthday, has died.
Joan Taylor, who lived in St Annes and was a regular visitor to the Tower with her late husband George for more than seven decades, died aged 101 on Thursday, February 18 at Blackpool Victoria Hospital after developing pneumonia and Covid-19.
Described as an “inspiration of ballroom”, dancing friends and acquaintances have spoken of the lovely memories of Joan dancing around the iconic venue.
Great grandmother-of-five Joan did not hang up her dancing shoes until she was made to shield and the ballroom closed last year because of the pandemic.
Longtime friend to the couple of more than 30 years and professional dancer, Jim Mason, said Joan was an “exquisite dancer, who loved the rumba.”
He said: “George and Joan were inseparable. They would have their routine of visiting the Ballroom, having their salad for lunch, and spending their afternoons dancing.
“It took Joan some time after George died to want to dance again but she did and got used to it. She was marvellous. She danced on her 100th birthday without pausing for breath.
“Dancing in that ballroom was one of the highlights of her life. She even once took to the floor with Len Goodman.
“She was a real character and she will be missed by so many in the dancing community.”
As well as her dancing, Joan enjoyed watching shows at the Grand Theatre in the town centre and the Lowther Pavilion in Lytham.
Joan and George, originally from Nelson, were married in 1939. After frequently visiting, they moved to the Fylde coast in 1983.
They were given a lifetime pass to the Ballroom by Merlin after marking their 71st wedding anniversary at the Tower. They were parents to son Michael, who died suddenly in 1993.
George, a keen artist, who ran his own painting and decorating business, died in 2011.
Joan is survived by her great-grandchildren; two grandchildren, Stephen and Vicky; and Michael’s widow Linda.
At the request of Joan’s family, The Gazette is not publishing details of her funeral.