My Dancing Daze Research Trip to Budapest

In March last year I travelled to Budapest in Hungary with a group of friends. We stayed in this amazing boutique hotel called Brody House which is owned by an English friend of ours.

I decided to set my fictional ballet school – the Budapest Ballet Academy – in an old building very like Brody House.

I booked tickets for the Hungarian National Ballet in the stunning Budapest Opera House. It was a very exciting, dramatic ballet called The Karamazovs, with lots of acrobatics and gypsy dancing and even the boys loved it! They couldn’t believe how fit and athletic the male dancers were – they were most impressed. It’s basically a story about three brothers and their fights.

The inside of the Opera House, which is covered in gold leaf and is one of the most opulent and beautiful buildings I’ve ever seen.

The city is wonderful and I adored just walking around, soaking up the atmosphere and day dreaming about Claire, and how she must feel walking the very same streets.

We also visited the Gellért Baths, where one of the scenes in Dancing Daze is set and had a wonderful soak in the warm salt water, and even visited the steam room, just like Amy and Clover!

In the book Amy describes it as ‘pretty swish in an Addams Family kind of way: murky, with lots of big ferny pot plants, stained-glass windows, and funny little stairways.’ Maybe one day you’ll visit the baths, just like Amy and Clover, it’s quite an experience!

I do hope you enjoy Dancing Daze and if you ever get to visit Budapest, jump at the chance. It really is a wonderful city, full of character. You never know, you might even bump in to me, wandering the streets, and day dreaming about another book...

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