Last Saturday evening I had the privilege of dancing a duo centre stage on the Crown Theatre, together with participating in three ensemble pieces. I was so excited by this rare honour that I rounded up my family and friends saying: "Please buy tickets, this is something special for me, like graduating or getting married or some such". So my loyal and beautiful cheer squad, whom I rely on to come each year, expanded to double the numbers. In the end I had around 25 people attend. First-timers were amazed at the professional level of the show. My older brother's comment: "I was expecting about 14 dancers doing a tame end-of-year recital. I was not expecting Los Vegas!"
It was a magic night, made even more magical by the love and support of my family and friends, as well as my fellow dancers. It was only a couple of days later that something dawned on me. My sense of it being a big milestone was even truer than I thought. I've long observed that some part of one's soul or psyche keeps a perfect record of time. Let me explain. The year is 1958. The dancers of the Joy Ashton school are about to take the stage at Fremantle Town Hall. Among them are the three-year-old infants of "Tiny Tots A", and among them is me! I was a gypsy girl with a ribboned tambourine. My mother had spangled my black bolero. I also had a little sailor suit costume. I don't have a photo of myself at three, but this one was taken only a couple of years later, costumed for the Highland Fling and the Wild Irish Washerwoman's jig, respectively.
Saturday night was my diamond anniversary of dancing. Sixty years! It was a long time to wait to wear a tutu! Talk about delayed gratification . . . and all the sweeter for it. And in the meantime, a whole lifetime of joy. And hilarity. Every time I watch 'retro pieces' going back several decades I smile because I lived and danced through it all. I am so grateful to The Dance Collective for creating a culture where the miracle of continuing my love of dance is made possible.
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