Tea dance group celebrates success

Members of the tea dance group at St Andrew's Square Community Hall. Picture: Andrew Roe
Members of the tea dance group at St Andrew's Square Community Hall. Picture: Andrew Roe

WHEN dance classes at Bolton-on-Dearne’s Renaissance Centre folded due to lack of funding, many people were disappointed.

But a Coalfield Regeneration grant for £3,245 allowed the dancing to go on, in a more permanent form at a different venue. Now the Lacewood Tea Dance Group is in a strong financial position and attracts new dancers every week to St Andrew’s Community Centre.

They have been meeting there for a year and for £2 members can enjoy learning new dances with a break for refreshments and a chat.

Joe Wilcox, 68, is a founder member of the group after taking up dancing post-retirement, with wife Sandra, 63.

He said: “I’m one of the young ones – we have people of all ages, including a couple in their late eighties.

“One recent member has two new knees after replacement operations, and he loves to get out and dance.”

After the initial Age UK sessions at the Renaissance Centre ended, the grant enabled the dancers to form a club with a committee and constitution, and paid for hire of premises and tuition from local instructors.

“Everyone’s welcome to join us and it would be lovely to see some more couples,” said Joe, who described the group as the “friendliest I have ever come across.”

Up to 40 people can attend the session on a good week and no dancing experience at all is needed. There is not an ounce of animosity towards anyone who can’t dance at all,” said Joe. “We learn new routines every week and are simply people who enjoy sequence dancing. We know there are more people in this community who could benefit hugely from joining us and urge everyone to come along and give us a go.”

The dance takes place every Thursday from 1.15pm to 3.45pm.