RON Huckerby had never been too interested in learning to line dance, preferring to go out for a beer while his wife, Wendy, went to classes at The Ritz Ballroom.
But after he was persuaded to go along Ron soon found the music drawing him in and now the duo just can’t stop dancing.
Wendy had been attending classes at The Ritz in Brighouse with her sister after Ron said he wasn’t keen.
But that changed dramatically once Ron had been persuaded to sample a spot of line dancing. Soon the 75-year-old’s feet were tapping and he joined the dancers out on the floor.
“I like the music and it keeps you fit both physically and mentally because you have to remember the steps,” said Ron. “There are some very nice people who go along and the whole experience is very enjoyable.”
The couple have been running their own classes at Brighouse, Lightcliffe and Wyke for seven years. “They are all doing really well at the moment,” said Wendy. “We struggled when we first started but we stuck at it. I think the reason why people enjoy coming is because they don’t need a partner to dance with, plus it is good exercise and a way of meeting new people.”
And as part of their routine, the dancers help to raise funds for Yorkshire Air Ambulance which to date adds up to more than £11,500.
“We used to raise money for different charities every year and then we decided to pick one that might affect everybody or someone they knew. “The Yorkshire Air Ambulance was an obvious choice,” said Wendy, who celebrates her 75th birthday tomorrow.
The cash is raised with sales of books, cards which Wendy makes herself, vegetables grown by some of the dancers, raffles, and collections.
In 2010 alone the classes raised £2,260 for the charity and as a reward for their continued fund-raising efforts the couple, who live in Wakefield Road, Lightcliffe, were invited to a special awards ceremony held at Rudding Park, Harrogate, in November last year.
The award came as a complete surprise to the couple. “We weren’t expecting anything even when we got the invite,” said Ron. “But we are very proud and pleased with the amount we have raised over the years.”
The couple have been line dancing for more than 16 years and have spent many hours practising and perfecting their moves.
“When we first started we used to practise in the dining room but we wore the carpet down,” said Wendy. “Now we have wood floorboards and have moved into the attic to practise,” laughed Wendy.
“You don’t just dance to country music. You can do it to Irish music, pop or even rap music. We learn the routines from specialist magazines and we pick a couple which we think will be popular with our dancers.”
Ron said it can often take some time to learn a new dance but with experience and by talking to other teachers they make sure they pick the routines that will appeal most.
“Line dancing is something we both enjoy doing and we hope to continue for some time.” said Ron
- Michaela Maunders