Re­tir­ing dance teacher (91) still has a spring in her step

Melville Times - - News -

WINIFRED Cald­well has loved Scot­tish coun­try danc­ing since she was first taught the steps as a Glas­gow school­girl more than 80 years ago.

For the past three decades, she has passed that pas­sion on to ap­pre­cia­tive stu­dents at St Stephen’s Unit­ing Church Hall in Ap­ple­cross.

Now 91, Mrs Chan­dler has de­cided to hang up the teach­ing boots – but not her danc­ing shoes.

“I’ve loved teach­ing be­cause it en­cour­ages peo­ple to ex­er­cise and en­joy danc­ing,” she said.

“It also keeps the brain go­ing be­cause you have to know where you are go­ing to avoid bump­ing into peo­ple.

“I used to teach twice a week and then cut that down to once and now I’m look­ing for­ward to just danc­ing as a par­tic­i­pant.”

Mrs Cald­well and her hus­band Robert moved to Perth in 1968 af­ter fall­ing in love with the city while on va­ca­tion.

“Robert was an en­gi­neer work­ing in Singapore and Malaysia and we came to Aus­tralia for a hol­i­day,” she said.

“The plan was to start in Perth and then head over to the east­ern states, but we never got fur­ther than WA.”

The cou­ple built a house in Ardross where they have lived ever since, and Mrs Cald­well has been an ac­tive mem­ber of the Tar­tan Dancers since 1970.

She tried to in­tro­duce both her son and daugh­ter to Scot­tish coun­try danc­ing with­out much suc­cess.

“My son Iain was bet­ter at it, but by the time he be­came a teenager it was just not done,” she said.

“Dawn was a ballet dancer and didn’t like Scot­tish danc­ing nearly as much.

“Af­ter my hus­band died, some­one sug­gested I should do some teach­ing, so I did a course and be­came a qual­i­fied in­struc­tor in 1985.

“Most of the peo­ple that come along for classes are 20 and up­wards, and we do get some strangers from time to time, but once they get a taste they are hooked.”

The Tar­tan Dancers meet on Mon­day af­ter­noons and Thurs­day evenings at St Stephen’s Unit­ing Hall in Ap­ple­cross.

Any­one in­ter­ested in at­tend­ing can con­tact Dawn Cromb on 0414 859 393 or email td­cromb@gmail.com.

Pic­ture: Bruce Hunt d466482

Winifred Cald­well and one of her for­mer stu­dents, Anne Chan­dler.

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