A great-grandmother is gearing up for the Strictly Come Dancing final by putting on her dancing shoes – making her Britain’s OLDEST female ballroom dancer at the grand old age of 95.
Sprightly Joan Taylor, who has been dancing for more than 70 years, celebrated reaching the landmark with an afternoon of tea and dancing today.
Surrounded by her friends and family, the pensioner celebrated in style at the spectacular Blackpool Tower ballroom – a venue that holds a special place in her heart.
And after marking her special day on the dancefloor, Joan will put her feet up on Saturday – to watch BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing final.
Joan, who has two grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, has no intention of hanging up her dancing shoes any time soon.
She said: “You don’t give up doing something you love. That is my life, dancing.
“I have had lessons all my life – my favourites are modern ballroom and Latin.”
“We are lucky to have it and I don’t think it is appreciated like it should be.
“I must have been coming here for 70 years now, probably longer. I usually come about twice a week.”
Joan will be having another celebration for the friends and family who couldn’t make it to her party next Wednesday.
But she said she was delighted with the turn out at the Tower ballroom, where she enjoyed afternoon tea and dancing.
She added: “I had my granddaughter and my great-grandson there.
“I also had some wonderful friends – it was a lovely day.”
Kate Shane, manager of the Tower, said she was only too happy to welcome Joan for her birthday celebrations.
“We love our regular dancers and it’s fantastic Joan is still coming,” she added.
“She looks amazing and it’s an amazing room.
“Celebrating your 95th birthday in the Tower Ballroom, it doesn’t get much better than that.
“And it’s a fantastic message dancing is good for us all.”
The world’s oldest female ballroom dancer is believed to be 96-year-old Tao Porchon Lynch from New York.
But 100-year-old Frederick Salter, from London, holds the record for the world’s oldest.
by Sarah Ridley