Norma Richards, 89, a resident at Colten Care’s Newstone House in Sturminster Newton, spent her 20s dancing in ballet productions across the UK and Europe and even starred in the BBC’s series Ballet for Beginners.
One of the highlights of her career was being invited to audition for the iconic Marie Rambert – founder of Ballet Rambert – before going on to train with her company.
Norma and her fellow Newstone House residents were visited by Daisy West, a successful international performer who also trained at the prestigious Ballet Rambert, now the Rambert Dance Company.
Daisy talked about her own career which began when she was four and saw her make her West End debut at the age of 10 in the London Children’s Ballet production of The Secret Garden.
Daisy also led residents through a series of ballet arm movements and performed short pieces of both ballet and contemporary dance, before inviting Norma to choreograph a unique, improvised piece for the residents’ enjoyment.
Norma said: “It has been wonderful to meet Daisy. So much has changed since I performed ballet, but when I watch her it takes me back to when I danced and I know we share the same passion in our souls.”
Daisy said: “I was thrilled to be invited along to Newstone House. Sharing my love of dance is my passion and everyone – ladies and gentlemen – seemed to really enjoy it.”
“Meeting Norma was the absolute icing on the cake; hearing her stories, sharing our experiences and just knowing that she performed for one of my heroines Marie Rambert – is absolutely fascinating.
“And when we put her on the spot by handing her a microphone and asking her to choreograph a short piece of ballet, she was able to do so beautifully. She really is an incredible lady.”
Companionship Team Leader at Newstone House Rebekah Goddard, said: “Today has been a wonderful experience for us all, from Norma who enjoyed a successful career as a dancer, to others whose wives or husbands danced, or whom just loved to dance themselves.
“Seeing the beautifully graceful Daisy leap and pirouette across our lounge is something we will all remember for a long time.”