A delighted mother and daughter danced together in an emotional reunion at a Hampshire dementia care home after three years apart.
Nalini Bhagwat, a resident at Colten Care’s St Catherines View in Winchester, welcomed her daughter Asha all the way from New Zealand specially for the visit.
Both are talented dancers and after Asha made her 11,500-mile (18,400 km) trip to the home, it wasn’t long before they were ready to show off some routines as a duo.
A member of a Middle Eastern dance group in New Zealand, Asha offered to entertain residents with a dazzling belly dancing performance dressed in a blue sequinned outfit.
After a few minutes and an offer for spectators to join in, Nalini was first to accept.
Companionship Team Leader Laura Sheldrake said:
“It was the first time in three years they had been able to dance together and Nalini was so keen to be involved. She jumped straight up to be with Asha.
“Fellow residents joined in with clapping and were amazed at what Asha was doing. They kept saying how amazing she looked.
“Nalini told everyone ‘That’s my daughter’ as she watched with pride.
“We have never had a belly dancer perform here and when Asha offered, I immediately said yes. The look on Nalini’s face while Asha was dancing was just pure joy.
“We arrange a Zoom call for them every week since Asha lives on the other side of the world but it was lovely to see first-hand how close they are, hugging each other and dancing.
“It was an emotional reunion but a very happy one indeed. It was like they had never been apart.
“Asha performs belly dance routines in shows and even visits care homes in New Zealand so she was comfortable in offering to entertain our residents.
“All the residents loved the music, her beautiful costume and the dancing by her and Nalini. It was such a fun morning.”
Asha said: “It was amazing to be able to dance for the residents and especially for my mum.