Bye bye ballroom! Alice hangs up dancing shoes

Alice Armitage has been doing tea dances for 25 years and it's the final one today as she is retiring, dancing with Gerard Long. (d634a349)
Alice Armitage has been doing tea dances for 25 years and it's the final one today as she is retiring, dancing with Gerard Long. (d634a349)
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A dancing queen has hung up her Mary Janes for the last time after leading tea dances for 25 years.

Alice Armitage has been a master of ceremonies for tea dances around West Yorkshire since taking over sessions with her late partner Terry Wilson.

For the past 10 years she has been running sessions twice weekly at Cleckheaton Town Hall.

The 73-year-old said: “We started at St Mary’s in Batley which was in financial difficulties and couldn’t fund the dancing. Terry was an MC but was in retirement, but came back to do that.

“We did it for seven years and we MCd all over; in Wakefield, Leeds, Hanging Heaton and Healey. We raised a lot of money for Candle Lighters charity and the Yorkshire Air Ambulance.

“When Terry passed away his last request was for me to continue playing the music that people enjoyed. I have been at Cleckheaton Town Hall for more than 10 years, twice a week.

“I also used to do dance tours, going on coaches once a year to places like Blackpool, Scarborough and Llandudno.

“Unfortunately my body is telling me it’s time to go. I will miss it terribly.”

Alice said her dances had brought many people together, and she too had met her new partner, Gerard Long, at a dance.

She said: “At my last dance on Tuesday they presented me with a gold disc which says, ‘from all those who met and fell in love dancing with Alice’. There have been quite a few romances and three couples came on Tuesday who met while dancing.

“I have met some wonderful friends and I have a lot of happy memories.

“I would like to thank everyone for all their support and loyalty over the years.”

The couple would be spending more time at their caravan in Hornsea, she added.