Rehearsing for today’s U3A Christmas luncheon at the Ballina RSL Club are Fun-damental Tap Dancers members (front, from left) Angie Frederiksen, Ted Jepson and Lea Knudson, with the rest of the crew behind them.
Rehearsing for today’s U3A Christmas luncheon at the Ballina RSL Club are Fun-damental Tap Dancers members (front, from left) Angie Frederiksen, Ted Jepson and Lea Knudson, with the rest of the crew behind them. Doug Eaton

U3A Fun-damental Tap Dancers

TAP dance teachers Wendy Saville and Joy Goode have no discipline problems in their class – the students belong to the University of the Third Age (U3A) in Ballina.

Wendy learnt to tap in Sydney when she was only three years old, while Joy studied in Lismore when she was seven.

As well as keeping fit, the Fun-damental Tap Dancers group offers friendship and a social outing.

At 80, Norma Whitfield is the most senior student and has replaced salsa classes with tap dancing this year.

“It’s good exercise and it helps my body,” Norma said. “I have good energy. You have to keep up with things, don’t you?” And keep up Norma does, by studying computer and photography courses at U3A as well.

The baby of the group at 58 is Mary Pinzone, who tap dances to enjoy a break from working on her farm.

Mary grows herbs and seasonal vegetables, which she sells at the local markets, along with value-added products such as pesto, chutney and jams. “It’s a lot of hard work, but the kids have moved on now, so I love my dancing,” she said.

Mary even donated the egg money from her 10 chooks to the costumes for the U3A Christmas concert.

“I’ve never known a keener bunch of people,” Wendy said. “They even get together and rehearse without me once a week at one of the women’s houses. Her husband made a wooden floor they could all tap on.”

The troupe will tap their way through three numbers at their performance today at the Ballina RSL Club, appropriately finishing up with If My Friends Could See Me Now.



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