Search

Doris sees off youngsters in Headway’s dance marathon with her Hand Jive

PUBLISHED: 16:00 01 May 2012 | UPDATED: 07:14 02 May 2012

Dancers pacing through the eight-hour marathon at York Hall

Dancers pacing through the eight-hour marathon at York Hall

Headway

Four women in their eighties thinking they were at a pensioners’ tea dance took the limelight at an annual Headway dancing marathon, seeing off the younger generation.

Doris Miller showed the yong’uns a thing or two when she won first prize for her hand jiving on Saturday.

She and her three friends didn’t expect an eight-hour dance marathon when they turned up at Bethnal Green’s York Hall.

It turned out to be Headway East London’s annual charity fundraiser with dance music progressing through eight decades hour-by-hour.

The ladies were ‘at home’ when the marathon started with 1940s swing and even the rocking 1950s.

Doris came into her own with the Hand Jive, invented in a Soho coffee bar in 1957—when she was still in her 20s.

Judges were bowled over by her hand moves and clapping, like an elaborate version of Pat-a-cake with thigh slapping, cross-wrist slapping, fist pounding and jerky hitch-hike thumbing.

“Doris was brilliant,” said Headway fundraiser Rosalind Crane. “The four ladies came in when they thought it was a tea dance—but had to give up when the marathon got to the jitterbugging 1970s!”

Among the youngest dancers were two-and-a-half-year-old Harrison, son of Headway therapist Nadia Fitzpatrick, and an 18-month-old girl tripping the light fantastic.

But probably youngest of all was still in the womb.

“My baby isn’t due for another five weeks—but seemed to enjoy jiggling about in my tummy,” added Rosalind. “I kept going until they played ‘Gotta Feeling’ and had to rest—so did the baby.”

The marathon is set to raise £15,000 for the charity’s unique brain injury day care centre in Shoreditch.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the East London Advertiser. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the East London Advertiser