Meeting Doreen

October 24th, 2016


We had a few guests today, a PHD student in dementia studies at Stirling and Paula Lopez a producer from Brazil visiting Scotland as a delegate with Luminate. And we had the privilege of being on Festival Theatre’s main stage (a rare opportunity as it is so rarely ‘dark’)

Marie again was struck by the enormity of it (who wouldn’t be!) saying it was immense. She talked about performing here and being told to really fill this space and make their act fit this massive space. (The Festival Theatre stage is the largest in Europe) It really is quite amazing that the Raymond Sisters filled the whole stage with just the two of them! Marie got going with her tap shoes on recalling and teaching more and more steps and sequences.  Katie is finding it hard to keep up and says “It’s such a great feeling dancing with Marie and starting to feel like a wee double act.” June came along in the afternoon with son Gavin. June had also invited Doreen Leighton-Ward who was, on occasions, one of the Moxon dancers and mainly an Adaline Calder dancer. What a beautiful reunion! They hadn’t seen each other for a while!  It was great to go a bit deeper into some of their stories and listen to them regale stories and have a laugh.

Doreen told us that the Moxon Girls only got paid £3 a week! There were beautiful moments on main stage and lots of laughing, everyone getting on so well and of course, a bit of friendly competition at times. Who is going to be Head Girl of this troupe! At one point we all, June, Marie, Doreen, Katie, Janice and Paula were in a chorus line dancing together. June directing and choreographing us, and inviting us to improvise, while Marie was concentrated on doing steps properly, while the rest of us all danced our own dance. I think Paula had never tap danced before.! What a line up, all on camera, and what fun and joie de vivre. As June would say “talk about a laugh a minute!’ – Janice Parker


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