An Elegant Way

November 5th, 2018


“Betty reminds us that her father used to say that “she had been vaccinated with a gramophone needle”! True to form we chatted a lot today and Betty is a fountain of knowledge. She told us how splendid it was to be back in the atmosphere of the theatre, the same theatre where she’d learned to tap dance and that she was “still an old pro dear”. She too was taught by Adaline Calder who used to turn up to shows and the dancers didn’t know, sitting at the back. Then she gave notes. They were all called on their mistakes. Accuracy was important and she called on that. Betty’s father-in-law was performer and producer George Clarkson Snr, who taught Betty a lot about the business and I think kept every contract and playbill Betty and her dancing duo husband ever had. What a collection!, and so many names today; The Campbell Girls Troupe, The Wyatt Sisters, Ruby and Pam, Cormac and Sharp, George and Irene, her dresses were made by her father and the Rinda Mackenzie Troupe who spoke Esperanto.”

Not to be outdone (the elbow system of friendly rivalry at work here I think!), Doreen told us about Mickey Rooney visiting the Pavilion in Glasgow. Doreen’s whole family were there in the stalls. Mickey came out in front of the cloth and was talking about Glasgow when Ricky and Jack (Francie & Josie) came in with their wives and everyone stood up and applauded, and Mickey’s thunder was stolen! There was also lots oof body talk today e.g. bending, stretching, melting, rolling, opening, elevating, closing. And talk about how muscle strength and bounce changes as you get older. But the best came from Marie who, on watching me dance, said “Janice, keep that movement. You had quite an elegant way of doing it” Thanks Marie I’ll take that!”Janice Parker


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