Keeeeeep dancing... and your marriage could survive as long as 50 or 60 years.
At least that’s the experience of some members of Spalding Sequence Dance Club.
Just ten of the couples who attend the club have clocked up a massive 565 years of marital bliss between them – and a staggering 1,570 years of life.
And there’s evidently plenty of life in all of them as they demonstrate as they serenely make their way round the dance floor at St Norbert’s Church hall on a Monday evening.
Leaders Dennis and Jean Pates (married 58 years) teach the class something like 40 new dances a year, so that is clearly going to keep minds and bodies agile.
However, it also requires couples to co-operate and work together, so perhaps the dancing really is responsible for the long marriages.
Not according to Ray Gostlow, who has been married to Jo for 54 years (and still rides a VFR 800 Honda motorbike).
“We have seen people stamp their feet and walk off the floor, but not here,” Ray hastens to add.
Ray and Jo, of Kirton, have danced for between 50 and 60 years, in Spalding for the past five, and say the dancing does make a difference. Ray has had a heart attack, a stroke and a quadruple bypass about seven years ago, but is dancing every week. Jo points out it also improves people’s social lives, and adds: “Sometimes it helps the marriage, sometimes not if you start arguing about it, but we don’t get to blows.”
Other dancing duos that have passed their golden anniversary are Brian and Dorothy Woods, of Frampton; Cyril and Sheila Shillaker, of Spalding – who believe it is the era they were born in that has laid the foundations for their 59 year-long marriage; and Paul and Margaret Walls, of Spalding, who elaborate on that theme by saying: “They haven’t gone through the war and the hardships that brought when you just had to make do.”
Other golden oldies are Pete and Doreen Taylor, of Spalding and Alan and Sheila Abbott, of West Pinchbeck.
Two of the couples celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary this year – Des and Rene Curtis, of Gosberton Risegate, and club treasurer and secretary Bert Williams and his wife Charlotte, who live in Spalding. Pete and Pam Collins, of Wigtoft, have been married 62 years.
Des says: “There’s only one reason for coming here – we love dancing.”
Bert and Charlotte add: “We find it the most sociable thing you can do. We have done modern when we were very young, but this is much more enjoyable and more friendly. We are all in couples and a lot of us have been married a lot of years. There must be something in it.”