An 84-year-former ballerina was given a show-stopping surprise when a local ballet group arrived at the care home where she lives in Quorn.
Retired-ballerina Kathleen (Kate) Sinclair, a resident at Care UK’s Lonsdale Mews, on Farley Way, told her care team her greatest wish was to see a ballet performance up close once again, so they immediately set to work to make her wish come true.
Former dancer Kate was delighted when the AMC School of Dance pliéd and pirouetted their way into the home for a special show, performing to one of Kate’s favourite pieces, the Nutcracker’s ‘Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy’.
Kate was thrilled to be able to admire the expressive dancers with all the well-executed toe points, and enjoyed discussing her passion for ballet with the young ballerinas after the show.
“I was really impressed with the high standard of dancing from the AMC dancers and remembered all the ballet positions. I really enjoyed the afternoon – it brought back so many wonderful memories!” she said.
The visit was part of the home’s ‘Wishing Tree’ Initiative, which encourages residents to put wishes forward, allowing them to reconnect with a past hobby or try something completely new – from flying on a plane to enjoying a fish and chip supper, no wish is too big or small.
Beginning her ballet journey at the age of just seven, at Miss Courtney’s School of Dance in Scotland, Kate fell head over heels in love with dance and made sure to never miss a class. Her then teacher, Miss Courtney, spent time with Kate, perfecting her technique and teaching her all things ballet. At the age of twelve, Kate moved to Cheltenham and her passion for dance was helped along by her mother, who picked up extra work to make sure Kate was able to pursue her love of dance.
At the age of fifteen, Kate’s perfect poise saw her offered a place at the Ballet Rambert Dance Company in Birmingham, but she lived too far away to be able to take up their offer. Instead, she went on to complete her teaching certificate and continue to dance ballet over the years.
Soon after, Kate met her husband Tony at a dance in Elgin where the pair danced the night away, going on to marry in 1958. Together, the pair had two daughters, five grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
Toby Sturgess, Home Manager at Lonsdale Mews, said: “We all enjoyed a wonderful ballet performance from the AMC School of Dance and are thrilled we were able to make this special event happen for lifelong dance lover Kate.
“Here at Lonsdale Mews, we are passionate about helping residents’ dreams come true, whether that be welcoming furry friends into the home or a performance from young ballerinas.
“It was lovely to welcome all of these young dancers into the home, and seeing the smile on Kate’s face made it all worth it – thank you again AMC School of Dance!
“It was a fantastic day that we will all remember for a long time.”