Dance teacher says goodbye after five decades of classes

Surrounded by dancers past and present is dance teacher Norma Wood who retired  after 55 years on Saturday at the Haver hall, St. Nicholas Church, Sunderland.

Surrounded by dancers past and present is dance teacher Norma Wood who retired after 55 years on Saturday at the Haver hall, St. Nicholas Church, Sunderland.

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A DANCE teacher has hung up her tap shoes after 55 years in the business.

Norma Wood, 76, said an emotional goodbye to students past and present when she held her last dance class at St Nicholas’ church hall, in Barnes, Sunderland.

During her 55-year stint at the helm of the Norma Wood School of Dance, the devoted teacher has taught hundreds of Wearsiders – taking in several generations of families.

Norma’s passion for dance has inspired those who attended her classes over the years and, in return, her young pupils wanted to say a special “thank-you”.

Norma’s daughter, Deborah, who has helped out at the classes, said: “We all thought it was about time she gave up because she’s battled a few illnesses over the last few years.

“We wanted to make sure she closed the school on a high note and I really think we did. It was quite emotional, because on the last day, pupils from years gone by came and it was an absolutely unbelievable day.

“In some cases, she has taught three or four generations of families, which has been nice.”

The school has always been a real real family affair. Norma, known to all as Aunty Norma, had a helping hand from not only Deborah, but her sister Susan.

Her husband Joe also acted as class cobbler and would put the taps in the shoes.

Twitter: @sunechochief