‘I’ve been dancing for 67 years’

Ivan Hunt

Ivan Hunt, 94, a retired civil servant from Chesterfield in Derbyshire has danced for nearly seven decades and is still going strong.

“My wife Marjorie was a keen ballroom dancer, and she persuaded me to try it with her when I was 27. At the time I didn’t want to go, but that was in 1946 and I’m still doing it! We danced together for many years.

“I stopped for a while after Marjorie died seven years ago but a year later I went back. Now I dance with another partner Beryl, whose husband wasn’t keen on going.

I’ve met lots of people through my dancing, and it’s helped me keep active too

“In 2010, I was on the way home from our Christmas dance – a very happy occasion – when I suddenly felt like I could hardly walk. I saw the doctor who did some tests and then wouldn’t let me move until the ambulance came. My heart rate was very low and I had a pacemaker fitted the next day at Chesterfield Royal Infirmary.

“I took a few weeks to recover but I was soon back dancing again. I’m the oldest person on the floor but I’m still active. I can do the tango but my favourites are the quickstep and the Irish foxtrot. I enjoy it so much.

Ivan with his dancing partner, Beryl “I’m very lucky. My doctor says I’m the sprightliest person who comes to the cardiology department! I’ve had no problems with my pacemaker at all and when I had it checked, I said, ‘I hope it’s got long-life batteries in it!’

As well as dancing every week, I do the gardening and housework, and every morning after I’ve washed and shaved, I do ten minutes of exercises on the bathroom floor.

“For me, the best thing about dancing is the company. There are usually about 30 of us there. We have a tea break halfway through, and if it’s someone’s birthday we have special refreshments and sing Happy Birthday.

“I live on my own and don’t have any children, but I’ve met lots of people through my dancing, and it’s helped me keep active too.”

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