First lady of dance at Watton gallery
Ian ClarkeSHE was special guest at an exhibition celebrating spring at a newly-named gallery.And there was certainly still a spring in the step - and sparkle in the eye - of Norfolk's queen of dancing Peggy Spencer at the Dragonfly Gallery in Watton on Saturday.Ian Clarke
SHE was special guest at an exhibition celebrating spring at a newly-named gallery.
And there was certainly still a spring in the step - and sparkle in the eye - of Norfolk's queen of dancing Peggy Spencer at the Dragonfly Gallery in Watton on Saturday.
Peggy will celebrate her 90th birthday in September - and has got no less than three parties lined up - and was in great form as she viewed the work of 14 artists, including her daughter Helena Anderson.
The Come Dancing icon - who taught Bruce Forsyth to do the paso doble, jive and samba - still runs dance classes at Gaywood Community Centre in King's Lynn, which attract up to 90 people a week.
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'I came to Norfolk to retire and did not think I would teach again! I am so grateful that I am still able to teach even if I cannot do the steps with them. There is such a community spirit in dancing.'
Peggy said she was delighted at the fresh impetus given by programmes such as Strictly Come Dancing, presented by Brucie.
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'He is a very good presenter. I did about five or six shows with him when he was on the Generation Game. He is a perfectionist and he would want to rehearse and rehearse. Strictly has given dancing a new image.
'Boys did not want to dance as there was a stigma but when they see sports personalities and see it is cool to dance they want to do it.'
Peggy said the Watton gallery was 'beautifully bright clean and alive.'
Helena agreed and said she was 'quite overwhelmed' by the standard of work on display.
She has been a professional since 1990 and started painting to get a break from the '24 hour life' of running the Hotel Mildenhall in Lynn.
Helena favours portraits and said the gallery was ideal for exhibitions.
'I am thrilled with it. I love the layout and it is really alive.'
The exhibition space - at Wayland House in the High Street - has been open for about four years but the new name of the Dragonfly Gallery emphasises its role as an art space in the town.
A total of 14 artists are displaying and 53 people were at a launch event on Friday.
Jan Godfrey, chairman of the Wayland Partnership trustees, said: 'It is a lovely mixed exhibition and the gallery is a real asset. One of the things missing from rural life is that you have to travel so far to get exposure to cultural life.'
The exhibition is open from 10am-4pm each day until Friday and then 10am-1pm on Saturday.
More exhibitions will be put on through the year and details are available from the Gallery or from the website www.thewaylanddragonflygallery.co.uk