Angela and Claudia from Crewe, Cheshire, have been the best of friends for over 50 years. They spent most of their formative years performing in dance shows all around the country. When Angela spotted our National Tapathon event, she decided that it was time for her and Claudia to dust off their tap shoes and put their best foot forward to fundraise for charity.
Here, Angela shares her memories of dancing through her childhood with her best friend Claudia ahead of the National Tapathon next Sunday [23rd May].
“Our families first met when we were just a few months old – we were christened at the same service in October 1970. We began infant school together in 1974 and took part in our first school play in 1976. This started off our love of performing and in the years that followed, we spent more time on the stage than anywhere else.
I grew up admiring many of the tap-dancing legends including Roy Castle, Lionel Blair and Gene Kelly. I had been at dance school since I was 4 years old, and Claudia joined me there not long after.
Claudia and I started at junior school together where we became ‘best friends’. We were inseparable; we went to school together, danced together three times a week and even holidayed with each other’s families. I stayed in their family caravan in North Wales and Claudia came to Devon with my family. One of our proudest moments was when we won 1st place in the talent show a holiday park doing acrobatics.
Our dance school did a show every year at our local theatre which we always enjoyed performing in, we also took part in dance competitions all over the UK. We lived and breathed dancing and performing. We were always excited when we were chosen to perform in Christmas pantomimes (as that meant we had to have licences to have time off school!).
Claudia and I then went through high school together and continued to dance. As we got older, work and life happened and sadly dancing got left behind, but our friendship continued. Both of us have a daughter each and we are godparents to each other’s girls.
Reliving our youth
As many charities have been affected by the covid-19 pandemic, it seemed that rooting out our dusty old tap shoes may be something we could do to help.
I saw the National Tapathon advertised and recognised it straight away as I remember some of the children from our local dance school taking part last year. I thought “If the kids can do it, I’d like to see if I still can!” and of course, I roped Claudia in for the challenge.
I thought I would set our fundraising target low and manageable, just in case our 50-year-old knees didn’t want us to tap anymore! I was so shocked when our families and friends jumped on board and helped us smash our target – they obviously have more faith in us than we do!
To know that we will be making a difference to people’s lives by reliving our youth is a fantastic feeling.
Although neither of us have been directly affected by lung cancer, we both are very aware of the severity of the disease and how much people affected need that extra support. With that being said, we are very proud to be supporting a charity like Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation who always go the extra mile for those who are living with lung cancer.
We can’t wait to take part and join in with the main event on Sunday 23rd May.”