Dance teacher Dys celebrates 90 years

90 years old Dys Brooks teaches dance at Willingdon Memorial Hall. July 31st 2013 E31204P
90 years old Dys Brooks teaches dance at Willingdon Memorial Hall. July 31st 2013 E31204P

A dance teacher who celebrated a milestone birthday last month says she has no plans to give her up her passion any time soon.

Dys Brooks marked her 90th birthday in July with friends who are in awe of her good health and fitness.

The Willingdon resident teaches at the village’s memorial hall in Church Street and one pupil believes she could be the oldest dance teacher in the world.

Dys, who set up Eastbourne Dance Group with her late husband George Wilcox and Dorothy Briant - who she taught in school when she was a youngster - said she had a passion for the subject since she was young. During the years the group was visited by the likes of the world famous ballerina Beryl Grey.

She said, “I always wanted to dance from the age of five.

“It was the creative side that appealed to me. I believe one of my uncle’s was a ballroom champion in London many years ago and I think it comes from my father’s side.”

The nonogenarian, who taught French, physical education and dance in schools decades ago, now enjoys teaching modern creative dance at Willigndon Memorial Hall. She teaches advanced classes and also Spanish or stay fit sessions and has seen several of her pupils lose weight after taking part in the class.

She believes a good diet is part of the key to keeping fit. She said, “I have always been careful with what I’ve eaten.

“It’s not just about what you eat but how you prepare it. It’s about determination and exercise.

“All the time I can dance I will dance.”

One of her pupils Debra Gibson added, “I just think she’s an inspiration. I went to a class earlier and I can feel the effects.

“I think she will go on forever. She just a fantastic person.”