Wendy Greenwood, a 50-year-old dancer from Glossop, wants to show others that there’s no age limit when it comes to trying new things and enjoying yourself.
Wendy first had the idea to start dancing after she began to take her daughter to Stardust Dance Centre in Glossop. As Wendy was spending so much time there with her daughter, she took the plunge and took up ballroom dancing herself.
After attending numerous dance schools to help her learn her craft, Wendy quickly realised she wanted to take her hobby a step further. She became part of the open scene, and she and her partner now travel up and down the country, visiting different dance schools with various teachers.
“I enjoy it so much, even the fitness side. The community within the dance world is brilliant. Everyone looks out for everyone and I’ve been so welcomed,” said Wendy.
Originally, Wendy just went along for the fun of it, but she quickly decided she wanted to take the hobby further. Alongside her dance partner, Al Valentine, she has competed in places like Blackpool and Liverpool, and in the space of just two years they have been named British National Champions, UK Closed Champions and World Champions, as well as being finalists in the German Open, and European and Dutch competitions.
Along this journey, she has met stars like Shirley Ballas and Anton Du Beke, and Wendy is keen to express her gratitude for the opportunities she’s had. “I remember dancing in front of Shirley in Blackpool and it was immense," she said. "She gave me a smile and it’s like an approval, and that makes it all worthwhile.”
Even though Wendy loves to compete, the next step is to go into teaching. “I just love helping people so much and sharing this love with other people,” she said.
When she's not dancing, Wendy runs a fish and chip shop, but the nature of her hobby means she finds herself spending a lot of time away from the shop. She therefore praises her husband for his support: “He’s supported me throughout all this. I’ve been competing internationally and without him looking after the shop, I couldn’t have done any of this.”
Wendy wants to reiterate the importance of just “going for it” and following your dreams. “You can achieve anything at any age, and life is for grabbing," she said. "I just think life is so precious and you have to enjoy every journey.”