Mary Madden has lived her dream - and taken hundreds of budding dancers, young and old, along for the ride but after ten years this chapter in her life has come to an end.
The last waltz has been played, the fat lady has sung and the curtain has fallen on the much- loved and successful Love2dance troupe.
What she now shrugs off as a ‘mid-life crisis’ brought Mary and her two daughters to Mangawhai over ten years ago.
Having learned ballet from a young age then trained as a prima-ry school teacher, Mary and Mangawhai were made for each other. So began Love2dance, giving children and adults, girls and guys, of all ages (2-70 years) a chance to dance and the opportu-nity to dance purely for enjoyment.
“Dance can be a personal thing building confidence and self es-teem and also life skills through discipline,” says Mary. “Then there is the fitness, flexibility and co-ordination aspect and, in time, performing either individually or as a group gaining confidence and conquering fears.”
Mary is highly organised and a great communicator on all levels. Though ballet formed the basis, Mary also taught modern jive, aerobics, hip hop and jazz funk as well and moulded her annual classes into many stunning end-of-year performances depicting a variety of themes enjoyed by thousands.
Many Mums have re-ported how their daughters blossomed under Mary’s guidance and instruction, several of whom have gone on to take up dance at second-ary school level.
Not only is she an outstanding dancer herself, able to demonstrate a huge range of dance styles and moves, she is also a visionary, a story-teller, a choreographer and a seamstress with a seemingly endless stream of energy but now feels her energy needs to be channelled in another direction whatever that may be.
“My girls are both at University now,” she says and though she feels like this chapter in her life is a closed book, her pupils both past and present will always re-member their time with Love2dance and all have certificates and photos to remind them of their achievements.
Though the children’s dance classes have ended Mary will still continue with her other love – Pi-lates. She brings a wide knowledge of techniques and benefits to her regu-lar classes which include a number of her senior dancers who enjoy the ongoing fellowship plus a more sedate way to re-tain their fitness, mobil-ity and health through a different exercise re-gime.
Mary has been a huge asset to the Man-gawhai community and her teaching has touched many families. A sentiment widely echoed.