Mother and Daughter notch up over 100 years of Keep Fit

Dilys Smith and her daughter Janet Waters, a Keep Fit Association Berkshire teacher, have enjoyed Keep Fit Laban Dance Fitness for many years starting in 1968 when they lived in Gloucester.
Janet had attended local classes of ballet, tap and modern and when she left school missed these activities and was encouraged by her dance teacher to train to teach adults keep fit through a Local Authority training scheme. Janet was working in the civil service locally, but soon was taking 4 classes as week in the evenings, many of which her mother Dilys attended if she was not working nights as a nurse at the local hospital. In those days, the classes were very well attended, and Janet threw herself into training with the Wales Keep Fit and the South West Keep Fit Association . She attended many residential weekends of training and was always the ‘ driver ‘ for the band of Keep Fit teachers in the area. Janet was very involved with Keep Fit producing items and doing committee work. Dilys preferred to stay in the background and support rehearsals etc but was a regular class attender enjoying movement and the social aspect of the classes.
In 1979, Janet moved to Henley and Dilys joined her. Janet was half way through a Further Education Teachers course and was able to transfer to Berkshire and despite a new job in London she looked to start a class locally. Gwyneth Sawyer contacted her and asked if she would ‘stand in’ for a term at Polehamption Junior School Twyford and the rest is history with Janet still teaching there on Thursday nights. She has a group of loyal class members. Janet did start and run classes in Henley and Wargrave although work commitments and the London travel meant she eventually decided to concentrate on her career and limit Keep Fit to one evening.
Dilys attended classes until 18 months ago when a few health problems stopped her taking part. She has not missed an evening since as she does the admin and enjoys watching the ‘girls’ regularly commenting on their performance.
With Janet’s encouragement Dilys joined a Strength and Balance class run by Age Concern in Henley. The teacher soon spotted ‘she had done this before’! Dilys enjoyed this but much prefers her Keep Fit, moving with music though. Dilys continues to be active with indoor bowling at Rivermead which she can do with the use of a stick for balance. This summer, Dilys had a heart valve replacement procedure and believes that her recovery and positive approach coupled with her ‘Keep Fit’ has been at the heart of 92 years of a positive life.
Janet is still teaching and hopes to keep the class running as she and her class members enjoy their wonderful hour of Laban dance fitness, movement and dance.

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