She may be 84, but dancer June Sadler still has enough energy to be one of our charity champions. June still teaches tap dancing.
Her troupe, The June Sadler Tappers, has 80 members. To date, they have raised a staggering £22,000 through dance events.
June said: “Our annual show all began when Roy suggested to me that I must do something to fundraise for the charity back in 1994. I told him I didn’t know what to do and he just said, ‘You’ll think of something.’ That was so typical of Roy.”
June followed in the footsteps of her mother, who performed under the stage name Lily Tempest, and became a professional dancer when she was 13 years old.
The former ballet dancer appeared in theatres up and down the country, sharing centre stage with stars such as Norman Wisdom, Harry Secombe, the Beverley Sisters and Dad’s Army favourite John Le Mesurier.
“With me, I’d got a lucky charm thing going on, I worked with a lot of stars who were just beginning to make a name for themselves. I worked with Norman Wisdom when he was just starting to break into the big time. He was wonderful and a good dancer.”
“People work extremely hard in the theatrical profession. I used to get asked ‘What do you do for your proper job?’ They just didn’t understand – they didn’t understand all the hard work that went into it. They thought you just popped into the theatre in the evenings.”June on the time and dedication to takes to become professional.
June met Roy Castle in 1954 when they were both appearing in a Blackpool summer season entitled Happiness Ahead. The pair hit it off immediately and stayed in touch over the years.
“Roy was good at whatever he did, singing, dancing, playing the trumpet.”
“Tap dancing has never really gone out of fashion. There is an explosion in popularity from time to time because of shows such as 42nd Street and Stepping Out.
The Tappers range in age from young to old, and some have been with June from the very beginning.
“I think today’s dancers are brilliant, when you look at ballet now and ballet when Margot Fonteyn was doing it, the difference is incredible”
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Her favourite tap dancers are all from a certain era, however. She mentions Roy Castle, Bruce Forsyth, Sammy Davis Jnr and Lionel Blair.
“It’s great to have such support from the shopping centre and everyone who comes to watch year after year. With such great support I’m sure we’ll keep going for many more years yet.”